May 19 2015
Since the earliest days of bartering and trade, business owners have always been focused on the 2 keys to their success: product and inventory. Whether it’s grappling with the 80/20 principle of inventory management or attempting to track stock quantities on messy spreadsheets, businesses still struggle with either having too much or too little inventory in stock. This issue is top of mind for any retailer or product supplier as this can directly impact a company’s brand image as well as their bottom line. In fact, market studies have estimated that being out-of-stock (OOS) results in a 4 percent loss in annual sales for retailers.
We at Askuity have been fortunate to witness a number of retailers and their vendors transform that 4 percent loss into meaningful gains across their respective businesses. All it takes is the right store-level inventory analytics platform to shape the way retailers and vendors collaborate through data and insights.
Turning Data Into Action
Staring at numbers on a page won’t give you the full picture of what state your store inventory is in. Whether you’re operating just one location or an entire chain across many regions, a store inventory analytics platform is able to digest all of the raw data from each store and convert it into insightful data visualizations (to easily glean trends), as well as action-oriented exception-based reports and alerts. This makes it easy for users to focus on the metrics that matter, such as:
- On hand inventory levels (including automated flags for critical inventory levels)
- On order inventory
- Out of stocks by SKU/Store/Region
Users can also view other pertinent inventory metrics such as inventory turnover rates, seasonal sales, and consumer trends at each and every store.
Quick Communication between Vendors and Retailers
Never before has it been so effortless to keep retailers and vendors on the same page. By adopting a cloud-based inventory analytics platform, such as Askuity’s award winning solution, retailers can seamlessly share POS and inventory data processed at each of their retail locations. When data is shared with vendors, vendors can then provide valuable feedback to retailers – such as which products are on back order and which have been discontinued. Best of all, it can all be done proactively, thereby helping retailers avoid lengthy (and frustrating) out of stock periods. When inventory insights can be derived swiftly and issues can be flagged automatically, all stakeholders win. This includes the retailer’s merchandising and supply chain teams, store owners/managers, product vendors, and customers shopping in store.
This type of vendor-retailer analytics platform enhances collaboration and allows vendor partners to take a greater share of responsibility in managing their inventory. The latest trend in the retail industry is to equip vendors with all of the data and insights they need to better manage their businesses, allowing retailers to redistribute the workload in a way that benefits both the retailer and vendor. When armed with POS and inventory information, the vendor is then able to work in tandem with purchasing analysts to plan more effectively and address issues that are hurting the sales potential for both vendor and retailer alike.
Keeping a retail business humming is tough, but it can be more easily accomplished when working with a store inventory analytics platform. When retailers and product vendors begin working off the same page, your customers will be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily, taking your brand image – and sales – to new heights.