Stockouts and backorders are revenue-killers. People are ready to buy right now and when you can’t complete the sale, you’re losing out. Worse yet, you may be driving them directly to your competitors. At the same time, sitting on excess inventory ties up cash you could be investing in other areas.
Having the right inventory levels is crucial. Inventory management and control are key to long-term success, profitability, and customer satisfaction.
Increasing inventory visibility is the first step. Without a robust and reliable inventory management system for supply chain management, it is nearly impossible to maintain accurate inventory levels in today’s omnichannel selling environment.
The Importance of Full Inventory Visibility
A study by Auburn University showed that only 13% of companies have an accurate inventory count of their website.
Another study of more than 100 stores and one million SKUs revealed a similar truth. Nearly 60% of all the SKUs examined revealed inaccurate inventory levels. Unfortunately, that’s not uncommon. Supply chain operations have become increasingly complex over the past few years and companies without a consistent inventory tracking solution are paying the price.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Increasing inventory visibility and keeping accurate counts for those SKUs can make a significant contribution to your bottom line. In that same study, correcting the inaccurate counts and putting in place strict protocols for managing inventory led to a sales increase between 4% and 8% across the entire portfolio.
With accurate, real-time inventory across every sales channel, you can achieve the end-to-end inventory visibility you need.
Inventory visibility is important to customers when they are making purchasing decisions. They want to check the in-store availability of items before going to a physical store or know that items are indeed in stock and ready to ship when they buy online. Consumers are increasingly checking inventory as part of their buying decisions. When they see quantities available, especially when stock is running low, it creates an urgency to complete transactions.
Yet, if inventory counts aren’t accurate, you’re left with unhappy customers and lost sales.
Everything in One System
One of the keys to achieving better end-to-end inventory visibility is capturing data across every supply chain and sales channel. Using data and analytics, you can track every item from purchase orders, incoming items, inventory in warehouse and fulfillment centers, and across the entire sales orchestration process.
By aggregating all of your inventory across distribution points, shippers, and third-party logistics, increasing inventory visibility improves everything about your operations.
This can be challenging, but it’s essential to maintain accurate levels. Organizations need one single version of the truth that encompasses the entire order lifecycle.
Digitize and Automate Data and Analytics
Only 15% of US retailers have completed digitizing their supply chain. Yet, managing the supply chain today is too complex for spreadsheets and manual processes. The only solution to maintain accurate inventory is automation. Every touchpoint of the supply chain lifecycle and order count must be accounted for and in sync.
You’ll need an order management system with deep integrations to accommodate your supplies, sales channels, and distribution networks. Accurate inventory requires end-to-end visibility throughout the supply chain.
Eliminate Manual Tracking and Tracing
With the right system, you eliminate the need for manual tracking and tracing. The best solutions will help you identify bottlenecks in your supply chain so you can plan more efficiently.
Using historical data, seasonality factors, and consumer behavior, you can make better decisions about safety stock and inventory ordering. This data also helps you better forecast demand to ensure adequate supplies are on hand to meet customer needs.
Improve Efficiency and ROI
You can also use this data to refine your operations for greater efficiency. Automating the process means things don’t fall through the cracks. When you know your inventory counts are accurate, you can make better decisions at every level.
Optimize Your Inventory
With accurate data, you can optimize your inventory. You can segment your entire product line and track sales and shipments more easily. This lets you track gross margins by product lines or SKUs so you know what’s making you the most money and where margins are lacking.
You can also track what inventory isn’t moving and may be worth considering discounting depending on holding costs.
Get the Right Tech Stack
The tech stack you employ can either provide an accurate inventory count or not. It takes the right order management system (OMS) to track the entire lifecycle from click to delivery.
With Deck Commerce, you can automatically process 98% of your orders — even the most complex orders. This reduces human error and ensures your inventory is always in sync across every channel.
Deck Commerce automates your inventory tracking with real-time visibility throughout every stage of order management and order fulfillment. This creates a more efficient workflow that helps you avoid stockouts, manage reorder points, and optimize inventory levels.
Deck Commerce lets you optimize your entire order fulfillment strategy.
Omnichannel & Store Fulfillment
You can automate your sell, fulfill, and return processes even to meet today’s consumer demands. For example, you can bring together Buy Online, Pick Up in Store (BOPSIS), Buy Online, Return in Store (BORIS), ship from store, and more to keep inventory counts accurate.
Preorders & Backorders
For items not in stock, you can display estimated ship dates and auto-process inventory as it arrives to update counts.
Marketplaces & Dropshipping
You get flexible tools for managing inventory and fulfillment between channels, sources, and vendors to create a seamless customer experience.
You can also manage affiliate programs effectively with Deck Commerce, preventing losses and maximizing sales.
All of these features streamline your operations and help you scale omnichannel and multi-brand operations. Eliminating outsourcing or using internal teams for OMS updates and automating up to 98% of your DTC order processing.