In this modern world, an organized inventory flow becomes necessary to fulfill your customer’s need coming from multiple sources.
With the advent of technology, modern consumers have multiple ways (that include in-store, online, call-center, mobile, etc.) to browse and purchase products they like. However, there are many retailers who still find it a challenge to reach out every customer’s needs due to supply chain issues. This why retailers need to consider Inventory management best practices.
Having a successful inventory management practice in place, you can eliminate the risk of out-of-stock situations, while at the same time you ensure that inventory costs does not affect the bottom line of the business. This means there should be a balance between demand and supply.
In this article we will discuss, how Macy’s – a successful mid-range chain of department stores (850 stores in total) manages their supply and meets the demand for all channels.
Macy’s has mastered inventory and you can, too!
Today, Macy’s is considered to be one of the biggest brick-and-mortar store offering some of the best deals. Now, that doesn’t mean the department store is obvious to the advantages of online retail. Their much thoughtful decision, to invest in omnichannel solutions is an effort to offer better, and seamless shopping experience.
Omni-channel is very much about “inventory optimization through technology,” said Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO of Macy’s Inc., in a talk delivered last week in Tucson. Inventory visibility across all stores and channels is the key enabler, he added.
Macy’s key inventory management practices that benefited shoppers and helped them as well, improve inventory optimization
– Real-time visibility
In most cases, retailers display 80% products in their showroom. Hence, 20% of their inventory are left unsold, as they are not seen. And, product visibility has a major role for inventory optimization. However, adopting a real-time program has helped Macy’s improve their supply chain flow. They can now allow customers get an access to all their inventory with the help of technology, even if is not present in the showroom. This way customers can order for the product that is in the warehouse, which is then shipped to the them.
For example, you are selling footwear and one of your customer is looking for size 8, however, it is not present in-store, but you have it in your warehouse. In such cases, you can allow customers make a purchase for the size 8, which later can be procured and shipped to the customer.
Having a real-time visibility has no doubt helped Macy’s to manage inventory, however offering omnichannel solutions was their key to a successful inventory optimization.
Investing millions in an effort to allow customers an ability to purchase products whenever and however they want, has made Macy’s one of the leading department stores. Their omnichannel solutions included flexibility in order fulfillment for customers shopping in-store, online, or even a combination of both including in-store pickups and allow home delivery, too..
What can you learn?
Having a real-time software for your inventory across all your stores and warehouses is a must to manage your supply chain. And, adopting a real-time inventory solution, you can come with unique inventory optimization tactics to improve omnichannel shopping experience. With more and more retailers experimenting different ways to offer omnichannel solutions, it’s time for you to seriously think about leveraging the above best inventory management practices to better serve your customers in this modern retail world.