Can your retail inventory management system see around corners?
Imagine if your retail inventory management could see into the future. While other businesses might still be using retrospective stock turn to help them get their inventory levels right, yours would be able to see what was around the corner and predict changes in consumer buying behaviour. Powerful stuff.
Well, the good news is, it’s possible to transform a retail inventory management system into something this powerful - today. Developments in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning along with massive data sets, mean innovative new tech tools that can help businesses develop an infallible inventory management system, to give them a truly competitive edge.
Why an excellent retail inventory management system matters
Accurate inventory management gives businesses the information they need to operate more profitably. A robust system means:
Easy management of multiple sales channels (e.g. physical store and online)
Well informed and planned growth
A more efficient workforce
What does innovation in AI and ML mean for retail inventory management?
There are many apps and tools that can help Demand Planners manage inventory by automatically measuring and setting stock levels while ordering according to perceived sales needs. Some might even allow them to use the data generated from their system to forecast demand and adapt their inventory management according to learnings.
But these tools all have limitations. For example they work solely with data that businesses have generated in previous sales cycles. Today, innovation in AI and ML, along with huge data sets, mean that businesses can predict changes in consumer behaviour and adapt their inventory planning accordingly.
There is no one-size-fits-all in machine learning
Machine learning is a bespoke solution for retail businesses by its very definition. The algorithms and models that drive it are designed to respond to unique data sets and requirements. So while a manual process is more generalised and making relatively minor changes can be time-consuming, ML / AI technology will grow and adapt organically with your business. This constant automated improvement and adaptation makes for a more flexible solution and frees up resource that can be better utilised elsewhere.
Back to basics Vs embracing the future
The tendency for companies who are wanting to improve their overall performance is to go back to basics like a solid retail stock management system. In reality, the smartest thing they can do is move on from outdated ways of working and embrace innovation to streamline their processes and optimise their demand planning for the future.
Not only does this empower your people, it ensures that you are carrying more accurate levels of stock for consumer needs at any given time, which can only increase customer satisfaction, help you maximise ROI and drive profitability across your business.
A final word on retail stock management systems
While having a sound system in place will help to streamline processes, using AI and ML to truly optimise replenishment planning can help businesses prepare for what’s around the corner.
If you would like to find out more about truly optimised replenishment, have a read of our article.
Has truly optimised replenishment been possible until now? The word “Optimisation” has been buzzing around boardrooms for many years now. Choosing to constantly measure performance, learn from findings and refine accordingly is a wise move and this process has been adopted by most, if not all, high-performing businesses. These organisations are likely to not just […]
Calculating minimum stock levels in the age of AI You already know that defining your safety stock level, minimum stock level or buffer stock is a key cornerstone of effective supply and demand planning. And no doubt you also understand all the formulas and processes that have been used for decades to set an “accurate” […]
To provide the best experiences, we use technologies like cookies to store and/or access device information. Consenting to these technologies will allow us to process data such as browsing behavior or unique IDs on this site. Not consenting or withdrawing consent, may adversely affect certain features and functions.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.