Inventory has always been essential for retail success, but now it is critical. Without a true understanding of stock levels and access to real-time insight from across the distribution network, organisations will find it a struggle to protect their profit margins, whilst trying to satisfy customer expectations.
83% of UK customers in a Manhattan survey said that reliability of delivery makes them more loyal as a customer.
This puts a huge responsibility on retailers to get it right for the customer, but also to get it right for their margins. Therefore, retailers need to take control of their inventory, create a single inventory pool that serves all of their channels and enable stores or eCommerce teams to fulfil orders from the most sensible location.
By being source sensitive, it allows organisations to deliver a higher margin on every sale by choosing the optimal fulfilment source for every transaction. But this requires more than just a single view of inventory, it requires total control.
Retailers need a highly developed rules based engine that is programmed to make the right fulfilment decisions every time, using the real-time status of stock. This approach puts the customer at the centre of the business but keeps the complexity of the hundreds of calculations taking place hidden from them.
Putting in place an Order Management solution is a catalyst for success, moving retailers from a position of highly visible inventory to highly available inventory.
For more insights around the science behind retail, see www.manh.co.uk/science