What’s a retailer’s real drama?
When one of its customers can’t find their size because the item is in the wrong store.
If this happens, we risk losing the customer’s interest in the brand. They will visit other stores, their interest will shrink further and they will fall into new consumption habits. The social media impact and the omnichannel challenge mean that the harm is becoming far more relevant, visible and persistent.
Even more painful than a stock-out and a shortage of the items with the greatest turnover in the warehouse would be to have the product in stores where their turnover is not as high as expected after introducing the product. If this is not prevented or identified and corrected in time, it will end up building a stock excess that will be hard to sell even by giving up part of the margin through offers or in the sales.
They don’t have my size?
A product shortage during the sales campaign will be a drama for any retailer who wishes to maintain their brand image, gain the loyalty of their customers and maximise their return on investment.
Lost sales do not only lower the cash flow, they also prevent us from achieving an accurate assessment of the sales power of a product in a store and limit the chance of following the real trends in the market and this could even affect the current season or the following seasons if we don’t adopt the necessary corrective measures.
Failing to adopt the appropriate technological solutions during the planning phase for a new campaign may mean that the initial mistake spreads, having underestimated the real sale potential by product category in stores that had already been badly stocked.
Preventing stock-outs to remedy the problem in time
Furthermore, despite all the efforts made to ensure the planning is in line with the best practices, we need to be able to identify all the possible scenarios that may determine imminent stock-outs like, for instance, delayed deliveries by suppliers or restrictions on the distribution to the points of sale.
Algorithms that help us determine the ideal stock will make it easier to apply, day by day and week by week, the corrections available and required to keep the optimum level of stock: with no excess of “safety stock” that could become a surplus if the sales forecast does not materialise.
Likewise, it’s important to be able to swiftly detect changes in consumer trends and to track the typical seasonality of each family in the market. In order to do this, we will need to conduct governance actions on the stock coverage defined based on the peaks in sales and to get ahead of the drop in sales towards the end of the product’s lifecycle.
Monitor the performance of the assortment
The planner will be able to choose between sourcing the product from the warehouse, with returns or moving it from one store to another.
If the complex logistics of long distance shipments make it unfeasible to use the warehouse as the restocking source, the technology will allow the retailer to create the concept of “lung stores” that will concentrate the stock and allow them to constantly monitor the performance of the assortment. To do so, the technology will apply KPIs that will help us to detect if all the products have the expected turnover at the different points of sale.
The technology allows planning teams to apply their expertise, knowledge and problem-solving skills, taking into account all the players involved, including warehouses, transport and stores, among other elements.
In a Retail company, now that all the cases that require attention are available to them in only a few clicks, planners can finally get rid of their tedious templates and the risky cross-referenced charts, avoiding many manual tasks that blur the ability to react of the valuable professionals who make up your team. The key will always be the need to act as fast as possible.
Retail never sleeps
Every time you fail to swiftly detect the need for a corrective action ahead of a potential stock-out in a store, you can lose sales or, at best, reduce the margin but this will result in less competitiveness against other rival businesses in the industry.
Analyticalways, through its predictive analysis and machine learning abilities, can provide a forecast that is specially designed for the Retail industry and applies solutions whose results can be measured and tracked.
This forecast is the result of the particularities and methodologies of the industry’s consultants and experts who analyse and solve specific scenarios in each of our customers’ Retail businesses.
Anticipating the need for a product in a store is the key to ensure significant improvements in the stock-out ratios.
Very relevant metrics for investors and financial controllers such as the ROI and the GMROI are now directly implemented in the Analyticalways solutions. As these are immediately updated with the data on stock, sales, orders etc., the Retail planner can already measure the improvements from the season in progress.
Ok, I want this product, but… how long will it take to come?
Now, thanks to the fast developments in Retail technology, we no longer have to wait for six months or cross our fingers for a Big Project to go to plan, or for it to synchronise with the timing of the collections.
The fast roll-out of the cloud platform and its easy integration with the companies’ ERP and DWH systems mean that in less than a month you’ll have a fast and solid answer to the need to have the right amount of stock in the store.
Technology tools are becoming a key and distinctive support in the market and help enhance customer satisfaction and provide a better customer experience with the brand.
We have a winning bet in the short term thanks to their help with the Cash Flow and in the medium to long term thanks to the positive impact on brand perception and the maintenance of traffic levels that will ensure that the consumer still has touch points with the product, even beyond the result of the sales.
Analyticalways planning tools for stocks, restocking and transfers have predictive analytic functions, a Retail-based forecast and functions to calculate the ideal stock, restock, balance and lifecycle management for the product in the store, among many other functions designed by Retail experts.
Its consultants will always help retailers get ahead of their need for products at their stores and achieve remarkable improvements in their stock-out ratios.
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