Mobile inventory management solutions have been around for a while, but now it’s possible to run retail management software from many popular mobile devices. This new mobility helps increase the efficiency of employees checking inventory and stocking shelves, as well as warehouse staff transferring goods from vendors or a central warehouse.
Inventory reconciliation requires the coordination of complex data and functions, adjusting what your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system thinks you have to reflect what’s actually on the shelf. How you configure your retail software solution has a significant impact on the system’s efficiency and your data’s accuracy at any given time.
Centralized purchasing offers a lot of efficiencies for retailers, but it’s not always the right answer to optimize your retail supply chain. Sometimes, it’s best for stores to do their own purchasing, as store managers are able to provide greater insight into which products sell best on the local level.
In the fashion industry, change happens quickly, and not just when it comes to clothing styles. Retailers must also adjust their inventory management in light of an evolving omni-channel landscape. Customers expect a consistent experience across multiple shopping channels, and likewise, the way that inventory is managed should meet the needs for every omni-channel function.
Demand planning might feel like aiming at a moving target, but forecasting is vital to pinning down a plan for business growth. Mid-market retailers should take a step-by-step approach in using historical data, inventory variability, replenishment and Big Data to create a retail sales forecast focused on strengthening future operations.
Retailers can improve their operations, particularly their inventory management, by automating much of the inventory replenishment processes through a retail ERP solution. Keep in mind that the automated replenishment process can be as simple or sophisticated as needed, but the capability depends on the quality of data provided to the system.
The latest in retail fulfillment — ship-from-store and in-store pickup — have moved on from being the new kids on the block. These services are essential for a successful omni-channel strategy that meets the needs of the changing customer. Technology and updated inventory processes can help retailers offer such important services.
A retail ERP system can help retailers optimize profit margins by providing measurable data to analyze and use in managing costs. By having measurable information about your operations readily available, you’ll better understand what the numbers mean. This is important in an ever-changing retail environment.
Perfecting your retail inventory management requires an attitude of continuous improvement. Otherwise, customers and profits could go to your competitors, particularly if they’re better at assessing inventory demand. Start by fine-tuning your sales projections, running sales promotions when necessary and taking advantage of analytics.
As the retail industry adjusts to the needs of the changing consumer, stores must look at whether their inventory management processes meet those demands. Identifying optimal inventory levels is integral to minimizing losses and maximizing profits. Start by examining three key inventory management areas to find room for improvement.