Number 1 Way to Create a Faster, More Flexible Retail Supply Chain
In the Age of the Consumer, every retailer has a mandate: create Amazon-like experiences for consumers or risk going out of business altogether. To deliver on this mandate, business executives (especially, supply chain managers) are feeling the pressure to improve their operations and respond swiftly to these market conditions.
Inventory management software is the number one way to deliver on this customer mandate. With the right inventory management system, a retailer can optimize their supply chains, while becoming faster, more flexible, and responsive to consumers’ demands.
Inventory Management Systems Provide Real-Time Supply Chain Data
Remember when ecommerce sites used to have a button that said ‘Notify Me When This Item Re-stocks’? In case you haven’t noticed, most sites don’t have that button anymore. Customers don’t wait for an item to re-stock. In one click, they go to another merchant to make their desired purchase.
Inventory management systems provide a real-time view of supply chain data. With an advanced inventory system, a retailer can set an automatic reorder threshold; then, when the stock reaches a particular level, an item can automatically be reordered. This prevents stock-outs and losing customers to the competition.
Inventory Management Systems Enable Supply Chain Responsiveness
Fulfillment options in the past were limited to 7-10-day delivery or going to the store and hoping the item you’re looking for was in stock. Now, fulfillment options include next-day delivery, in-store pickup, delivery with installation, and even same-day delivery. Providing these fulfillment options requires a responsive, complex supply chain.
Inventory management systems provide better data visibility to enable this responsiveness, making retailers more competitive. So if a customer wants next-day delivery, and supply chain data shows a dropshipper 10 miles from the customer’s home, the retailer can fulfill that order efficiently and profitably.
Inventory Management Systems Simplify the Returns Process
Retailers need a returns process that is convenient, flexible, and cost-effective for customers (and for them!). This includes options like being able to return the item to a nearby store location or offering free shipping on returns. In today’s omnichannel retailing world, returns can make the supply chain more complex and difficult to manage.
Inventory management systems can ease these complexities through advanced workflow options. The workflow intelligence can flag individual outgoing shipments to include a return label or automatically route a return order back to a specific area of the supply chain (such as a dropship location) to simplify operations.
To keep up with customers (and better yet, stay ahead of them!), retailers need to make changes to their supply chain processes. Only then, can a retailer hope to level the playing field with Amazon. To do this efficiently and cost effectively, they should look into cloud-based technologies that offer supply chain management, order management, and fulfillment solutions. It’s time to level up.