Target Aims at Faster Supply Chain
As part of its fight to keep brick-and-mortar shopping relevant and convenient, Target is testing a new approach to supply chain management, one that would replenish inventory much faster than is currently possible. It would also allow stores to reduce the amount of space they need for storage of merchandise while at the same time keeping shelves stocked and ready for business.
Target is currently using a warehouse in Perth Amboy, N.J., as what it calls a “flow center,” sending smaller but more frequent shipments of merchandise to stores in New York City, and minimizing the time between order and delivery. If the program is successful, the company would expand the fulfillment strategy to locations around the country.
To make these stores work, the company has to be flexible and fast. With less space, individual locations simply can’t keep a lot of inventory in the store. That’s where the flow center comes in.
The goal is to reduce the time it takes to restock inventory to just hours, instead of several days.
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