As the marketplace becomes increasingly competitive by the day, store managers are dealing with a tremendous amount of pressure to maximize sales, meet targets and boost profitability. In the last couple of years, the conditions created mainly by the pandemic have only added to that pressure and compelled brands to explore new options and innovative practices.
But these have also given an impetus to a lot of myths surrounding supply chain management, four of which we are going to bust in this blog. So let’s get started!
Myth 1: Keep 100% inventory in stock to fulfill any order that may come
This could be one of the most tempting ways to ensure no sales opportunities are lost, and customer satisfaction is maintained at the highest possible levels. But having all your inventory in stock will raise your carrying costs sharply and may also result in a lot of stockpiles.
The way forward instead is “rightsizing” your in-stock inventory and leveraging the services of your trusted suppliers for delivering on time. The future of profitable supply chains in fact lies in how well you are able to balance between in-store and Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory.
By building shorter supply chains, you can make your business continuity plans more robust and avoid disruptions that are typical of long and winding supply chains. Another crucial factor is your ability to integrate and coordinate with local and last-mile partners. These not only understand the immediate customer cluster better but also make a lot more logistical sense for your brand.
Myth 2: Calculation in Excel is easy. The new-age merchandising tool can be complex & time-consuming
Well, this statement is highly illustrative of your inertia to grow and evolve as a brand! Excel is great for storing and manipulating data and generating forecast reports. But it is a generic tool that will seem too primitive for the growing challenges of today’s marketplace that demands automation, specialization, and speed.
New-age merchandising tools may appear rather formidable or complex. But in reality, these are exactly the opposite. The great thing is, that these do not work on a rip-and-replace model and can easily be accommodated into your pre-existing systems. These are highly adaptable and operable as plug-and-play solutions.
Myth 3: Discounting will increase sales & help earn more
Discounting could be a good short-term ploy to get the aging stock off your shelves and make room for fresh products. But using it indiscriminately could be rather counterintuitive and harm the stature of your brand in the long run. More immediately, it will reduce your margins and have serious implications for the overall profitability of your products.
What you really need, is to be able to use discounts in combination with data-based insights, from new-age merchandising solutions like Increff Markdown Optimization. These help you figure out what percentage of discount to use at what time and which store locations, so as to boost sales while maintaining healthy profit margins.
Myth 4: Forecasting the right width and depth is sufficient to improve inventory turnover
For starters, forecasting can give brands a foundational idea about the expected sales and demand patterns for the upcoming season. But in a fast-changing marketplace, a lot of in-season changes could upset even the most elaborately designed plans.
For instance, fashion brands being highly influenced by cultural dynamics could suddenly experience a spurt in demand for a certain style, after a movie release. Likewise, a supply chain shock due to strikes, conflicts, or calamities could put significant pressure on some parts of your supply chain network.
Dealing with these dynamic market conditions in highly disruptive times requires you to think on your feet, rather than putting your supply chain on auto-pilot mode. New-age merchandising solutions allow you to do exactly that, by giving you insights into in-season changes in demand. Responding to these changes using inter-store or inter-warehouse transfers can be highly effective when backed by real-time data from across your network.
To sum up!
Sales maximization is obviously the most sought-after goal for every brand. But in the hoard to achieve their targets, brands could often fall for unfounded myths and unproven strategies that could hamper their growth or cause serious damage to their reputation. To keep evolving in the face of fresh challenges, formidable competitors, and volatile market conditions, brands need to keep an eye out for the latest technologies, cutting-edge processes, and robust strategies.
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