Posted by Fred Lizza, CEO, Dydacomp
If you’re like most retail businesses, you’ve experienced an increase in manufacturing costs. This leads to lower margins, leaving retailers to look for initiatives to preserve and grow margins whenever possible. Expanding product selection and tighter inventory control are two areas where the right technology has enabled retailers to positively impact their business. Retailers look to enhance operating efficiencies through greater use of technology to right-size inventories. Many use order management systems that deliver integrated inventory management systems to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Having accurate and timely inventory and order information can help you take the guess work out of merchandising and planning for future marketing activities.
The need for up to date inventory is a crucial element of success, particularly if you’re facing price pressure from major discounters or selling through multiple channels. Retailers selling through multiple channels are challenged to keep close tabs on every item in their inventory. Knowing when to reorder and restock those fast moving items is just as important as knowing when to discount or drop items that don’t move. Keeping up with the fluctuating demands of consumers is not an easy task and inventory tracking needs to be simplified, streamlined and automated.
Expanding the product selections and increasing the number of inventory items offered can be achieved through drop shipping or integration with third party order fulfillment centers which adds another layer of inventory management to the mix. With an automated inventory system, retailers are better equipped to flexibly source inventory and handle complex supplier and multi-supplier fulfillment requirements to better meet customers’ demands.
Integrating purchasing and inventory management processes enables retailers to establish optimum inventory levels for each item stocked and helps make sure that purchases are made well enough in advance to keep inventory levels where they need to be. This provides greater inventory control and helps avoid out of stock situations. Whether shipping direct or drop shipping from a warehouse or fulfillment center, cross channel inventory and purchasing control are essential across all platforms including third party eCommerce options.
An order management system can help you manage the flow of items to better control response time, manage inventory allocation and create a quick and seamless process for order fulfillment so you have the right products, at the right time, ready to ship to meet your customers’ expectations.