AWS for Industries

Partner conversations: Supply Chain Strategies from enVista – Innovating for the new normal

Introduction for blog series

As retailers around the world are managing through unprecedented disruption, industry leaders are demonstrating resilience, tenacity, and a capacity for innovation. We’ve embarked on a series of conversations with executives from AWS Strategic Partners, showcasing leadership and innovation in times of challenge. We hope you enjoy our blog series. If you have questions or suggestions, please comment on this blog.

Introduction for this blog

In our second installment of our blog series, “Partner Conversations: Innovating for the New Normal,” we chatted with Gene Bornac, the SVP of Strategy and Alliances at enVista, a global software and consulting firm that focuses on unified supply chain and commerce solutions. Gene discusses how the pandemic has caused disruptions to retail supply chains and shares his thoughts on key strategies to quickly adapt to evolving market conditions.

Q:  AWS—Help our readers understand your vantage point. What are enVista’s key segments in the retail industry, and with what type of retail executives do you interact?

A:  Gene Bornac, SVP Strategy & Alliances, enVista—We focus on retailers, distributors, manufacturers, and third-party logistics companies (3PLs). Most of our customers are in the high fashion apparel, furniture and home goods, big box retail, and ecommerce categories. We typically interact with CIOs, CTOs, and CEOs.

Q:  AWS—Retail companies are managing through a period of unprecedented disruption. What have been the biggest challenges facing your retail customers?

A:  Gene Bornac, enVistaDisruption to the supply chain has challenged all of our retail customers. They seem to be struggling with a lack of adequate supply chain and retail planning, inventory and order management, and fulfillment. Technologies that weren’t deemed important have now become table stakes to survive in our current environment.

Q:  AWS—How do you see retailers adjusting their operating environments to current market dynamics and changing consumer expectations?

A:  Gene Bornac, enVistaRetailers have asked us to help them optimize their supply chain with end-to-end inventory visibility so they can offer BOPIS, SFS, and store fulfillment. We are strategizing with our customers to plan, analyze, optimize, and fulfill from online and mobile applications. We give them a blueprint for success in the rapidly evolving pandemic environment.

Q:  AWS—The retail industry is incredibly resilient. As you look forward, what role do you think technology and the cloud will play for retailers? How do you see technology enhancing the customer experience and improving operational efficiencies?

A:  Gene Bornac, enVistaAs the industry evolves to a more customer-centric unified commerce environment, technology and cloud services will be an enabler for successful retailers. Those companies with a solid cloud foundation, like AWS, can offer customer-specific experiences. Retailers who put customers in the center of their universe will delight them so they return time and time again, sharing their positive experiences with others and driving revenue for the business.

Q:  AWS—With the current disruptions in the retail industry, how is your company innovating to help your customers?

A: Gene Bornac, enVistaWe are focused on delivering speed and value to our customers because they need to rapidly adopt new services to meet changing demands. As ecommerce orders increased by 300% at the start of the pandemic, in a matter of weeks, we helped a retail client with more than 1,000 stores offer BOPIS, SFS, and curbside pickup, easing the strain on an overmatched distribution network. We empowered the store network to fulfill orders and achieve record setting sales with an optimized supply chain during the pandemic.

Q:  AWS—There’s so much talk at the moment that the shopping experience has changed, and there’s a “new normal” going forward. What does this “new normal” look like to you, and how do you think the retail experience will look three years from now?

A:  Gene Bornac, enVistaWe expect the new normal to be propelled forward by an end-to-end supply chain powerhouse that includes key drivers like inventory visibility and optimizations, personalization, automation, and fulfillment. Such a solution will be built on a single technology that leverages insights and recommendations from AI and ML so humans working throughout the supply chain make the best decisions. The successful retailer in this new normal will be able to anticipate oncoming disruptions, trends, and growth drivers, so the company can optimize its cloud technologies to maximize profits and delight customers.

Q:  AWS—What excites you about the future of retail?

A:  Gene Bornac, enVistaI’m excited about the speed with which we will be able to fulfill items for customers regardless of the ordering method. We have seen an evolution from catalog orders that took weeks to deliver, to fully stocked big box stores where consumers shopped in-person and picked items off the shelves, to ordering online with delivery in hours. The supply chains behind those amazing leaps will continue to evolve and adapt. I look forward to retailers offering seamless customer experiences as orders are fulfilled in shorter and shorter time frames. 

Thanks for chatting with us, Gene. We appreciate your insights and expertise.

If you have questions for Gene, enVista, or AWS, please comment on this blog. And also, plan to attend AWS re:Invent 2020, a free virtual conference, to learn how to innovate and transform your business with the power of cloud.

Gene Bornac is a well-respected thought leader with more than 35 years of experience in the retail and consumer products industries. His leadership spans specialty retail management at the store and district levels in operations, buying, planning, and forecasting as well as executive experience at multiple consulting firms and technology companies where he helped top retailers solve challenges with strategic IT solutions. Over the last 15 years, Gene has focused on helping retailers create profitable omnichannel businesses.

Jennifer Beckett

Jennifer Beckett

Jennifer Beckett is the Global Retail Partner Leader at AWS where she focuses on building and growing the retail partner ecosystem. Prior to AWS, Jennifer spent over 25 years enabling CPGs and retailers to improve through data-driven collaborative processes across supply chain, category management and trade promotion management. Jennifer is a member of the Consumer Goods Forum SC Pillar, NRF Associate Members Council and EnsembleIQ’s Executive Council. She holds a Supply Chain Management degree from Michigan State University and received her MBA at Loyola Marymount University in International Marketing.