In case you missed it, here is a summary of the recent Making Your Inventory Work for You webcast presented by myself and Master Consultant Danny Beltran.
In June, PwC published a CFO Pulse Survey. They asked CFOs to identify their top areas of focus to make operations better in the long run.
The responses included:
the need for better resiliency and agility (72%)
technology investments (56%)
new ways to serve customers (53%)
leaner operations (50%)
As stores re-open, CFOs are naturally concerned about safety, including putting in social distancing measures to reduce exposure. Still, they are also seeking better ways to increase automation and to simplify store operations.
Top Retailer Question: "How can we enable curbside, click and collect or ship from the store with Store Inventory Management?"
Due to the massive growth of in-store omnichannel operations fulfillment, it's no surprise this is a priority. Even within Oracle Retail's customer community, retailers like Perry Ellis, Nordstrom, and NEXCOM have been looking to enable curbside pick-up, outdoor collection, or ship from the store with their existing Store Inventory Management (SIM) solutions.
In April alone, there was a 208% year-on-year increase in online orders, and what's more, this behavior is going to likely continue. In mid-May, 56% of customers surveyed intended to continue to use BOPIS well after the health crisis eases.
McKinsey published a fascinating article noting that the COVID-19 crisis has "escalated the case for change for retail stores into a proverbial burning platform. We urge retailers to prepare for the new next by taking decisive action now. Forward-thinking retailers will redefine the role of their stores, streamline store operations, and re-evaluate their store networks." As retailers look to redefine their stores, they are doing so largely in the context of their customer journeys.
The one thing you must have to deliver on your customer journeys is accurate inventory. What inventory do you have? Where is it? And is it sellable? If you don't have inventory accuracy and visibility in real-time and at a granular level – especially for some verticals like Telco, for example, that require serialization - you don't have the ability to reserve and hold stock in your store locations. If you don't have an efficient order picking process and ship-from-store process, you simply cannot deliver on your customer journeys effectively and run the risk of losing loyal customers.
Increases revenue by ensuring real-time, accurate available stock level visibility for order promising and fulfillment, as well as allocation and replenishment
Drives customer satisfaction with consistent and flawless order fulfillment processes
Lowers costs by negating the need to have high safety stock levels
Reduces costs by enabling more intelligent, optimized markdowns, or avoiding the markdown at all since the stock was in the right place, at the right time
Increases inventory accuracy and gives retailers higher confidence in stock valuation
Enables fulfillment of all customer orders (curbside, store pick-up, ship from the store for home delivery, etc.)
Redistributes inventory to maintain optimal store assortments across the store estate
Supports social distancing and ensures associate safety with the use of mobile devices and pro-active visibility to labor-intensive tasks
Inventory accuracy isn't just about counting or adjustments, though. It comes through controlled and efficient processes that are tailored to the requirements of your business for receiving, shipping, transfers, and all types of stock counts, whether that be ad hoc, cycle counts or unit and value counts. It's being able to pivot from doing a return to a vendor to then picking a customer order for collection at the store. Finally, it's the convenience of having a dashboard that highlights out-of-stocks or the ability to do a quick container lookup, so you know the contents of that container immediately.
Accurate inventory is possible without RFID. However, with RFID, nearly every inventory process is enhanced. Stock counts go from hours down to minutes, but whether you have all of your items tagged or just a subset of your collection, you need one place to go for accurate inventory across all of your items.
RFID has been a crucial part of our strategy for store inventory management. It is imperative that we have and provide the support for our retailers who may decide not to tag all of their items, but want to do a subset or to do an RFID pilot. Therefore, the inventory management solution needs to be able to take in the feeds from the RFID solution, scan the RFID tags itself, and also account for non-tagged item inventory. It also needs to be able to accurately handle if tagged and non-tagged items are on the same transaction.
We have found that more and more retailers, especially with the cost of the tags going down, have made a push to take advantage of RFID.
Up to 98% inventory accuracy
Using RFID, a 75% reduction in the time that it takes to do stock counts
Reduction in the time needed to receive goods into inventory by 85%
Reduction in labor to do markdowns in the store by 50%
Increase in sales revenue of 15%
"By leveraging the Oracle Retail platform, we have gained efficiencies and confidence fueled by an enterprise view of demand
One long-standing Oracle Retail customer in the Middle East, KOJ or Kamal Osman Jamjoon, has several fashion and beauty brands and runs franchises for retailers like The Body Shop and Early Learning Center in the Middle East. They achieved a 98.5% in-store inventory accuracy after taking just six months to upgrade not only the Oracle Retail Store Inventory Management solution, but their Oracle Retail Merchandising Operations solution and Oracle Retail Warehouse Management Solution.
Other areas of improvement include:
Optimized goods coming from three distribution centers and meeting service level expectations
Improved store operations and drove higher levels of customer satisfaction through reliable, accurate merchandise availability
Obtained a single version of customer data and a more unified view of operational data
Simplified the user experience for the Merchandising, Store and Warehouse Management solutions
Integrated to external systems including Marketing Cloud and Data Analytics
Gained efficiency and saw a significant reduction in labor costs