Suresh Chaganti

Co-Founder and Executive Partner, VectorScient

Having spent 20+ years in consulting and technology leadership roles across multiple industry verticals that encompass the entire consumer value chain — Omni-Channel Retail, E-Commerce,  Distribution, Manufacturing, Market Research — Suresh brings fresh and well thought out perspectives.

Suresh implemented multiple ERP, CRM and Warehouse Management systems, along with rolling out new sales channels in a variety of retail marketplaces such as Macy’s, Amazon Vendor Central, Amazon Seller Central, and Fulfilled by Amazon.

Suresh co-founded VectorScient, a Predictive Analytics software for Retail and Distributors.

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  • Posted on: 02/24/2021

    Macy’s says it will recover and rebuild coming off a tough 2020

    Adiran Mitchell (Macy's CFO)'s comments confirm something we always suspected. The presence of retail locations improves online sales. Retail stores have long stopped being a sales-only channel. They are marketing channels in a big way. That's why traditional store-level metrics such as same-store sales and sales per square foot don't make sense anymore. Macy's obviously has taken note of this, but other retailers need to as well. Physical retail is needed, but it needs to be redefined in terms of size, assortment, and experience to make it a marketing channel. Retailers that don't know how to do this and turn them into micro-fulfillment centers and dark stores are losing it big time.
  • Posted on: 02/24/2021

    Can making deliveries once a week make e-commerce sustainable and more profitable?

    Amazon as usual took the lead on this a while back, presumably to save on shipping costs. It offers ways to consolidate orders -- you can choose a day of the week. In return Amazon typically hands out a $1 bonus in digital purchases. As a consumer, I have chosen to take that bonus zero times. The idea is good, but I do not expect significant traction if the pitch is solely based on the environmental feel-good factor, and the cost savings are not passed to the customers. Sustainability goals are laudable, but the program itself will only be sustainable if at least 25 percent of the dollar savings are passed to the customers.
  • Posted on: 02/23/2021

    Activist investors attempt takeover of Kohl’s board of directors

    The peer group that the activist investors are comparing is the Russell 2000, and the stock performance. That is an irrelevant comparison in terms of positioning and performance. It is true that from an investor's point of view, there are far better places to park money than Kohl's. The report is mainly about cutting the SG&A and other expenses to shore up the profitability. Profitability may improve in the short term and stock price may bounce back for a while, but it will not cure the headwinds and structural challenges that Kohl's and other peers (J.C. Penney, Macy's etc.) face.
  • Posted on: 02/22/2021

    Should suppliers help fund retailers’ omnichannel investments?

    I see your point, Gene. Several retailers run their back-office departments as profit centers, with chargebacks, dumping returns beyond what is accepted, etc. And then some are based on unequal relationships -- forcing their suppliers to do drop-ship, Amazon coercing to sell 1P, etc.
  • Posted on: 02/22/2021

    Should suppliers help fund retailers’ omnichannel investments?

    Big retailers pressuring their suppliers is not new. It's been happening forever in one form or the other. Small businesses are the worst hit. Until the behavior reaches monopolistic levels, retailers like Walmart and Amazon will try to get away with it. When you see everyday low prices, something has to give -- doesn't it?
  • Posted on: 02/22/2021

    Do grocers need to get better at planning for weather-related disasters?

    Monday morning quarterbacking is easy, but I think we have to be realistic here. This weather event has never happened in living memory, similar to COVID-19 in terms of its rarity. It is possible to build systems and capabilities to withstand such rare occurrences, but it would push the cost beyond what is meaningful and affordable. A specific high-risk asset such as a nuclear powerplant is appropriate to be protected for such rarity or even worse, but for every day retailers, we have to be realistic. That said, I am sure there are a number of lessons to be learned. Stocking up salt trucks, shovel supplies, and pipes that withstand frigid temperatures for an extended period of time are all relatively low tech and commonsense solutions.
  • Posted on: 02/22/2021

    Amazon is using crowdsourcing to create new products

    I am glad Amazon is closing the gap between new product launch decisions and customer feedback. I hope a larger number of brands take notice and incorporate this. If brands look at it closely, they have customer data that can already give high-quality input on the broad direction of which categories will make sense. A combination of market research and Kickstarter-style campaigns can plug the rest.
  • Posted on: 02/19/2021

    Are current supply chain bottlenecks a bigger deal than normal?

    Supply chain is where the physical limitations will be felt. There is no getting around six to eight weeks of in-transit time from the factory to the warehouse. Add the purchase order approvals, new design quality approvals, etc., and it adds up and can never be "just in time." And there are other delays that smaller organizations have to contend with -- waiting for the containers to fill up as their order quantities are not very high. Most of these are structural issues of sourcing from a far-off place like China. Even then, there are organizations that strategize better. Domestic manufacturing is a top-tier choice, but equally good are - delayed manufacturing with final assembly/labeling happening onsite in the U.S., nearshore manufacturing in Mexico, and collaborating with other organizations to make full truckload containers.
  • Posted on: 02/19/2021

    Will 7-Eleven’s beer and wine on tap be a c-store game changer?

    It is certainly a novel concept for a c-store, and it could certainly elevate the ambiance and perception of the store. There is no predicting how much success this will have or if this will be successful, but kudos to 7-Eleven for pushing for new customer experiences. This is what a good retailer does.
  • Posted on: 02/19/2021

    Walmart gives workers a raise and weighs in on the minimum wage debate

    It feels like smoke and mirrors and sleight of hand. An average of $15 doesn't mean anything. How skewed is it by the people who make more? Minimum wage is called such a thing for a reason. Saying our average minimum wage is $15 is a major oxymoron. On top of that, they take away quarterly bonuses because workers prefer more in hourly wages? Of course, at $15 or less, they need more money today and not three months later. But it is not an either/or situation. Very disappointing.
  • Posted on: 02/17/2021

    Has text messaging become retail’s go-to communication tool?

    Customers are a lot less forgiving for indiscriminate frequency in text messaging than they are for email messaging. There is a time and place for text messaging - in terms of the time of the day, frequency of the messages, type of messages, uniqueness of the promotions, etc. Brands that overdo this will lose customer trust fast.
  • Posted on: 02/17/2021

    Should retailers just say ‘no’ to Instacart?

    It’s not an easy situation that retailers find themselves in. At one level, Instacart and other delivery services are like payment methods. Retailers are expected to support various methods, or customers will go to those retailers that Instacart supports. Services like Instacart are not merely delivering, they are actively building a customer base of their own by giving consumers incentives to shop in participating retailers. The largest of the retailers probably can build their own last-mile delivery network, but it is not going to be their core competence and will be a huge distraction, even if they are otherwise capable. For regional and local retailers, they don’t have much choice. Retailers have to move up in the value chain to build their private label brands, sourcing, and assortment, to find a level of differentiation that customers are willing to pay a premium for and absorb these additional costs.
  • Posted on: 02/16/2021

    Will Nordstrom celebrate or regret its decision to give brands a lot more control?

    Bob, Great illustration in comparison with Best Buy. It would be a win if this strategy uncovers independent, upcoming brands faster. It is a balancing act - control too much, there will be sameness across all the concession stores. Control too little and it will be a marketplace - albeit an unintended one.
  • Posted on: 02/16/2021

    Will Nordstrom celebrate or regret its decision to give brands a lot more control?

    It is similar to a store-within-a-store concept. Nordstrom becomes a mini-mall of sorts. Benefits are obvious - more utilization of real estate, more foot traffic that could increase the overall basket value. But the risks are high - strategic fit, assortment, positioning and service in these concession stores should align with Nordstrom. The day-to-day control, escalations, and customer service are all to be factored in. It certainly introduces an additional overhead. Good for Nordstrom to push in this direction. Certainly an interesting trend to watch.
  • Posted on: 02/15/2021

    Poshmark’s secondhand sales platform goes to the dogs

    It would have been odd for an apparel retailer to have a pets section, but not so for Poshmark because of the generic positioning it has. Poshmark is not particularly tied to any category, so it is natural to find as many adjacent categories as it can in order to expand into them.

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