We're living in a time when analytics software is more important than ever, especially within the complex retail industry. Taking a proactive approach to inventory management solves a lot of problems in this field, and using an analytics solution is one of the best options - espcially if the tools use real-time technology to give a more accurate view of what's going on in all of your stores.
By using more thorough metrics, you'll find out exactly what's occurring with your inventory without confusion. This starts with more visibility into your stores for you, but also for your suppliers.
While communication is important between you and your supplier, analytics can tell you so much about inventory issues. It prevents all the time needed to make phone calls, send emails, or other communications to get things coordinated. Keeping on top of your inventory can occur through various types of analytics - from promotional performance to market basket analysis.
Let's see how this works as a way to make inventory management management a proactive process for all supply chain partners.
Why Real-Time Metrics Matter
In today's more competitive retail landscape, it's essential to see sales performance results sooner rather than later. Getting ahead of a competitor can be very time-sensitive, and this is never more evident than when you launch a new pricing strategy.
With a complete picture of what's occurring in your retail business as it happens, you won't have to rely on analyzing data after weeks or months to act on results. That's why you should look for inventory management software with real-time capability. This works through the cloud so data becomes immediately accessible, even on a mobile device as you travel.
Analyzing Promotional Performance
Studying the metrics of your promotional activity can help considerably in managing your inventory so you never have discrepancies. Using real-time tools, you'll be able to use promotional scorecards to see what's working and how much inventory you need during strategic times.
Even your supplier benefits immensely with this system, especially if they worry about how much money they spend on promoting SKU's. With a more clear view of their own promotional performance, they maintain a better sales lift.
Using this tool improves promotional planning overall and helps you analyze every detail of your baseline sales. You and your supplier will always be on the same page about how much inventory you need at a given time.
Analyzing Your Market Basket
Finding out what customers buy from you is a major part of your inventory management. Real-time metrics give you a complete picture of what else your customers buy in your store so you can increase inventory on popular items. Sometimes you'll find out specific products sell well together, giving you better insight into store shelf placement.
By studying total store baskets and units per basket, you'll get more granular reporting than you've ever had before. In many cases, you'll discover many surprises about what people buy and what they don't.
SEE ALSO: How Scan-Based Trading Can Improve Inventory Management and Increase Customer Satisfaction
Product Placement on Your Shelves
Otherwise known as planogram reporting, this better organizes store placement challenges mentioned above. It can provide key insights such as shelf set productivity and why specific products sell better than others. Again, with real-time capability, you'll find many answers on why some products do better based on where you place them and other variables.
Sometimes negative sales performance has little to do with the product demand, and has more to do with lost distribution or even demographics.
As a complement, you should have insight into scan sale issues to scope out problems with inventory ordering and replenishment. Since your supplier has access to this as well, you won't get your wires crossed on maintaining the perfect inventory balance.
Contact us here at iControl to learn about our SaaS software that gives you a proactive approach to managing inventory so you'll never have to rely on second-guessing.