It is widely agreed that satisfying the shopper is more important than ever in the history of retail. With a wider choice of outlets and a new level of access via online channels, today’s savvy consumer has a hard-to-satisfy mix of high expectations and low tolerance of failure.
Most retailers have fully embraced and rolled out omnichannel trading. No longer is it simply a choice between online or physical shopping; today we see a whole variety of combinations with buy online and pick up in-store, return in-store or even order online whilst in store. The main issue which most retail businesses are facing is not their offering, it is their outdated Inventory Management System which can’t keep up with the multi-channel landscape and the instantaneous need to know what stock is where at any given point in time.
By failing to ‘join up’ traditional en-route to store stock levels and online order fulfilment, outdated inventory management systems can lead to a number of undesirable situations such as: –
- Items being out-of-stock – a situation which may signal the end of an otherwise positive customer experience as shoppers tend to be particularly intolerant of finding their desired goods missing from the shelves.
- Outlets overstocking – retail space is expensive, and most retailers have little storage space to spare so when lower selling merchandise is overrepresented it does not make for a happy trading relationship.
- Inability to locate stock – with in-store technology suggesting a product is available and staff being unable to find the item in question there is the potential to introduce frustration, disappointment and a significant reduction in productivity.
- Poor control of returns – which, in itself, translates to poor revenue management as returned goods need to be turned around quickly for resale when and where they may be in high demand.
If the above potentially costly situations are to be avoided, then there is a real need to completely overhaul legacy Inventory Management Systems. That means streamlining the entire process from warehouse to shop-floor, incorporating mobile computing and print, hand-held data capture, RFID technology and producing a generally joined up level of efficiency which will provide an accurate, real-time view of stock wherever it is.
How can we help?
At PLM Global we understand the challenges which the retail industry faces, and it is our mission to help them cope with the new trading landscape. Our Retail Technology Solutions have the ability to completely transform inventory management. They allow our retail clients to operate smoothly and effectively and keep a tight control of cost (as well as maintaining consumer confidence and protecting valuable customer loyalty).
If you would like to know more about how you could give your own inventory management system a makeover then get in touch with our team here for more detail.