(Yes, this really happened, and we witnessed it last week at Oracle Retail Cross Talk 2022.)

Oracle Retail Cross Talk 2022 Inventory Strategies Panel

Last held in person in 2019, Oracle’s annual conference is a unique executive forum that connects retail brands from around the world to share lessons learned, best practices, and innovative ideas about the future of modern retail. The event organizers provided dozens of formal sessions and presentations, but there was also an emphasis on unstructured networking and fun (which really did feature armadillo races). Those unique little animals showed us all the true meaning of resiliency.

For many participants, including those from Oracle Retail, traveling for this event represented their first business trip since March 2020. And as with other parts of our lives, this was the first opportunity in over two years that many were finally able to meet in person, some of them for the first time.

Key Trends and Capabilities

Key retail trends and themes were laid out from the initial presentation and then layered onto subsequent discussions throughout the event.

Trends that permeated Oracle Retail Cross Talk 2022 included:

  • Economic uncertainty
  • Changing consumer expectations
  • Constrained supply chains
  • Expanded ESG scope (focus on outcomes)
  • Diverse and inclusive workplaces

Three strategic areas that were widely discussed focused on:

  • Building a blueprint for agility
  • Getting closer to customers
  • Creating spaces for innovation
Armadillo Races at Oracle Retail Cross Talk 2022

Several Oracle Retail customers presented their stories, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Bealls Inc., and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB). Across these presentations, we heard a few common elements:

  • There is growing interest in all things data science and analytics related. However, many retailers discussed how important it was for them to replace their aging core merchandising solutions to bring new capabilities to life and allow the flexibility to support future high-value solutions.
  • Change management continues to be a critical need in all transformational projects, recognizing the impacts on people and process components, as well as driving returns on technology investments.
  • Circular retail (returns, repair, etc.) is growing and needs support from systems and processes.
  • Many retailers are striving for better master data management and getting good, consistent data in a place that enables holistic solutions without having to piece it together. The pandemic drove the importance of moving quickly, and good data is at the core of nimble retail capabilities.

Inventory Strategies

On the final morning of the event, Parker Avery Partner, Amanda Astrologo joined Greg Flinn from Oracle and Alexandra Pinto of Wipro for a panel discussion on inventory strategies. Certainly, the topic of inventory management is of heightened interest given the impacts of shifting demand patterns, irrelevant historical performance, and ongoing supply chain disruptions. With historically high inflation and fuel prices adding pressure on costs and margins, inventory productivity will continue to be a major focus. The session was very well attended, allowing for strong interaction between the panel and the audience.

Other learnings from our three days in Dallas include:

  • Regular updates from Oracle Retail on the latest on their solutions and roadmaps are critically important
  • Networking within the Oracle Retail partner ecosystem is strong and valuable
  • People missed meeting in person and enjoyed getting back together again
  • Some armadillos are much faster than others
Armadillos at Oracle Retail Cross Talk 2022

If you would like to discuss any of the trends, challenges, capabilities, or strategies we outlined from Oracle Retail Cross Talk, we would very much welcome the conversation. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Clay Parnell, President & Managing Partner

Clay Parnell
President & Managing Partner

Amanda Astrologo, Partner

The Parker Avery Group is a leading retail and consumer goods consulting firm that transforms organizations and optimizes operational execution through development of competitive strategies, business process design, deep analytics expertise, change management leadership, and implementation of solutions that enable key capabilities.

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Published On: June 22, 2022Categories: Agility, Amanda Astrologo, Clay Parnell, Events, Partners