7 Best Practices for Simple Inventory Visibility - CocoonIT Services
Inventory management can propel a business or be a burning issue if there is a lack of inventory visibility. Many companies have undergone a digital transformation lately. If you are a business in the retail and distribution industry, you have to ensure that you provide an excellent omnichannel experience to your customers.
In an omnichannel set-up fuelled by the digital transformation, it is critical to have accurate and real-time visibility of their inventory. It can provide a competitive advantage for your business.
Perils of inefficient inventory management
As the business grows, inventory management becomes critical. If it is inaccurate, it may result in:
Having excess stock at hand: It results in money blocked for holding inventory, warehouse costs, and increased spoilage of perishable items stored in the warehouse due to lack of demand.
Having too little stock or being out of stock: It results in loss of revenue. Customers have easy access to choose from multiple options available. If you do not have the items in stock, they will buy them from your competitor. If the competition provides a good shopping experience, it may result in a loss of a customer.
No clarity about popular items and items with less demand: This could be a problem if you have multiple channels in multiple locations. Each location might have separate items which are popular amongst the customers. If you do not have clarity about these fast-moving items, you are again losing revenue and turning away the customer.
Best Practices for Simple Inventory Visibility
How do you ensure that you are always on the top of your inventory game? Here are some things that may help you to do so:
1. Use an Inventory Management System
Take advantage of the technology at your disposal to tackle the issue. Integrate a CRM or an ERP into your inventory management process. It will make it easier to track and manage inventory levels. It will also help monitor daily sales, deliveries, and revenue generated that too in just a few clicks.
The cloud-based solution makes real-time data accessible at any time and from anywhere. It makes inventory management and various other business operations more efficient and effective. That said, we understand that each business might have some unique use cases.
If you need assistance to know more about cloud-based solutions and their benefits specific to your business, we at CocoonIT Services Pvt. Ltd. offer a free demo and consultation. To book your free demo submit your details here at Contact CocoonIT Services Pvt Ltd – Microsoft Gold Partner.
2. Data-driven approach
A good inventory management solution will provide data around your inventory in terms of items in stock, items out of stock, items available in the warehouse, the flow of inventory at multiple locations, fast-moving products, products not in demand, etc.
Make sure that all the decisions around your inventory are made based on the data available. Data management and analysis, if done correctly, can help a business to overcome the perils of ineffective inventory management.
An advanced inventory management solution like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central has built-in artificial intelligence capabilities that provide data-driven insights into various aspects like inventory levels, predicting and forecasting future trends, notify issues if any, etc.
3. Smart Inventory visibility
In simple terms, it is the pace at which your inventory sells. The businesses can accurately plan and forecast inventory demand. It helps to form a synergy between customer demand and the supply chain.
It ensures that, in most cases, the customer can buy the product that they want from you and are not going away because an item is not in stock.
It saves money because a business would stock more items that sell and less of those having a slower turnover. It optimizes the use of warehouse storage capacity since it will not store inventory for more time. It prevents wastage of perishable items as they will stock them as per the demand and supply requirements.
4. Separate Inventory Visibility for each channel
The one size fits all strategy will not work for inventory planning across different locations and different channels. Each location/channel has a different set of requirements and challenges. The transportation time to one place could be longer than to the other, or a particular item that may be fast-moving at one location, but would not have adequate demand at the other, etc.
It is necessary to plan according to this unique set of requirements and challenges that each location or channel provides.
5. True Omni channel experience
In the current competitive market, customers have multiple options from where they can buy. It becomes imperative then that you provide a delightful experience to the customers during the buying process.
Let us consider a scenario wherein a customer buys online on a digital platform and can pick the item from a nearby store/outlet. Or a customer walks into your store, orders items, which is later delivered, to his/her doorstep.
It is an ideal omnichannel customer experience. A customer gets a seamless experience across all the available business channels. It is possible only through the use of technology that provides complete inventory visibility across multiple channels.
6. Understand the link between sales and inventory
As sales increases, inventory flow increases. A business should plan the inventory, keeping in mind the sales figures. Focus more on popular SKUs that sell faster and hence generate more revenue. Also, it is critical to track items in transit, the lead time required, the re-order frequency, and all the vendors that provide these items and at what price.
If a business spends more money on buying items in demand, it will maintain a healthy cash flow. It will also help you identify future trends and plan your inventory management accordingly.
7. Right processes and quality checks
It is imperative to have set processes in place. All the stakeholders participating in inventory management should be aware of the process and standards to follow. It ensures that everyone knows their roles and responsibilities.
e.g. The stocking team should know what labels to apply, correct use of barcodes, when and how to re-order items, etc. It makes the entire process effective and efficient.
Many of the processes can be automated, through Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Implementation. It is a cloud-based, AI-enabled ERP and CRM solution that can easily integrate with existing applications.
It is easier to maintain and deploy, it updates automatically, has enhanced security features, and has amazing automation capabilities.
CocoonIT services is a Microsoft Gold Partner for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Implementation & Service, having a global clientele. We can help improve a business’s inventory management and provide better inventory visibility through Microsoft ERP and CRM Implementation.
Our domain expertise across industries helps organizations to improve business process and work in automated and efficient manner. Our technologies for custom development help clients create robust solutions for any business in cost effective propositions.
How Microsoft Dynamics 365 can help transform your business and boost employee productivity - CocoonIT Services