4 Multichannel Inventory Planning Best Practices
It seems every retailer I've spoken with recently is scrambling to gain control of their inventory planning, regardless of channel. It's not just the cross-channel marketers fighting it; even pure-play internet retailers are struggling to support their "minichannels" — search engine optimization, search engine marketing, email marketing, Amazon stores and more. In the last few weeks I've heard pleas for help from:
- an online apparel retailer;
- a management company overseeing 30-plus e-commerce businesses with wide product ranges, seasonal peaks, high volumes and significant promotional activities;
- a multichannel hardgoods retailer with equally strong catalog and e-commerce channels;
- a catalog retailer marketing 12 unique brands; and
- a large multichannel wholesaler/retailer.
While each of these companies may feel their situation is unique, the fact is that they're more alike than different. They sell products to consumers over time. They manage assortment plans; forecast future daily, weekly and monthly demand; and try to align their inventory purchases to support their plans. They strive to have the right inventory on hand in the right location at the right time to fulfill customer demand with the least amount of inventory investment.
Joe is Vice President of Product Solutions at Software Paradigms International (SPI), an award-winning provider of technology solutions, including merchandise planning applications, mobile applications, eCommerce development and hosting and integration services, to retailers for more than 20 years.
Joe is a 34-year veteran of the retail industry with hands-on experience in marketing, merchandising, inventory management and business development at multichannel retail companies including Lands’ End, LifeSketch.com, Nordstrom.com and Duluth Trading Company. At SPI, Joe uses his experience to help customers and prospects understand how to improve sales and profits through applying industry best practices in merchandise planning and inventory management systems and processes.