Creating a competitive advantage starts with shared, standardized data; common success metrics; and technological tools that allow data to be shared at the right time and business-process exceptions, questions, and concerns to be addressed along the decision chain. A number of solutions can help retailers gain a competitive advantage. One is Cisco TelePresence technology, which improves collaboration by enabling players along the value chain to meet directly and regularly in a virtual environment. Others include an IP-based open network architecture that enables transaction data to be shared with merchants and product managers moment by moment, and autonomic readers that enable employees to gather detailed information from RFID tags on product palettes ready to be shipped or received. Increased efficiency and decision making made possible by these collaboration technologies, and others, is key to improving retailer productivity—enabling them ultimately to consistently exceed consumer demands.