inventory management best practices Archives - SpendEdge

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Achieving an Average Increase of $45 Margin Dollars Per Square Foot in the Softlines Business by Improving Retail Inventory Management

US Retail industry Overview 

The specialty retail industry in the US operates in a high-visibility and consumer-focused environment. It is exposed to the vagaries and shifting whims of target audiences, which are increasingly demanding and segregated into specific demographics. In order to be successful in such a heavily competitive marketplace, companies must adopt retail inventory management strategies and technologies that go far beyond the traditional focus on cost savings efforts alone. Also, they must gain greater visibility and offer a smoother multichannel shopping journey delivered seamlessly across bricks and clicks.   

Business Challenges Faced 

A $5 billion specialty retailer operating 500 stores under multiple banners, store formats and brands in the US was faced with the implementation of a new retail inventory management strategy to support softlines. As a part of this project, there was a need to maintain inventory levels that could meet demand without over-purchasing. The objective was to identify improvement opportunities as well as uncover business processes that posed a risk to achieving the transformation’s benefits and adoption of the new strategy. Moreover, the client also wanted to manage the money spent on inventory, optimize the storage space and identify effective purchasing and pricing procedures to avoid dead stock.

Improving retail inventory management is crucial for companies to reduce the money spent on inventory. Request a proposal to access our retail inventory management solutions for FREE now!

Our Research Approach 

The experts at SpendEdge assessed the client’s existing retail inventory management techniques and processes to recommend areas of maximum value related to the handling and merchandising of products. They reviewed the organizational structure, roles, and standards and helped the client to reconcile against industry-leading practices. This enabled the client to identify multiple opportunities for improvement to store inventory operations and overall business performance within operational areas such as restocking, price changes, and store transfers.

The engagement further enabled the client to gain real-time insights into every aspect of their business — from sales and inventory counts to product performance and profits. The retail inventory management best practices identified action items and prioritized tactical plans for both immediate actions and as part of the system rollout. High priority action items included developing SOPs for item ticketing and inventory counts. Additionally, a formal store-to-corporate communication channel was implemented to improve the business process.

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Engagement Outcome 

The retail inventory management engagement helped the client to achieve an average increase of over $45 margin dollars per square foot in the softlines business. Also, it empowered the client to improve sales, reduce markdown, and increase replenishment efficiencies.

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How Can Retail Inventory Management Solution Help Businesses? 

  • Mostly the cost of storage is directly dependent on the amount of inventory stored. With the solution, companies can make use of planograms and optimize inventory storage.
  • A retail inventory management system reduces the possibility of lost inventory, thereby minimizing revenue losses.
  • It can help companies manage their supply chain and stay on top of changes in the industry.

To know how our retail inventory management solution can help your business, request for more information from our analysts.

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Taking a Step Forward towards Better Inventory Management of Pharmaceutical Supplies

Inventory management in the pharmaceutical industry involves complex systems that consist of interrelated and interlocking subsystems. Changes made in one part of the inventory management system have both anticipated and unanticipated consequences in the other part of the system. In recent years, we have witnessed several pathbreaking discoveries in the pharmaceutical industry’s inventory management. However, even small mistakes in inventory management can quickly lead to confusion, increased turnaround times, unnecessary expenses or worse, prescription errors that endanger patient health. Furthermore, the advancements in the pharmaceutical industry also entail several challenges in the global health pharmaceutical delivery supply chain, particularly in meeting the demands for new and personalized therapeutics. 

Inventory related challenges affecting pharmaceutical companies

Inventory management

Inventory management in global health pharmaceutical delivery supply chain involves complex processes which include quantification and replenishment decisions. However, due to the lack of accurate information, there is often uncertainty that results in a negative impact on the company’s inventory management system.

Dependency on human resources

The lack of qualified individuals to fill the logistics-related positions in pharmaceutical companies is being recognized as a threat that results in heavy workload and ineffective role performance. Aside from this, it also leaves key responsibilities that include making supply chain calculations and decisions unattended. On the other hand, along with the utilization of accessible and user-friendly IT systems, pressure on HR capacity can be alleviated by hiring a dynamic team of responsible and trained people equipped with enough knowledge and skills.

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Order management

Demand information or data about the availability of products in the different levels of the supply chain are the primary decision-making factors in order management. This translates to the fact that lack of accurate information would make order management to solely rely on assumptions and experience. Consequently, orders may arrive incomplete, inaccurate or delayed, which can negatively affect product availability and overall inventory management of pharmaceutical supplies.

Warehouse management

Most warehouses do not possess adequate facilities to support large inventories. Relying on third-party logistics might not always be effective due to poor organization and not enough designated area for different functions such as receiving, shipping and storage for both damaged and expired products. In the long run, such unfavorable conditions may ultimately lead to discrepancies in logistics and inaccuracies in inventory management.

Temperature control

Factors such as environmental conditions, particularly temperature could greatly affect drug potency. Hence, failure to provide the right temperature during storage and shipment of pharmaceutical products may result in major product wastage. Refrigerated containers or storage rooms might be available in the warehouses. However, there are chances of gaps in ensuring and monitoring of temperature level. This makes cold chain difficult to maintain.

Shipment visibility

Once the manufacturer sends out the product for delivery, it becomes difficult to track its status at different levels of the supply chain. Besides, the exact date when the products will arrive becomes unknown to both the manufacturer and the recipient.

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Overcoming pharmaceutical inventory management challenges

Some of the top pharmaceutical companies are already doing a stellar job at inventory management, but almost everyone has some room for improvement. Here are some best practices for companies in the pharmaceutical industry to optimize their inventory levels:

Get an accurate count

Pharmaceutical companies can’t manage what they don’t measure. Also, a visual scan of the shelves often proves insufficient to provide the sort of accuracy needed. One of the best solutions to combat this is to conduct an annual physical inventory, supported by a computerized inventory system, and monitored by a designated employee.

Maximize the value of inventory management system

Most computerized inventory management systems lack a perpetual inventory management model. Such systems help in keeping tabs on all products in stock and automatically places an order for more product needed to maintain a certain inventory level. The company will need to adjust the parameters depending on the demand. This ensures that the order threshold and amount match the new future demand. Even a computerized system needs to be monitored and maintained for accuracy.

Shed excess inventory

Pharmaceutical inventory loses value as it ages. So, carrying excess inventory amplifies the risk of losing thousands of dollars on expired, unsaleable products. A pharmaceutical company can’t sell products once they pass their expiration date. Although demand can fluctuate from day to day, a week’s worth of inventory should be more than enough to accommodate even unusual spikes in daily demand.

With a capable supply chain and inventory management process in place, there is no looking back for companies in the pharmaceutical industry. But are you there yet? If not, SpendEdge is here to help. Request a free proposal now!

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5 Keys to Evaluate Your Inventory Management Process for Biomedical Devices

With the emerging need to delicately balance the medical devices’ security and patient safety, medical device manufacturers are facing numerous challenges like reducing costs, better inventory management, improving efficiency, and allocating resources effectively. The need for inventory management solutions is increasing for medical devices manufacturers owing to the surge in demand for better healthcare products.

Poor inventory management or disconnected systems can lead to operational inefficiency and issues with order fulfillment, which rises concurrently with an increase in the demand. Additionally, it can also result in wastage of time, space, and can increase the cost of operations. Therefore, it is important for the manufacturers of medical devices to understand that creating a feasible model for inventory management is central to the sustainability of their business.

At SpendEdge, we understand the impact that an effective inventory management solution can have on your business. And to help companies manufacturing medical devices in the changing landscape of the medical industry, our team of experts has highlighted five ways to examine their inventory management process and improve their efficiency.


Top 4 Inventory Management Techniques to Help You Save More Money

Inventory management is one of the most essential requirements for distributors and manufacturers, especially in a rapidly changing landscape where the paper and pen method of record keeping has become obsolete and we all are responding actively to digital transformation. Companies must keep their inventory management techniques up-to-date to have a proper understanding of the factors that influence their product inventory levels. This can help businesses to fasten the fulfillment process, minimize costs, and prevent fraud. An overstocked inventory is both cost and time inefficient and occupies precious warehouse space that could be used to store high demand products. On the other hand, if the lack of inventory makes you lose the sale then this could drive customers to competitors and could lead to poor customer service. Therefore, maintaining the right inventory balance in the warehouses is very crucial. In this article, we have talked in detail about various inventory managementContact US techniques and different types of inventory management techniques to help you save more money. (more…)

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4 Best Practices to Transform Your Inventory Management Process

What is inventory management? 

Inventory management essentially refers to the efficient management of stock and inventory. In a nutshell, it is all about having the right amount of stock at the right time, right place, right cost, and in the right quantity. However, the entire process is not as easy as it might sound. It involves the use of various inventory management techniques to control and oversee order placements, ensure the appropriate storage of the stock, and controlling the number of products for sale. It can often get challenging for businesses to keep up with inventory demands while monitoring the inventory process and the needs of their workers, customers, or the buyers. Contact US

Inventory management best practices

Track the fast and slow movers

A proven advantage of optimizing inventory management for warehouses is that it can help track sales and orders for each product or customer. These inventory management techniques are extremely useful for companies to gain smart insights into inventory data.  This information can be used to track the high sellers. This way, the entire stock management process becomes more efficient, storage and shipping are performed faster, and companies will not have to worry about this task ever again. This is an ideal inventory management best practice to keep the big clients happy.

Categorize the inventory

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One of the most common inventory management techniques for categorizing the stock is through ABC analysis. This is the technique of arranging the stock into groups that range from the most important to the least important items. A-items typically the best-selling, highest priority stock and require regular reordering and constant quality review. B items are medium-priority stock and usually require monthly reordering. C-items are often low priority goods that are typically carried in high volumes with minimal reordering. Organizing your stock within the warehouse according to how they sell and how much value they bring the business is an important inventory management best practice that will help companies optimize storage space and streamline order fulfillment.

Automation and Mobilizing the workforce

Another inventory management best practice is to liberate the employees from their desks and allow them to perform daily tasks on the go. But employing modern technology for connectivity and cloud-based services it is possible for the staff to monitor and manage the stock levels without physically being present in the office or warehouse. Furthermore, employees might find repetitive tasks to be monotonous. So, companies must look at ways to automate these manual tasks, helping employees to dedicate more time and attention to other core tasks. Such inventory management techniques are also known to improve employee productivity.

Movable and fixed tracking options

Movable and fixed tracking option is an inventory management best practice that allows you to see where a product has been placed, how it can be accessed, and whether it is ready for shipment. Movable tracking provides insights on where items are located at all times, and it makes the entire stock management process faster, easier, and more intuitive.

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