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A message from the CEO

I’ve always loved back-to-school season. Don’t get me wrong — summer is great — trips to new places, days spent out in the sun and at the beach, getting around to that pile of books you’ve been meaning to read for the past year. But there’s something about back-to-school that I’ve always loved, and, living in Texas, it’s certainly not the fall foliage. 

The reason I’ve always enjoyed the back-to-school season is the “back” part. After busy summer vacations and lots of new experiences, back-to-school is about returning to the known. A known schedule, a known routine, and known needs. It’s about seeing your friends again after a busy summer you can’t wait to tell them about.

This year, of course, that’s all changed. As supply chain professionals, we can’t go ‘back’ to how we executed back-to-school last year, because it doesn’t exist. Some school years have been delayed, some parents are waiting to purchase items until more relief money comes out. Some are restarting in-person, others from home. And this year, instead of cool sneakers, backpacks and notebooks, more and more families are focusing their funds on things like laptops, routers and casual clothing since many students aren’t leaving the home for school. As supply chain professionals, it seems like every assumption about what back-to-school is has been upended by the pandemic. 

Assumptions often get a bad rap, but sometimes they help us. They’re shortcuts, built on years of real life experience, that help us do more without reinventing the wheel every time. But assumptions can also hide the truth about what’s really going on, especially in your supply chain. This year, we must all adapt to a set of circumstances never faced by any supply chain professional before. And to do that, we’ve got to challenge every assumption about what is and isn’t working in our supply chains.

 

We’re already doing a great job of that for our customers. We’re learning from new behaviors and preferences that change with the daily infection curve. We’re adapting to new needs, new timelines, and frankly, a new reality for retail. But are you as aware of how the pandemic is affecting your suppliers as you are your customers? Or how your on-time and in-full metrics have changed over the course of the pandemic, by supplier? If you answered any of these questions with “mostly” or “sorta,” you’re not alone. 

So this back-to-school season, when we all feel like freshmen, I dare you to challenge even one assumption you have about what’s going on in your supply chain — dig into the data, and see if what you thought you knew still holds true. We designed the Traverse Systems platform to help you and your team seamlessly unearth and challenge assumptions about your supply chain, so you can improve your bottom line, no matter what the world throws at you. 

 

Wishing you the best,

Gregory Holder,
Traverse Systems
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NEWS IN SUPPLY CHAIN
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Why Are There Still Not Enough Paper Towels?

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Ace Hardware Building On Q2 Momentum

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COVID-19 has certainty presented its challenges to retailers, but also opportunities. Check out how Ace Hardware is growing their bottom line by doing more for their customers.
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Defining ‘On-Time, In-Full’ In the Consumer Sector

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Check out this whitepaper from McKinsey & Co on how an industry-wide definition of ‘on-time, in-full’ could increase collaboration among trading partners.
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Back-to-School Delays, Virtual Classes Could Deepen Pain for Some Retailers, and Be Windfall for Others

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This ‘back-to-school’ season is unlike any before, bringing with it challenges and opportunities for retailers to adapt to new consumer trends.
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COMPANY NEWS
 
What’s New at Traverse Systems
 
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Introducing Rivet

Having trouble managing supplier onboarding? We have a new product to help you achieve your onboarding goals.

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Unfortunately, the Fall RVCF Conference has been CANCELLED

We hope to see you in-person in 2021, but until then, check out the RVCF Event Calendar for virtual events.

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Perfect Order, Imperfect Supply Chain
 
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WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING
 
 
Getting up and running with Traverse was a seamless process. With Traverse, we have true visibility into our entire operation. Traverse’s tools allow us to bring together warehouse managers, directors, salespeople, and EDI departments from all the companies we work with, large and small. Traverse is absolutely a game changer. I can’t recommend them enough.
 

Marty Hahn,

Director of Vendor Relations,

GNC

 
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