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.