Vendor relations at Zappos: A good fit

From a recent RetailWire comment about Zappos…the article in question touched on Zappos’ information-sharing with its vendors (not a new development, in my view) as well as their effort to cultivate good vendor relations:

There are two different issues, and to start with the first question: Collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment (CPFR) is hardly a new development. Most successful retailers have moved to a much more collaborative model of information-sharing and merchandise planning with their vendors than we saw ten years ago. It’s driven by advances in information technology, more focus on supply chain management and greater consolidation by both retailers and suppliers. So Zappos is to be congratulated, I guess, for adapting best practices widely at use in the retail world.

The other issue pertains to Zappos’ treatment of its vendors as a broader reflection of company culture. The courtesy of same-day returned phone calls (and other little “touches” to help vendors feel like they are partners in success) is something that most other retailers could learn from, even if they have already adapted collaborative planning.


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