Walmart is a leader in competitive pricing around the nation, thanks in large part to supply chain management and inventory control. Nightly stocking and real-time monitoring of purchases means that they’re able to get their customers what they need when they need it.
However, the past few years have proved more difficult to manage. In 2014 Walmart acknowledged in a corporate meeting that it was losing about $3 billion just as a result of empty shelves. Keeping online inventory stocked as well as in-store items where they need to be is a whole new challenge, and Walmart isn’t the only one feeling the pinch. Target is also struggling to maintain supply chains and prevent empty shelves. In fact, it’s the main reason that Target’s launch in Canada failed last year.
Paula Rosenblum, business analyst and writer for Forbes, said that for the past three years, top retailers have cited unproductive inventory as one of the top three business challenges facing them. Back rooms are filled with products that no one wants. Businesses are facing a difficult balancing act: how can you keep shelves filled, but avoid overstocking with unwanted products?
The Challenges of Stocking Today
- So many of our products today come from overseas, so re-ordering needs to take place way ahead of time. Shipping could take a month or more, depending on who you're working with.
- Online ordering requires you to balance two different businesses, often using the same inventory. We’re still learning how to best meet the needs of online customers and merge that with an in-store business model.
- Cutbacks on salaries and the amount of workers often means that there just aren’t enough people managing the stock.
Intelligent Technology Can Offer the Solution
Here at Navigator, we work with small to mid-size companies just like yours. We know that even though you’re not dealing with the same volume as Target or Walmart, you probably face similar challenges. You need to manage exchange rates and shipping times with trans-continental supply chains, online ordering, and good point-of-sale systems that will be user-friendly for your customers and yet offer your business insights that will help you plan your ordering and your workload.
Our integrated platforms offer enhanced analytics to help you determine how to order and how to keep your retail store functioning properly. We’re a leader in creating add-ons that are custom-built to accommodate your growing needs.
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