Finding a digital method toward complete visibility in your liquor business has probably been a big issue for a long time.
Back in the days of paper-based systems, no doubt you grew tired of never getting invoices properly coordinated, or trying to locate lost documents. If you managed to at least acquire some sort of management software, it still didn't give you everything you needed for a complete view of everything.
The problem is you probably thought you knew all there is to know about your liquor business. Now you're realizing you're missing key pieces, like the details behind direct-store delivery as just one.
When working with distributors, it can confuse you and them when you don't have a centralized database available to access data. Without having more thorough data at the ready, it's only going to require downtime to clear up errors or discrepancies.
Here's 3 ways to improve visibility to direct-store delivery using a more consolidated database and features available at iControl. All of these methods give you more details than you can find anywhere else.
1. Finding More Details on Sales
Before you request deliveries from your distributor, they and you need to know exactly how much inventory you really need during a given time. Do you have a method of seeing sales patterns so you get more thorough insights into how much inventory you'll need in the future?
Your distributor may not have any visibility into your sales figures, hence perhaps making assumptions on when you need a new shipment. When you have enhanced management software with scorecards, you can dig into the nucleus of your sales figures to see performance, trends, and drivers.
You want to see the sources behind your sales figures for better inventory replenishment planning to get ahead of your competitors. When your distributor also has access to this information in one database, they won't have to contact you on a constant basis to coordinate shipment schedules.
2. Tracking Supplier Orders
Dealing with out-of-stock situations can become a true embarrassment when your customers want a particular liquor product immediately. However, without better visibility into supplier order status, you may not even know when a shipment is going to arrive.
You may have to consult multiple sources to understand what's going on with orders placed that haven't yet been shipped. It may involve having to send multiple emails to the supplier, if not many phone calls.
Your supplier might be in another state, hence bringing an expense of having to call them for order updates. A mere phone call or email may not give you enough details about when you placed an order, when it's going to ship, and what the price is.
Good retail analytics dashboard based in the cloud gives you a central database giving you access to all the information you need on order statuses. The fact that you and your supplier have access to this data at any time, you'll never again have to worry about mistakes from paper documents or manual entry. Automation for each order assures no errors.
3. Reporting and Analytics
To create a 360-degree view on delivery, don't forget about how important analytic tools are. Not having thorough metrics gives you a major blind spot in analyzing how deliveries worked in the past, how they work now, and what you may need in the future.
Being able to see into the future and strategically plan out your order patterns can help you move several steps ahead of competitors. It helps when you have real-time analytics on competing stores so you have enough inventory at the right times.
Contact us at iControl to learn more about our retail analytics dashboard to help manage every angle of your liquor business.