The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and Kurt Salmon Associations (KSA) recently released their logistics study, “Retail DNA: Unlocking the Secrets of Supply Chain Excellence,” identifying major supply chain advances in three focus areas: key strategic issues, supply chain trends, and common elements of successful organizations.

The report compiles information from direct conversations with senior retail and supply chain executives from a broad range of companies, including mass retail general merchandisers, specialty retailers, grocers, and office supply retailers.

“Compared to the past 10 years of evolution, the next 10 will seem like a revolution,” said KSA Principal, John Champion. “By understanding how to implement key supply chain building blocks, such as relationships, tools, and strategic levers, retailers will not only survive, but excel.”

The report shows that through continual process improvement, retailers have made their supply chains more transparent, more secure, and more reliable, enabling retailers to have the right products on the shelf to meet consumer needs.

“‘Retail DNA’ is a comprehensive benchmark,” explains Sandy Kennedy, president of RILA. “Through a blend of interviews and audience response, we’ve identified the key issues and challenges facing the retail industry’s supply chain. We’re grateful to our members and KSA for the work put into the report.”

As an appendix to the study, KSA surveyed more than 700 retail and consumer product manufacturing executives through interactive polling at the 2005 RILA Logistics Conference in San Diego in January. Asked about direct sourcing, 57% of retailers said they believe they will direct source 30 to 100% more in the next five years.

For more information about “Retail DNA: The 2005 Logistics Study,” contact Amy Herbst at 703-600-2034 or