I’m looking forward to making a presentation tomorrow alongside one of the best brands in retail – Ulta Beauty, a best-in-class brand that recognizes the importance of managing the supply chain effectively to make a great brand even better.


Their omni-channel strategy provides consumers with an enriched in-store and digital experience, so it’s no wonder that Ulta Beauty is on an amazing path of growth. With exponential increases in e-commerce sales, the opening of approximately 100 additional retail stores annually in the past few years, and the successful management of more than 20,000 SKUs across more than 500 brands, their investment in world-class merchandise operations and supply chain collaboration has been critical to ensuring Ulta Beauty has the right merchandise on every shelf.


Tomorrow, I will have the privilege of interviewing the senior director of merchandise operations and supplier collaboration at SAP Ariba Network Live, Chicago – so others can learn from their supply chain transformation.


Supply chain transformation is a journey, and Ulta Beauty pragmatically started theirs by optimizing accounts payables. They evolved from using a manual approach to an automatic approach to reconciling invoices with purchase orders and shipment notifications. Their aim was to ensure only accurate invoices reach their ERP, every time. They achieved this by fully digitizing and automatically reconciling documents – which allowed them to link orders and invoices to shipment notifications before the uploading invoices to the ERP.


It didn’t take long for Ulta Beauty’s merchandise operations team to recognize the sizeable positive impact this was having on their supply chain. It helped the company optimize distribution centers, improve inventory planning and execution, and obtain more visibility into where merchandise is in their supply chain – a key enabler of their successful omni-channel strategy and overall excellent consumer experience.


Tomorrow, Ulta Beauty will discuss how they engage in collaborative supply chain execution processes with hundreds of merchandise vendors, the vast majority of which use B2B integration technology to drive up accuracy. They will also discuss how collaboration on shipment information drives up visibility to inbound merchandise, and how reporting and data drive better decision making.


Even if you can’t join us, please view their presentation from SAP Ariba Live in Las Vegas a few months ago.