To succeed in the digital era, retailers have no choice but to adopt an omni-channel retail strategy and provide customers with multiple fulfillment options. To successfully transition to fully-optimized inventory and deliver exceptional customer service and convenience, retailers must focus on “one version of the truth” by evaluating their capabilities, assessing customer data points, and creating a plan for this single vision. Here are three secrets to successful inventory optimization:
1. Make Inventory Visible
The days when retailers could get away with items being out of stock in the size or color desired by the customer are over. Inventory is the lifeblood, the driving force behind generating revenue, profit, and the correct level of inventory investment. If inventory is not carefully controlled, a retailer will spiral out of control and into irrelevance very quickly. You cannot deliver effective inventory management if you don’t have clear and full inventory visibility. The challenge is moving away from a siloed approach towards an omni-channel approach that delivers one version of the truth at any point in time, across all sales channels.
2. Don’t Start Small, Start Simple
When embarking on this type of shift, retailers need to start simple and not let the best (fully automated) be the enemy of the good. One of the key steps to rolling out any successful inventory optimization transformation program is to get key stakeholders engaged. If retailers are going to provide ship from store effectively and efficiently, then the whole business needs to sign up to this strategy.
3. Align KPIs to the Retailer’s Strategy Summary
Retailers need to align key metrics to motivate store staff to deliver online fulfillment from store stock. What’s key is giving credit for sales. To reduce conflict across your channels, it may pay to rethink the way you assign credit for sales.
Want to learn more? Download our latest guide written by Columbus Consulting and sponsored by Mi9 Retail now to discover how to deliver the other foundation blocks for successful inventory optimization.