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The critical importance of supply chain might seem obvious to industry professionals, but is not necessarily so apparent to outsiders.

So when a major accountancy group like BDO tells the world that getting supply chain right is the new retail battle ground, it’s worth taking the time to spread the message.

BDO, which tracks non-grocery sales, pointed out that while shoppers were staying away from the high street in July as a result of bad weather and economic worries, some retailers, particularly in the discount sector, have been bucking the trend through flexible and responsive supply chains.

And just to highlight the fact, BDO pointed out that sales through non-store channels were up by about a quarter on last year.

Don Williams, national head of retail and wholesale, said: “The quicker you can get your products to market, the louder you will hear tills ring. Many fashion stores were caught out when, after weeks of rain, Britain basked in temperatures of 30 degrees. Getting your supply chain right is the new retail battleground, and those who achieve flexibility and agility will survive and prosper.”

The importance of flexibility and agility, have been recurring themes in supply chain, since the recession started to bite back in 2008.

But these are things that cannot be achieved in isolation – and for that reason it is welcome news when the cause is taken up by organisations outside the profession.

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