What does your company do and what is your USP?
We are a UK-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) company looking to transform global enterprise supply chains and marketplaces – and help retailers deliver the exemplary customer experience now demanded by shoppers. Our USP is that we can give retailers an unparalleled view of their entire inventory across all their supply chains and to route orders based on configurable business rules. This opens up total control over the customer experience for the retailer – from sourcing a product to delivering to the customer’s door.
How do you deliver on this USP?
Our product, The Edge®, is a modular platform that connects retailers with their suppliers, giving retailers a single, centralised view of all product data, order information and inventory levels from across all and any channel. In addition, The Edge – which is GS1 certified– can format the supplier product data to fit any system, or platform, while maintaining total data integrity.
How would you describe your vision?
Our vision is simple: to become the leading digital supply chain solution provider to the retail sector by enabling our clients to transform the way they manage their supply chain operations. With our platform in place, retailers can focus on delivering a world class customer experience knowing that their entire supply chain is working efficiently and effectively.
Which retailers do you work with?
The Edge is used extensively across some of the world’s largest and most respected retailers including Tesco, John Lewis, The Kingfisher Group, Sainsbury’s Argos, Dixon Carphone Warehouse and Office Depot. While to date we have typically operated in the top tier, The Edge easily adapts to address the needs of mid-tier retailers and suppliers – and here we are seeing significant interest.
How would you describe your growth, what have been the main points in expansion and what has been the key to your success?
Our growth has doubled year on year as we’ve continued to sign up top retail clients across the UK and EU we now have over 100 extremely skilled people working in the company who bring deep supply chain knowledge to our business. The key to Virtualstock’s success is that we created The Edge at a time when online sales represented a small percentage of a retailer’s overall revenue. With online sales in the UK growing from around £30BN in 2012 to around £70BN projected for 2018, this now represents around 15%-20% of a retailer’s non-food sales. In some categories, like Consumer Electronics, this percentage can be around 90% online. Our vision and innovation has enabled us to pre-empt the online growth and offer a simple, scalable and cost-effective solution to the demands created by today’s consumers.
How can you help multichannel retailers meet the demands of peak?
The main peak season challenge for retailers is that their infrastructure is often unable to deliver the same standard of service at peak order times. When ordering online, a customers’ main enquiry is usually “Where is my order?” Our platform communicates real-time tracking order status to retailers, which can be instantly passed on to the shopper, relieving customer service pressures and avoiding unnecessary costs to the retailer.We also enable retailers to offer a vastly extended range at a time when competition is fierce. By facilitating their entire drop-shipping solution, The Edge allows retailers to easily add many more products without the risk of holding stock at a time when effective use of warehouse space is critical. The Edge also provides real time visibility of drop-ship orders ensuring that the customer experience matches that of an order from any other channel.
Our vision is simple: to become the leading digital supply chain solution provider to the retail sector by enabling our clients to transform the way they manage their supply chain operations
How is your technology helping to support retail growth?
We are always enhancing our product to deliver innovations to retailers. We have a strategic, global partnership with IBM, which is bringing a wealth of new technologies to our platform with its knowledge of blockchain and AI. We are connecting The Edge to Watson to mix internal and external retailer data ranging from orders, inventory levels to weather patterns to provide a new level of insight for retailers. We also partnered with GS1 to verify GTIN barcodes on the products that vendors supply to retailers. The platform automatically validates the code against a central standard body to determine an item’s authenticity. Previse is also working with us to offer suppliers immediate payments when they receive an order. Retailers can see what they have bought from a vendor, and its location, in real-time while suppliers receive payments instantly for delivering their goods.
One sentence elevator pitch to be used as a direct quote on how your company benefits retailers
“The Edge can connect to any system, giving retailers complete control over all supplier orders, inventory and product data and allowing them to compete in a fast-changing, customer-experience-dominated market.”
To find out more about Virtual Stock, please visit their website: https://virtualstock.com