Retail and Warehouse Inventory Management
IntroductionInventory refers to the goods stocked for future use. Every retail chain has its own warehouse to stock the merchandise to be used when the existing stock replenishes. Inventory management refers to the storage of products to be used at the time of crisis. The retailer keeps a track of the stocked goods and makes sure there is surplus inventory to avoid being “out of stock”. Such a process is called as inventory management.
The need for inventory managementGone are the days when customers had limited options for shopping. In the current scenario, if a customer does not find the desired merchandise at one retail shop, there is a second brand to rely on. A retailer can’t afford to lose even a single customer. It is really important for the retailer to retain the existing customers as well as attract potential buyers. The retailer must ensure that every customer leaves the store with a smile. Unavailability of merchandise, empty shelves leave a negative impression on the customers and they are reluctant to visit the store in near future. Inventory management prevents such a situation. One must understand that the products need some time to reach the store from the supplier’s unit. The retailer must have sufficient stock to offer to the customers during the “lead time”. Managing inventory also helps the retailer during situations beyond control like transport strikes, curfews etc. The retailer has ample stock as a result of judicious inventory management even at the time of crisis.
The Pixuate® Retail & Warehouse Management System API is a web service that allows Warehouse Management Systems to communicate with retail point of sale and stock control software. This enables the synchronisation of products, pricing, orders, customers and other business specific information to help reduce the amount of administration required to maintain a warehouse management software system. The warehouse management solution API accepts and returns an archive and is platform/ language independent so you can program your integration in your choice of programming language that supports a web service. All bulk retrieval operations return an archive to reduce the amount of bandwidth used. The warehouse management software API has been designed around the premise that the WMS will pull down all the information needed from retail in order to have a copy of all relevant data in its own database. This structure allows the warehouse management system to function within itself until such point as information needs to be passed back into retail and updated within the warehouse management software.
Consequences of not having an inventory managementManaging inventory is important for all aspects of a business. Not having enough inventory means you run the risk of losing sales, while having too much inventory is costly in many ways. Without an inventory management system, businesses would be ineffective. There are many consequences to not having an effective inventory management system in place.
You’ll spend unnecessary amounts of money on items that will not profit your business.
- Impossible to Track Inventory
Without access to real-time information you won’t know how or where products move, contributing not only to a greater risk of theft or obsolete inventory but further complicating inventory tracking (making it practically impossible)
- Lack of Inventory Balance
A lack of inventory balance makes product shortages and overstocking unavoidable. Both scenarios can result in lost profits and unnecessary costs for businesses.
Valuable time and human capital is being spent completing tasks a system could manage.
- Conflicting Vendor Customer Relations
The more energy customers use to make sure you’re filling their orders correctly, the more unsatisfied they become. Not being able to ship or deliver on time results in rocky relationships and decreases customer loyalty.
- Decreased Employee Productivity
When employees are continuously completing tasks that could be quickly managed by a system, they become inefficient in the workplace. An inventory management system would help to free up employee labor that could be better used elsewhere in the business.
- Ineffective Decision Making
Without having the resources to analyze inventory trends, you will unknowingly make decisions that don’t provide the greatest return.
- Decreased Warehouse Organization
When you lack the fluidity of an inventory management system, your company’s storage space becomes cluttered and difficult to effectively work within.
- Increased Lead Times and Stock-Outs
Difficulty in tracking inventory results in shipping and delivery delays caused by orders not being replenished on time or items being unavailable when they’re needed.
- Delays in Shipping and Delivery
Difficulty in tracking inventory results in running out of stock when it is needed, causing you to increase lead time times, ultimately disappointing the customer.
FeaturesPixuate Inventory Management Process has the following features:
- Using cameras with Pixuate backend, track stock movements automatically
- Raise alert for action to the store manager.
- Automate photo audit process in retail
- Improve management of in-store audits and reward systems for sales reps
How It Works ?Pixuate® Inventory Management works by analysing the shelf spaces in retail stores known as Retail Shelf Space Analysis. The agent takes pictures of the shelves where a particular brand products are placed. If any shelf is empty, then it automatically sends an alert to fill up the space. The similar concept is applied to warehouse shelf monitoring which helps in better delivery performance and prevents over and under stocking.
Advantages of Pixuate® Inventory Management
Businesses who actively manage their inventory report a 2-10% increase in sales.
- Increased Information Transparency
Know when items are received, picked, packed, shipped, kitted, manufactured, etc.( And know when you need to order more, when you’re over-stocked, or under-stocked.)
- Shorter Lead Times
Businesses who actively manage their inventory report a 50% reduction in lead times.
- Lower Costs
Effective inventory management practices help result in decreased inventory write-offs/ write-downs, plus lower inventory holding costs.
- Improved Delivery Performance
Real-time inventory updates improve the flow of goods to customers.
- Increased Employee Efficiency
Good inventory management solutions save employees and partners time. Less time spent on managing inventory results in greater productivity for you and your clients.
- Accurate Planning
Stay steps ahead of the game and always have the right amount of products on hand by making decisions based on inventory trends.
- Decreased Stock-Outs
Businesses who actively manage their inventory report a 10-25% decrease in stock-outs.
- Increased Customer Loyalty
Improve your organization’s accuracy and efficiency, and your customers will love you for it. They’ll trust you to fulfill their needs, and you’ll have exactly what they’re looking for when they come back for more.
- Increased Inventory Turnover
Optimize the value of goods you have and increase inventory turnover by keeping fewer slow-moving products on hand, while increasing your stock levels on profitable goods.
The Ideal SolutionThe Pixuate® Inventory Management is ideal for all businesses who have a critical requirement in the following:
- Maintaining a balance between too much and too little inventory.
- Tracking inventory as it is transported between locations.
- Receiving items into a warehouse or other location.
- Picking, packing and shipping items from a warehouse.
- Keeping track of product sales and inventory levels.
- Cutting down on product obsolescence and spoilage.
- Avoiding missing out on sales due to out-of-stock situations.