Where Have All the Silos Gone?

End-to-End Planning in a Post-Covid World

This Blog is the 1st in a series of Blogs that explore the business case for a cohesive End-to-End plan for tomorrow’s retail environment.


Retail has long been a very siloed industry. When the Covid-19 global pandemic hit with virtually no warning, we saw unprecedented change in all aspects of the retail environment. Supply chains were quickly disrupted, then overwhelmed. Every day items like paper and cleaning supplies were suddenly out of stock on store shelves and retailers were doing the unthinkable…limiting consumer purchases.

The effects have rippled through the major components of the retail cycle changing thoughts, patterns, and habits around everything from Demand Forecasting, Category Management, Fulfillment, and everything in between. Many of the issues have been resolved but none have returned to what they were pre-Covid. This has changed–by necessity—how most in the retail industry are conducting day-to-day operations.

What does this new landscape look like? Familiar mileposts and guardrails are gone and what is left is a wide-open industry that is scrambling to adapt to change and survive in this Post-Covid world. If nothing else, the pandemic highlighted the need for responsive communication and near real-time visibility and collaboration between corporate partners.

Retail Life in a Pre-Covid World

Before Covid changed everything, there was talk of how processes and departments were hopelessly siloed.  Merchandising, Supply, and Operational teams often had their own goals and objectives to achieve that did not take the others into consideration. Everyone said, “Something has to be done, this needs to change!” but people were busy, schedules were packed with meetings for things that needed to be done today. The task of tearing down those silos were continuously pushed off to a later date that many thought would never come.

Then came Covid…and everything changed.  Now we have had to face the reality that our systems were flawed, if not broken, as Covid was exposing weaknesses up and down the retail supply chain.  We are working from home and attending meetings online, the communication process has changed, and merchandising became more dependent on the supply chain than ever before.  The need for a simple, scalable, and flexible end-to-end process has never been more important than it is today.

Plantensive Recognizes the Need for New Strategies

Plantensive began to see this shift in client need states and the need to reimagine an end-to-end process that has a clear roadmap for implementation. With that in mind, we set out to create just that, a process that would bridge the gaps from Supply Chain to Merchandising to Operations. This new process closes the gaps that existed for decades in our industry, as well as new gaps caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Plantensive’s End-to-End Process

Plantensive put together an internal “task force” that included experts from all parts of the retail cycle to study the effects of Covid-19 on the processes and to produce an updated, Post-Covid roadmap for suppliers and retailers alike. High Level (Level 1) Strategies were the first to be addressed and new consumer shopping habits were the catalyst for many changes and the need to break down the silos that had stood for so long in our industry was evident. A fully interactive framework was produced and is summarized below:

A Fresh Look at Strategy Standards

Plantensive took a fresh look at strategy standards and a bird’s eye view of the challenges facing the retail industry today and created a comprehensive end-to-end process that breaks down those industry silos and fills in the gaps.

In closing, we offer the business-critical skills and experience of a consulting force–when and how you need it. There are any number of reasons why your company might need an extra pair of (highly skilled) hands. When you do, we are ready to provide top talent to help your organization deliver crucial supply chain and retail initiatives. Whether you need one person or a team of technical and business solution experts, we are here to provide you with the right resources and guidance for your business needs.

To interact with the E2E process framework and match your technical and organizational factors for yourself, click here to get in touch for a guided overview and complimentary copy.

Up Next…Level 1 Processes

Look for our next blog in the series that will take a deeper dive into Level 1 processes, how they have changed, and some tips on how your company can adjust to the changes and start to break down those silos to create a more efficient organization and supply chain process.


Blog Authors: Bill Ackner & Todd McCourtie

We have worked with thousands of clients across a diverse set of industries.
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