3 Simple Ideas to Improve Inventory Management
2. SKU management: SKU management is a key element in inventory management because it facilitates accurate collaboration between retailers and suppliers on an item-level basis and enables greater control of a large number of SKUs across a brand's website. By addressing and automating processes that were previously performed manually, SKU management can reduce costs while improving the accuracy of the data that drives your brand's inventory management and replenishment routines.
Leveraging barcoding and other tools, SKU management creates electronic collaboration opportunities across the supply chain. Electronic data interchange makes it possible for retailers to communicate purchase orders to third-party logistics providers and receive confirmation back from providers when inventory is received. Properly implemented, the system can be configured to distribute products to virtual locations based on business needs. When items are shipped, they're automatically removed from virtual inventories.
SKU management also helps retailers leverage the benefits of velocity reporting. With the right technology, retailers can translate SKU management insights into "just one left" promotions, deep loyalty discounts, grab-bag items and other sophisticated strategies designed to serve up remainders based on customer demographics.
Robust analytics round out the SKU management process and equip retailers and logistics providers with key insights that can be used to create more efficient replenishment and fulfillment processes.
3. Velocity analytics: Velocity reporting and analytics take inventory management to the next level by aligning inventory with customer demand. When omnichannel consumers shop their favorite retailers, they expect popular products to be in stock and available for immediate delivery. Velocity reporting meets this expectation by ensuring that a brand's inventory mix is matched to actual demand at any given point in time.
On the back end, velocity reporting highlights slow-moving inventory. This allows retailers to maximize return on existing inventories by providing the information needed to avoid discount wholesaling and liquidate stock through the company's own channels — e.g., special promotions, outlet locations, etc. By identifying slow-moving inventory, velocity analytics can also play a role in reducing holding costs, thereby improving a retailer's bottom line by minimizing the storage costs of sluggish SKUs.
Maria Haggerty is CEO and one of the original founders of Dotcom Distribution, a premier provider of B2C and B2B fulfillment and distribution services. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration from University of Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business with a concentration in Accounting. Maria plays an integral role in developing and defining all aspects of the business, including sales and marketing, operations, finance and IT. As CEO, she is responsible for providing strategic leadership, establishing long range goals, and developing strategies for the senior leadership team. Maria has developed the systemic and procedural infrastructure necessary to provide timely and accurate analysis of budgets, financial reports and financial trends in order to assist the Board, senior executives and clients in performing their responsibilities while achieving favorable results. She works closely with the leadership team to enhance, develop, and enforce procedures that will improve the overall operation and effectiveness of the corporation. During her tenure at the Dotcom, Maria has developed an environment of continual improvement by supporting the Senior Leadership Team and their department managers on continuous process, space labor, automation, and financial best practices. Prior to founding Dotcom, Maria was a CPA at Arthur Andersen and was later the CFO of GoodTimes Home Video where she helped grow the company’s distribution business. When Maria is not in the office, she enjoys traveling around the world and practicing her photography skills.