How Inventory Planning Supports Marketing Decisions
January 27, 2012

Many smaller retailers simply don’t believe that improvements in inventory planning will provide enough incremental profit gain for a company its size to justify investing in staff, systems or processes. However, they may be overlooking a crucial piece of the puzzle: how inventory planners help marketing and merchandising grow sales and increase gross margin. 

Planning for Inventory Returns
December 19, 2011

Retailers are in the midst of the holiday peak. While the sales peak ends at Christmas for most, the inventory returns peak is yet to come. This annual phenomenon invariably creates waves, especially if you sell products with typically high return rates (e.g., footwear and apparel).

Inventory’s Role in Contingency Planning
October 24, 2011

One of my favorite moments from NEMOA's Fall 2011 directXchange Conference was when Country Curtain's President Phil McAvoy said the following during his keynote speech: “Don’t be a hero at budget times.” His point is that you should already have contingency plans in place so you can respond to the inevitable challenges that arise during the year. Be a hero when it counts — at the end of the year when you meet or exceed your budget.

Common Inventory Processes for Retailers of All Sizes
September 8, 2011

Every retail company I talk with seems to feel that its inventory challenges are unique. Large cross-channel retailers contend with the variability of demand planning by channel and the complexity of communicating assortment plans between merchandise and inventory planners. Small internet retailers often run out of best-selling products because they don’t have the staff resources to stay on top of their buying needs. Catalogers are forced to plan and analyze product-level demand by offer. B-to-B retailers struggle to have the right amount of inventory by SKU for that unexpected large order.

E-Tailers Invest in Inventory Planning
July 11, 2011

Increasing investment in back-end systems is a natural and predictable trend for the maturing internet retail industry. That investment will help push internet sales higher while simultaneously increasing operations and inventory efficiencies, resulting in higher profits. 

Why Measuring Square Inches Still Matters
June 13, 2011

Any company’s long-term success depends in part on its ability to perform quality product-level profit analysis and accurate demand and inventory planning. Your product marketing, merchandise planning and inventory planning functions can all benefit from detailed square-inch analysis. So, regardless of the primary purpose of your catalog, you’ll be best served if you have the tools and processes in place to capture and report your product-level advertising exposure and expense.

6 Inventory Management Best Practices
October 15, 2010

Direct retailing has always been about adapting new media to market from a distance. Whether the medium is door-to-door selling, newspaper and magazine advertisements, mail order fliers, 300-page catalogs, specialty catalogs, infomercials, or e-commerce, direct retailing has always been about selling products to consumers from a distance. The format of the message and the speed of communications certainly change, but the fundamental process of selling products to consumers remains.

The Perfect Inventory Storm
October 5, 2010

The sharp increase in November and December sales makes inventory planning and scheduling an extreme challenge for cross-channel retailers. The combination of increased sales, long vendor lead times, inherent forecasting challenges and limited cash availability create a “perfect storm” of inventory management opportunities.