Why You Need Better Inventory Visibility
To meet customer demands and stay competitive in a world where expectations for product availability and delivery speed continue to rise, every link along the supply chain has to operate efficiently. From warehouse management to order fulfillment to juggling multiple channels, there are often countless points in a single product’s journey where eliminating errors and delays could mean increasing profit and optimising the customer experience.
One of the fundamental ways to ensure this happens is to improve inventory visibility. The reasons are simple: You can’t avoid problems you can’t foresee and you can’t optimise what you don’t understand.
What Is Inventory Visibility?
Inventory visibility is your ability to see the status of every SKU across all locations (your warehouses, stores, your suppliers and third-party providers) in real time. The key to having full inventory visibility is to leverage a supply chain network connecting all your stakeholders. This not only gives you control over your data but also allows you to share it with your supply chain partners and customers.
Having the data and analytics to manage the many complexities of your operations (which might include omnichannel sales, drop shipping, BOPIS, 3PL, or numerous retail relationships) will help you make better business decisions, operate quickly at times of high demand and grow your business. The right technology makes it easy, so you can focus more of your employees’ effort on doing business in every direction.
The Benefits of Inventory Visibility Across the Supply Chain
Having accurate inventory insight isn’t just great for your customers and trading partners; it’s also beneficial for your team. Manually tracking inventory is a mundane way to use employee time and detracts from their ability to build better customer and partner relationships. Plus, it can result in out-of-date information that makes decision makers’ jobs more difficult. Here are just a few ways the right solutions can unleash new operational efficiencies across your organisation.
When you have real-time inventory data at your fingertips, you eliminate common drains on time and cost efficiency. By integrating and automating inventory information, your business gets a leg up on improving internal processes. That’s because real-time inventory data is immediately actionable and helps you make better decisions, allocate product optimally and streamline your transactions with your supply chain partners.
For eCommerce businesses, knowing your inventory levels makes it possible to sell across multiple channels, while giving customers accurate availability information. Instead of frustrated customers, you create satisfied ones.
Stockouts are customer loyalty killers and having better inventory visibility helps you avoid them. Using historical data, you can better predict how much product is needed where and at what point in your business cycle.
Using current data in real time, you can maintain healthier, more balanced inventory levels in all the places where your products need to be. You can also create timely, smarter replenishment strategies. Having high-quality inventory insight makes your business better prepared to respond to periods of volatile demand--without devolving into chaos.
Maintaining inventory is likely one of your organisation’s biggest costs. Having real-time visibility into your inventory enables you to optimise warehouse stocking, keeping costs low while ensuring you can meet customer demand. The right integrations can also allow you to use your inventory data to help lower logistics and shipping costs.