inventory management Archives - Business Intelligence

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US e-commerce industry

Inventory Management Solution Reduces Order-to-Ship Timing From 4 Days to 48 Hours for a US E-commerce Industry Client

US E-commerce Industry Overview

The shopping habits and spending patterns have shifted dramatically from what it was ten years ago. Today, customers expect their groceries and apparels to arrive on their doorsteps quickly and demand the ability to track their items every step of the way. Moreover, as companies the US e-commerce industry are now offering ‘next day’ or even ‘same day’ delivery, small e-commerce companies are in the need to adjust their supply chain operations and keep up with these trends. To stay competitive, small companies in the US e-commerce industry will need to optimize their warehouse setup and enhance the order fulfillment process.

Nearly 60% of Americans say they are willing to shift to other e-commerce companies that can offer same day or next day delivery. By supporting you in revamping your supply chain operations, we can help you to achieve this strategic objective. RFP here.

Business Challenge

A medium-sized US e-commerce industry client encountered a steady decline in sales for two consecutive years. Also, as leading e-commerce companies in the US started implementing new operating models supporting same-day delivery, the client was losing ground to competitors. The US e-commerce industry client, therefore, wanted to assess their supply chain complexities, implement vendor compliance programs, and make the inbound supply chain more efficient. However, this required demand forecasting and real-time inventory tracking. The US e-commerce industry client, therefore, sought to collaborate with Infiniti Research to leverage their expertise in offering inventory management solution.

Other challenges faced by the US e-commerce industry client were:

  • Lack of adequate infrastructure
  • Lack of real-time inventory tracking process throughout the supply chain
  • Siloed logistics management system
  • Lack of visibility across multiple channels and warehouses
  • Lack of understanding of demand fluctuations for product category over time
  • Lack of ability to forecast future demand, including seasonal changes
  • Lack of ability to set minimum viable stock levels

Efficiency, agility, and great customer service are crucial when it comes to achieving success in the e-commerce industry. We can help you achieve all these strategic objectives. Contact us here.

Our Integrated Approach

In the initial phase of the inventory management solution, the experts worked closely with the client’s supply chain team to understand their supply chain complexities and develop a supply chain engagement model. Also, the experts analyzed a list of key components, including plant location and size, warehouse designs, delivery models, and warehouse efficiency models. Besides, the experts focused on maximizing space efficiency to help the client keep their inventory organized.

The second phase involved identifying third-party services providers to help the client implement an automated storage and retrieval system.

The third phase of the engagement involved conducting geographic market segmentation to help the client categorize their valuable customers based on their locality. Based on this data, the experts recommended the client to invest in warehouse space and distribution centers in areas with highest product demand.

The fourth phase involved demand forecasting analysis. In this phase, the experts helped the client to better forecast future demands based on previous sales data. Also, the experts helped the US e-commerce industry client to forecast future trends in consumer spending and adjust inventory levels accordingly.

The final phase of the inventory management solution involved identifying third-party service providers to implement real-time inventory tracking system and helping the US e-commerce industry client to keep track of their inventory throughout the supply chain.

Business Outcome

Infiniti’s inventory management solution helped the US e-commerce industry client to make the inbound supply chain more efficient, set up multi-distribution center operation, increase the number of picked orders per day, and reduce outbound shipping costs.

The US e-commerce industry client was also able to understand basic product category demand and stock up products with the highest demand. By implementing SCM software, the client was able to keep a pulse on inventory, gather real-time inventory data within one convenient system, and take advantage of opportunities and boost sales.

Besides, the client was able to optimize their warehouse setup, develop an inventory management framework to coordinate supplies at multiple locations, and speed up shipping processes. The client was also able to optimize functions such as forecast-to-stock, order-to-cash, prepare effective production schedules, and optimize inventory levels to significantly lower operating costs.

With the insights obtained from Infiniti’s inventory management solution, the US e-commerce industry client was able to streamline their supply chain structure, set up warehouse space and distribution centers in areas with highest product demand, and reduce order-to-ship timing. Besides, the implementation of automated storage and retrieval system helped the client to automatically place and retrieve loads from warehouse locations with precision, accuracy, and speed.

Within six months of leveraging our inventory management solution, the US e-commerce company reduced order-to-ship timing from 4 to 48 hours, achieved annual transportation cost savings of around 25%, and realized savings of over $2.3 million.

Want to know more about our services? Request more info here!

demand management

Reducing Inventory Costs by 13% by Accurately Predicting Demand for a Canadian Retailer

Retail Demand Management Solution

As the world of retail distribution continues to transform, customers demand faster delivery of products. To meet the ever-evolving needs and demands of customers, retail companies will need to bring precision to every point of the supply chain. This is where the real power of leveraging demand management solution comes into play. Demand management can help retail brands to build a reliable forecast, improve product forecast accuracy, increase supply chain scheduling, optimize labor management, and create efficient cash flow management.

Effective demand management can assist supply chain managers in managing logistics activities and improving forecast accuracy. Request a FREE proposal today!

Business Challenge:

The client is a retail company based out of Canada.

Our client, a retail brand, faced significant losses due to overproduction. Besides, they faced difficulties in efficiently managing supply chain processes. In order to prevent supply chain disruption, they wanted to identify, forecast, and fulfill product demand based on the market needs. They chose to partner with Infiniti Research to leverage their expertise in offering demand management solution.

By leveraging demand management solution, they also wanted to:

Reduce supply chain costs: The client wanted to identify supply chain challenges and find out which processes cost the most and areas where revenue is being used inefficiently. By doing so, they wanted to restructure their supply chain structure and reduce supply chain costs.

Optimize inventory: By leveraging Infiniti’s demand management solution, the client wanted to review inventory levels in real-time and stock up the right number of products.

Minimize risks: By accurately forecasting the product demand in advance, the client wanted to better plan and make the right decisions about budgeting, sales, marketing, raw materials, and production. Besides, they wanted to minimize supply chain risks, improve distribution planning, improve supplier relations, and boost customer experience.

Are you facing similar challenges? If yes, our demand management solutions can help you to restructure your supply chain structure and reduce inventory costs. Contact us to leverage our demand management solution.

Our Approach

The experts at Infiniti Research followed a three-phased approach that involved:

Market research engagement to analyze industry transformations and developments in the Canadian retail market.

Inventory forecasting solution to forecast the target stock level to meet the potential market demand.

Demand planning engagement to predict demand patterns based on historical sales data, customer orders, and market indicators.

Results Obtained

By tracking real-time inventory data, the experts at Infiniti Research helped the client to improve visibility across the supply chain. Also, by leveraging demand management solution, the experts helped the client to optimize functions such as forecast-to-stock, order-to-cash, prepare effective production schedules, and optimize inventory levels to significantly lower operating costs.

Besides, by thoroughly analyzing the client’s core areas such as storage strategy, supplier relationships, and the speed of moving supplies, the experts helped them to identify processes that cost the most and areas where revenue is being used inefficiently. This helped the client to improve these core areas and produce significant cost savings. Also, the client was able to identify cost-effective solutions for transportation, gain access to better inventory management, and speed up transportation processes. The company was able to reduce inventory costs by 13%, and thereby enhance profits by 21%.

Want to know more benefits of leveraging our demand analysis solution? Request for more info and our experts will get in touch with you with comprehensive insights.

Retail customer intelligence

Building Customer Intimacy for a Global Fashion Retailer with Customer Intelligence Solution

Customer experience and satisfaction have come to the forefront across industries. As such, it is now imperative for companies to create a 360-degree view of their customers to know and respond to them in real-time with a highly personalized approach. When it comes to the fashion industry, which is one of the most volatile and rapidly changing sectors, staying relevant and exciting could prove to be challenging. Brands must keep constant tabs on how consumer shopping trends are evolving and identify the gaps before it’s too late. Those brands that fall behind from doing so often fail to thrive in the long run. Furthermore, with the world going digital, consumers are rapidly integrating tablets and smartphones into shopping. This makes integrating digital into business a key to optimizing the brand experience. Top fashion retailers turn to customer intelligence solutions to gain a better idea of how their customer shopping patterns are changing and identify what they need to do in order to adapt.

By bringing together customer, sales and inventory information from siloed applications, brands can benefit from access to powerful consumer insights for better decision-making across sales, merchandising, marketing, logistics and improve customer experience. Know how we can help you achieve this.

The client

The client is one of the most iconic fashion retailers having stores set up in 50+ locations around the globe. The company has been in business for over 40 years.

Business challenges

The client recently moved to an omnichannel model of business in order to keep up with the changing trends in the fashion industry. Despite this, they noticed a constant decline in their profits from online channels and also a dip in footfalls in their brick and mortar stores. They approach our industry experts to leverage our customer intelligence solution and identify where they lacked in keeping their customers hooked on to their brand and understand ways to enhance their profit margins. Using customer intelligence services, they wanted to:

  • Gain a single view of customers (including purchase history, feedback, and preferences) across different touchpoints
  • Identify issues faced by customers both instore and on online platforms and analyze ways to resolve these issues
  • Enhance their merchandising to suit the tastes and preferences of target customers
  • Formulate strategies to avoid strategies of stock-outs of excess stocks that can have a significant impact on the profit margins

Get in touch with an expert to know how we can help you solve key business challenges.

Solution offered

As a part of the customer intelligence engagement, our experts undertook a customer segmentation analysis to group different target consumers of the brand based on the touchpoints through which they interacted or purchased from the brand. Infiniti’s experts then followed a customer need analysis to better understand the needs of the target customers and gauge their satisfaction levels. This helped identify the gaps in service and products and gave the company a fair idea of their areas of improvement.

Apart from the customer intelligence solution, the experts also used demand planning and forecasting analysis to identify the optimal stock levels that the business must maintain in order avoid situations of overstocking or understocking or avoid supply-demand mismatch.  The client also gained comprehensive insights and strategies on how they can optimize their supply chain processes to better meet the demands of target customers.  

Business impact

The customer intelligence engagement helped the client in:

customer intelligence

Learn how our solutions can help you stay updated with the latest retail industry trends

Retail inventory management

Enhancing Customer Experience by 2X and Sales Rate by 33% for a Retail Firm – Retail Inventory Management Solution

Inventory Management Solution for a Retail Firm

Today, retail companies are under the pressure to effectively manage their stock, maintain an adequate level of inventory for the right products at each retail location, and minimize conditions of overstocks and stock-outs. However, retailers can overcome these challenges by leveraging retail inventory management solutions. Retail inventory management solution can help businesses to maintain an optimal level of inventory while dealing with fluctuating market demands.

With customers’ shipping demands growing each day, retailers are under the pressure to ship orders faster than ever. To succeed in the long run, retailers will need to leverage retail inventory management solutions. Request a FREE proposal today!

Business Challenge

The client is a retail firm based out of Central Europe. With the ongoing market changes, the company faced challenges in keeping the right amount of stock in- hand and planning for seasonal changes. In an attempt to meet the seasonal demand, the client purchased products in bulk. However, this resulted in product overstock, thereby increasing inventory holding cost for the company. Consequently, the company witnessed a huge dip in their profit margins.

The client, therefore, approached the experts at Infiniti Research to leverage their expertise in offering retail inventory management solution.

With Infiniti’s retail inventory management solution, the client also wanted to:

Enhance the accuracy of inventory orders – With Infiniti’s retail inventory management solution, the client wanted to accurately evaluate the amount of inventory on-hand to be kept. By doing so, they wanted to prevent product shortages and reduce storage cost.

Enhance retail warehouse management – By identifying the top-selling products, the client wanted to optimize their warehouse setup by placing those products together and in easily accessible places. With this, they wanted to speed up the packing and shipping processes.

Enhance inventory tracking – As the client had to deal with multiple locations, they wanted to develop a retail inventory management framework to coordinate supplies at each location.

Businesses who actively manage their inventory report 10-30% increase in sales and around 35% decrease in stock-outs. Contact us to leverage our retail inventory management solution.

Solutions Offered

To cater to the requirements of the client, the experts at Infiniti Research conducted a market intelligence study. This phase of the retail inventory management solution helped the client to gain detailed insights into the market landscape and forecast demand-supply shifts.

The experts also conducted a demand management study to help the client deal with issues relating to analyzing and estimating customers’ demands.

The inventory forecasting engagement conducted as a part of the retail inventory management solution helped the client to accurately forecast the product demand by taking into consideration the historical sales data of the company.

The last phase of the retail inventory planning involved conducting a competitive intelligence study. This phase of the retail inventory management solution helped the client to analyze their competitors’ supply chain management processes. Also, the client was able to understand the initiatives undertaken by their competitors to manage supply chain challenges. Furthermore, by analyzing the past sales data of the client’s key competitors, the experts helped the client to identify best-selling products in the European retail market.

Results Obtained

The insights obtained from Infiniti’s retail inventory management solution helped the client to accurately plan their inventory activities and develop a retail inventory management framework to enhance inventory tracking. Furthermore, warehouse optimization helped the client to speed-up the packing and shipping process, thereby enhancing the customer experience. Also, the client was able to plan for seasonal and unexpected market changes. As a result, the client was able to enhance their sales rate by 33% and CX by 2X.

Inventory Management Challenges

Inventory Management Solution for a Retail Firm

Want to know other benefits of leveraging our retail inventory management solution? Request for more information.

Market Research

What is inventory forecasting and why is it inevitable for your business?

What is inventory forecasting?

Inventory forecasting refers to defining and predicting the inventory requirements for a future time period. It can be defined as a scientific approach of predicting sales for a specified future period and is largely based on the proposed marketing plan and a set of competitive factors. Inventory forecasting techniques are highly important from a wholesaler and distributor point of view. This is because inventory forecasting forms the foundation upon which the company’s market plan and revenue projections are built. Furthermore, the accuracy of inventory forecasting models adopted by the company can have a substantial impact on the company’s profitability.

Factors affecting inventory forecasting

Some of the key internal and external factors affecting inventory forecasting include:

  • Competition
  • Technological failures
  • Reputation
  • Labor issues
  • Seasonality of products
  • Change in government laws
  • Recession
  • Inflation
  • Supply chain related factors

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Are you equipped to face the challenges that may occur during inventory forecasting? If not, request a free brochure to know how Infiniti’s solutions can help you!

Advantages of inventory forecasting

Reduced stockouts

Retailers often face the situation of stockouts wherein they are unable to meet customer demands due to shortage of inventory. An accurate forecasting method not only ensures that retailers are rightly stocked up but also the inventory idle time in the warehouse is lesser.

Better manpower management

Manpower requirements of a company increases when a business starts to grow. Having the right inventory forecasting techniques help companies to stay prepared for the inventory growth in the future by establishing appropriate manpower planning. Companies must ensure that they take measures to recruit more labor depending on the rise in demand.

Build pricing and promotion strategy

Promotion strategies that are planned and well-coordinated always yield better results. Integrated distributor-level promotions and related forecasts facilitate in ensuring better flow of goods. Consequently, the stock fill rates will also be higher.

Improve supplier negotiation

Supplier negotiations become easier when businesses are aware of the exact quantities that they are required to order. This also gives the suppliers a fair idea of the business that they can expect from the company which could prompt them to quote a better price. When negotiations are supported with data and logic, businesses position themselves as a credible customer.

Plan sales strategies

Forecasting plays a pivotal role in areas including marketing, product design planning, and product management. The data derived from inventory forecasting can be used to make decisions related to pricing, promotions, and purchasing.

Improve production cycle efficiency

The company’s present inventory is closely monitored to make forecasts for the future. Analyzing the data in hand helps identify patterns in customer behavior, giving companies a chance to plan and improve their production cycles accordingly.

Facing trouble in forecasting your inventory?

All you need are the right inventory forecasting solutions offered by a trusted market intelligence solutions provider. Request a proposal to know more about Infiniti’s inventory forecasting solutions for business.

 

Top inventory forecasting techniques

Quantitative forecasting

This inventory forecasting model is a mathematical method that is based on historical data. Here, past sales data is used as a parameter to predict the future sales. The data sets chosen can vary depending on the company’s preferences (can either be a year old data or even a decade old data) but the larger the data set the more accurate will be the results. Although this inventory forecasting technique provides a basis for predicting demand, factors such as product seasonality and unexpected peak or fall in demand could cause variations.

Qualitative forecasting

This inventory forecasting model is less precise. It predicts demand based on factors that are less measurable including market forces, potential demand, and economic demand. This method takes years of practice and experience for inventory planners before they can make accurate predictions.

Trend forecasting

This type of inventory forecasting methods is used when a particular type of downward or upward trend in involved for a product. It involves anticipating about future market trends that are most likely to have an impact on the business. These trends could either be short-term or long-term that exists over a greater period of time.

Graphical forecasting

This is concerned with converting data into a graphical representation that visually conveys a pattern. Generally, when data can be easily comprehended when they are visually represented. Using graphical representations, it becomes easier to understand data without analyzing data too much, making it simpler to make forecasts.

Inventory forecasting best practices

Some of the common best practices to follow while predicting the future demand and inventory levels include:

Observe the trends

Trends keep track of what is working in the market and what has become obsolete or outdated. By keeping a close watch on the changing trends in the market, companies can stock up on their products accordingly. This avoids the situations of understocking or overstocking. It is always advisable for businesses to not spend on low-value SKUs rather they should more focus should be given on products that are selling well.

Do not ignore data

Inventory forecasting methods need not always guarantee success. They are just an approximation and not accurate figures. However, going by the data and using statistical techniques help to reduce the uncertainty involved in forecasting inventory. So, companies must make it a point to always consider data before making forecasts for inventory.

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