Warehouse Management

Why Does the Increff Digital Pigeonhole System Beat Put-To-Light Systems for E-commerce Operations?

The technology you use in your warehouse for the entire picking and packing process is critical to how efficiently the different processes happen. This is especially true in the case of B2C orders, where meeting the marketplace SLAs is very critical, and the volumes are high, but the number of items per order is low as compared to B2B dispatches. 

In fact, generally, in e-commerce, around 70%-80% of orders received only have a single item. The complications increase further due to multiple e-commerce sales channels like Amazon, Flipkart & Myntra that a single warehouse might fulfill orders. 

From different types of packing materials, taping, invoices, shipping labels, and stickering to image capturing and QC processes, there are a lot of variables that apply to each order. When this is combined with a generic sorter and PTL (Put/-to-light) system, the operational efficiency and speed drastically fall. 

There are a lot of limitations that such a system has as compared to Increff pigeonhole, which makes the latter a much better choice for warehouses. Let’s take a look at them.

1) Throughput and scalability

Most light-directed systems can have only one person in a work zone at a time, which reduces potential throughput. In addition, since the lights are wired to the shelving location, it can be expensive and time-consuming to expand or modify a pick-to-light system.

Whereas for Increff digital pigeonhole works on concepts of zone aisle and serialization. So, multiple operations can simultaneously work on the pigeonhole at the same time.

Since there is no need for any integrated hardware, it’s as easy to scale up as to add new shelves and put barcodes on them. Suppose you need to downscale; that is also easy by just disabling the pigeonhole in the system.   

2) Maintenance and dependence on hardware 

A PTL system is highly dependent on hardware as it uses a physical light that a worker must find and press to do a put-to-light. These hardware lights require a lot of maintenance, and every item put in needs to be manually entered into the system. In case the warehouse is very large, the efficiency decreases further because multiple workers are required in different areas just to make sure when a light is turned on, it is visible to someone.

However, in the case of Increff Pigeonhole, everything is done digitally. The only requirement is to do stickering with a barcode. Once that is completed, the exact location is shown to the sorter where they need to collect their item. In the case of larger warehouses, the locations can also be divided into multiple layers like shelves, isles, and more.

3) Item count accuracy

In put-to-light systems, multiple lights turn on for consolidating one SKU in multiple orders, so there are high chances of operators making mistakes in putting the right number of items in the right order. 

Increff pigeonhole works on serialization. To keep any item in the pigeonhole, a serialized item code has to be scanned. This ensures that there aren’t any errors. 

4) Path optimization post consolidation 

In the case of large warehouses with thousands of square feet in space and 100+ pigeonholes, picking consolidated orders post-pigeonholing becomes a big deal.

If a worker has to pick items from 50 orders before bringing them back to the packing desk, just collecting them at random reduces their productivity, as it takes time to find where the next light is on, and then turning it off becomes difficult if there are 100 – 200 shelves. A PTL system is incapable of offering an optimized pick path route post consolidation because when 15 lights are on in different bins, and all of them are not even visible to a worker, they won’t know the best route to take. 

In Increff pigeonhole, once orders are consolidated, Increff shows a dashboard that tells operators which pigeonhole aisle has orders of what channels and SLA. Once an operator starts picking for consolidated orders, the Increff system automatically optimizes their pick path and gives guided picking. Increff pigeonhole also allows marketplace-wise order picking, which gives a very high rise in productivity if there are marketplace-wise packing stations. In traditional PTL systems, this kind of filtering is not possible.

Why do we even need a pigeonhole if 70% of orders are single pieces? 

Absolutely correct observation. Let’s go a step back from order consolidation and go to picking. In traditional WMS, which works on SKU bases and not on serialization, for example, if 100 items are picked for e-commerce, there is no good way to sort the 70 items that are for single-piece orders vs. 30 items that are for multi-piece orders. Hence, all have to be taken to the pigeonhole. 

Increff WMS works on serialization, and every item that is getting picked gets instantly mapped to an order. So, just by a single sorting scan, the 70 items for single pieces can be segregated from 30 items for multi-piece orders and even on channel level. These 70 items don’t need to go to pigeonhole and can be directly taken to packing stations of respective channels. 

This reduces the need for pigeonhole by a large factor and saves a lot of time as well by only doing consolidation where it’s required.

TLDR Increff Pigeonhole a must-have in your warehouses

  1. Increff pigeonhole acts as both a sorter and consolidator.
  2. A single pigeonhole can be used for multiple orders, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. In general, the first item of an order can go to any pigeonhole, and the second item onwards goes to the same one. 
  3. When there are multiple bins with fewer SKUs than the limit, they will be consolidated to empty more bins. Once this happens, the consolidated bin will be prioritized for picking.
  4. Fast-moving items like top-sellers will be kept in pigeonholes closer to the packing zones to fastrack picking and packing.
  5. In large warehouses, Pigeonholes can be categorized into shelves, isles, and zones for easy locating.
  6. For B2C orders with only one item, once the picker picks it, it will bypass the pigeonhole and go directly to the packing table.

Also Read: Top 5 KPIs That a CEO Must Be Tracking in the Warehouse

Warehouse Management

The Frugal Warehouse: 5 Ways to Save Costs in Logistics

Warehouses play a vital role as the pivotal hubs where products await their journey to customers’ doorsteps. However, as indispensable as they are, warehouses can also become significant cost centers if not managed with precision and foresight. However, businesses often invest significantly in warehousing, either because of a lot of manual work contributing to labor costs or not implementing the right technology.

As efficiency and optimization reign supreme, the need to reduce warehousing costs while maintaining quality service has never been more critical. From managing inventory and process optimization to implementing automation and data-driven decision-making, in this blog, we will explore the different aspects of warehouse operations with a keen eye on how to save costs.

1) Investing in the right tech stack

Using the right technology can transform a warehouse into a cost-efficient, agile, and responsive operation by minimizing paper-based operations and reducing labor dependency. The overall impact can be as high as a 20-25% reduction in costs. This is possible due to the digitization of processes and the implementation of intelligent pick-paths increasing picking and packing efficiency.

Additionally, a capable WMS can also help in processing B2B and B2C orders from the same platform, thereby eliminating the need to juggle between different applications. This results in reduced training time and helps in getting new workers up to speed in a matter of hours. 

There are many other benefits of finding the right solution for your warehouse operations, like optimized space allocation, end-to-end inventory tracking, data analytics, and more.

Finally, you should choose a reliable solution that has historically proven to work well without any bugs that could affect the warehouse operations. Customer care should also be exceptional because the operations team is bound to need some support, especially when starting out. All of these factors contribute to better operations and save warehouse costs.

2) Streamlining inventory management for enhanced efficiency

Effective Inventory Management is mission-critical for businesses. It can help minimize carrying costs, reduce stockouts and overstocking, optimize storage space, and improve overall warehouse operations. This can be made possible by gaining real-time visibility into inventory levels, locations, and movements. It also allows managers and workers to quickly identify where specific items are located within the warehouse.

With the right system in place, there will be no need for cycle counting for regular inventory. This ensures that inventory accuracy is maintained without requiring extensive, time-consuming annual physical counts. Businesses can also implement models like just-in-time (JIT), which allows them to get inventory just in the nick of time. This means they can save on tons of excess storage costs and free up tied-up capital. 

3) Accurate demand forecasting and resource allocation

Precise demand forecasting and resource allocation are fundamental to efficient warehousing practices. They help minimize the inefficiencies and costs associated with excess inventory, stockouts, labor misallocation, and other factors that can drive up warehousing costs.

Reliable demand forecasts enable you to anticipate an increase or decrease in demand and manage stock levels accordingly. This means you won’t lose out on sales opportunities when the demand is high and won’t end up overstocking in the opposite scenario. 

Demand forecasting also helps in understanding your future needs. It helps in building better relationships with your suppliers and gives you an upper hand when negotiating costs and delivery times. This allows you to allocate capital more efficiently getting better ROI.

4) Retaining employees and building morale

The warehousing industry has among the highest turnover rates among all at 37%, which is 10 times higher than the average of 3.6%. This calls for a fool-proof system that prevents errors, ensuring newly hired employees are not affecting business. However, the primary focus should be to retain old employees and build strong relationships with workers. 

A motivated and stable workforce tends to be more productive, efficient and committed to maintaining a well-organized and safe warehouse. It also reduces costs as for every new employee, there is an advertising, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding cost alongside the training they need to go through, which also requires a lot of time.

From an overall operations perspective, older employees also tend to be more productive and make fewer errors, resulting in fewer returns, rework, and customer complaints. Combined with a highly motivated workforce, all of these reduce the labor costs significantly for a warehouse.

5) Adapting a strategic approach to risk management

By proactively identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks, warehouses can operate more efficiently and cost-effectively by minimizing unexpected disruptions and losses. Being proactive is important because the damage will already be done if a business is reactive. So, investing in measures and strategies to prevent inventory loss or damage is critical.

For example, businesses also need to ensure that the system they implement is stable and doesn’t have any bugs that can affect the operations or risk system data.

There are many other aspects to risk management, like having multiple vendors to prevent supplier risk, safety management so that warehouses are compliant with laws and regulations, and much more. However, the most important aspect would be to manage the workforce efficiently to reduce turnovers and absenteeism, as they are the core of operations.

Final thoughts

If your business hasn’t yet started implementing these measures, it’s high time to get started. By adopting a holistic approach that encompasses all the above points, you can significantly bring down your operational cost while improving efficiency and customer experience. Connect with our experts today to explore how Increff WMS can help you achieve your warehousing goals.

Smart Merchandising

Mastering Demand Forecasting: A Comprehensive 7-Step Roadmap to Maximize Sales

Amazon, the massive online retailer, rakes in significant profits in North America because numerous local stores struggle to accurately predict how much of a product people want to buy. So, when eager customers head to their nearby stores to purchase something they truly desire, they are often met with disappointment as the item is out of stock. Frustrated and impatient, these shoppers turn to the ever-reliable Amazon, which appears to possess a remarkable knack for promptly meeting their demands.

This anecdote underscores a fundamental truth in the retail world: accurate demand forecasting is not just about predicting how many units of a product you’ll sell. It’s a strategic imperative that can determine the fate of businesses. Beyond bolstering sales, effective demand forecasting is a linchpin for managing cash flow and maintaining streamlined operations. If you’re caught with excess inventory or can’t keep up with customer demand, you’re essentially bleeding money.

In this blog, we embark on a journey through a seven-step action plan tailored for retail merchandisers to revolutionize demand forecast accuracy. By implementing these steps, retailers can drive significant sales growth while ensuring financial prudence and operational efficiency. Let’s explore how these strategies can transform your retail business into a well-oiled, demand-forecasting machine.

Step 1: Understanding Your Customers

A solid demand forecasting strategy hinges on a thorough grasp of your customer base. This entails the meticulous collection and analysis of data related to customer preferences, purchasing behaviors, and historical buying trends. To delve deeper into your customer base, it is advisable to establish direct communication channels with them. In the context of B2B operations, supplier portals and data exchanges can prove to be invaluable resources for forecasting customer demand accurately. 

Conversely, in the realm of B2C enterprises, harnessing real-time localized consumer data serves as the cornerstone for crafting a comprehensive demand forecast that can form the basis for a unified demand forecast shared with stakeholders. This multifaceted process involves the implementation of surveys, careful scrutiny of customer feedback, and segmentation of customers based on various factors such as demographics and buying habits, all of which yield invaluable insights.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of your customers, it is advisable to explore questions such as:

  1. Do my customers exhibit seasonal shopping patterns, or do they maintain a consistent buying pattern throughout the year?
  2. What are the preferred sizes and colors among my customers?
  3. Are there particular brands that hold a special appeal to my customer base?
  4. What are the unique preferences of shoppers in my local area?
  5. How swiftly do consumer trends catch on with shoppers in the vicinity of my store?

This in-depth comprehension of your customer base forms the foundation upon which you can tailor your forecasts to precisely match the unique needs and preferences of your customers.

Step 2: Leverage Technology and Automation to Increase Accuracy

In the realm of retail, a notable portion of industry participants continues to rely on antiquated planning systems and labor-intensive methodologies for gauging customer preferences. In times past, these conventional approaches sufficed due to a relatively stable market landscape. However, in today’s dynamic and ever-evolving market environment, the imperative for change is unmistakable.

A noteworthy issue lies in the fact that approximately 15% of inventory inaccuracies can be attributed to software systems that lack interoperability, thereby fostering communication impediments. Moreover, when we disregard the integration of technology, we expose ourselves to data inconsistencies that arise from human errors.

Embracing advanced technologies and automation tools can significantly enhance demand forecast accuracy. Algorithms, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics can process vast amounts of data quickly and provide more accurate predictions.

For retailers looking to secure a competitive edge, investment in cutting-edge forecasting and adaptable tools, capable of learning from evolving market patterns, is imperative. By doing so, these businesses can not only rectify inventory inaccuracies but also empower their teams to concentrate on more strategic, high-value tasks, thereby ensuring the continued prosperity of their operations.

Step 3: Centralize Your Data for Real-Time Visibility

To improve forecast accuracy, retailers should centralize their data sources and create a single source of truth. A centralized data repository enables real-time visibility into inventory levels, sales data, and other relevant information. This centralized approach allows for quick decision-making and ensures that all stakeholders are working with the same data.

Step 4: Don’t Let Go of Past Data

Historical data represents an invaluable asset in the quest for more accurate demand forecasting. Retailers should maintain a comprehensive historical dataset that includes records of sales, revenue, discount strategies, promotional activities, size-related variations, stockouts, and exposure metrics. This historical data provides a solid foundation for forecasting, as it sheds light on past patterns and trends, which are essential for shaping future forecasts.

Furthermore, a thorough analysis of historical data can uncover valuable insights for optimizing the assortment mix and depth. By examining this data, retailers gain a holistic perspective that helps in fine-tuning inventory strategies. This comprehensive approach also simplifies the identification and rectification of issues, such as size cuts and highly discounted sales within the sales history. All of these factors contribute to a more refined and accurate forecasting process.

Step 5: Bring in In-Depth Algorithm Analysis

In-depth algorithm analysis is crucial for retailers to enhance demand forecasting. This involves ongoing assessment to understand model strengths and weaknesses, ensuring adaptability to shifting market dynamics. Steps include identifying persistent top sellers, conducting granular-level computations with multiple product attributes, and analyzing past data to determine the ideal assortment mix and depth. By focusing on these aspects, retailers can fine-tune their forecasting algorithms, leading to more accurate predictions and improved inventory management.

Step 6: Incorporate Granularity Models

One-size-fits-all forecasting models may not provide the level of accuracy needed in today’s retail landscape. To improve accuracy, consider incorporating granularity into your forecasting models. Granularity here entails crafting distinct forecasts for various product categories, individual store locations, and even delving into the realm of SKU-level forecasts. This meticulous level of detail empowers retailers to make more pinpoint predictions and execute inventory optimization strategies with greater finesse.

This approach is not just about accuracy; it’s also about understanding the intricate nuances of your inventory. It enables retailers to predict true size ratios more effectively, ensuring that stock levels align with customer demands. Additionally, incorporating planned trends and promotions through a granular override system further refines forecasting accuracy. By dissecting and addressing each component of your retail operations with granularity, you’re better equipped to navigate the complexities of the modern retail environment, ultimately driving growth and profitability.

Step 7: Remember External Factors Do Matter

Recognizing that demand forecasting extends beyond historical data, it’s crucial to understand the significant influence of external factors. Economic conditions, weather patterns, seasonality, and market trends all play pivotal roles in shaping consumer behavior. As we touched upon when discussing causal relationships in forecasting demand, the integration of these external factors is paramount.

Let’s emphasize this point for its critical importance: always consider external factors. While you may have a solid grasp of your marketing strategies, promotional schedules, and the predictable holiday selling seasons, the realm of unpredictable and uncontrollable variables remains. These external factors can introduce unforeseen changes and disruptions that must be accounted for within your forecasting models to ensure accuracy.

Over to you

Have you started basic forecasting for your retail business? Implementing these strategies can put retailers’ guesswork to rest and make them better at understanding what their customers will buy, all based on data analysis. It’s like having a predictive tool that helps them stock the right items at the right times. When they do this, it makes everything in their supply chain work more smoothly, like a well-oiled machine.

What’s even more critical is that it ensures customers are more likely to find what they want when they come to the store, which makes them really happy. And as we know, happy customers are more likely to return and buy more, creating a win-win situation for everyone involved!

If this is something you are interested in, we can help you with it. Just get in touch with our experts today. 

Smart Merchandising

Top 5 Merchandising Solutions: Global Leaders in Enabling Accurate and Seamless Inventory Optimization

Have you ever considered the intricacies of managing a fashion brand across both retail and online realms? Juggling numerous stores across cities, gauging distinct identities, predicting demand, and maximizing sales require strategic finesse. Navigating markdowns, stock transfers, and style discontinuations is paramount. The complexity of nationwide operations, warehouses, and logistics renders manual Excel management overwhelming. Here, merchandising software steps in, boosting efficiency and accuracy.

Effective retail merchandising drives sales, enhances experiences, optimizes inventory, and fuels revenue growth. This blog will compare the top five global merchandising solutions (alphabetically): Impact Analysis, Increff, Nextail, O9, and Onebeat. Through this assessment, you’ll gain insights to select the optimal software for your business, streamlining processes and boosting profitability.

Key Capabilities of an Ideal Merchandising Solution 

A smart merchandising solution has several vital features contributing to its effectiveness and efficiency. Some essential features make it ideal:

  • Demand Forecasting: Accurate demand forecasting is crucial for maintaining optimal inventory levels. A robust solution should leverage historical data, market trends, and analytics to generate precise demand forecasts.
  • Inventory Optimization: The solution should enable retailers to manage inventory efficiently by recommending reorder quantities, safety stock levels, and markdown strategies. This prevents overstocking or stockouts and minimizes carrying costs.
  • Assortment Planning: Effective assortment planning involves selecting the right mix of products for each store or channel. The software should help retailers analyze customer preferences, buying patterns, and local market trends to curate the ideal product mix.
  • Pricing Strategy: Implementing dynamic pricing can boost competitiveness and maximize revenue. An effective solution optimizes real-time pricing by considering competitor rates, demand elasticity, and market positioning. It should also align financial goals with annual merchandise and sales plans.
  • In-season Management: Monitoring sales performance during the season allows for timely adjustments. The solution should provide insights into product performance, enabling retailers to make data-driven decisions regarding replenishments, markdowns, or promotions.
  • Collaborative Tools: Merchandising involves multiple stakeholders across the supply chain. A good solution should facilitate collaboration between teams, from buyers and planners to suppliers and distributors.
  • Data Visualization: Clear and intuitive visualizations help merchandisers grasp insights quickly. An ideal software should offer customizable dashboards and reports that present data in an understandable manner.
  • Integration Capabilities: Seamless integration with other retail systems, such as POS and ERP software, ensures smooth data flow and cohesive decision-making

Top 5 Global Merchandising Solutions

1. Impact Analytics

Impact Analytics is a leading retail merchandising solution provider. Its solution focuses on

enhancing the customer experience, helping retailers optimize and tailor product assortments to local market preferences with the help of AI. By leveraging data-driven insights, retailers can make informed decisions about product selection, pricing, and promotions. This leads to increased customer engagement, loyalty, and overall revenue growth.

Key Modules:

Demand Forecasting– Enable precise demand forecasts, covering SKUs across all hierarchy levels throughout their lifecycle.

Assortment Planning– Craft smart retail financial plans and efficient Open-to-Buy budgets with forecast integration. Boost margins and inventory turns. Enhance product attribution for optimal accuracy and ROI.

Pricing and Promotions– Eradicate errors with top-tier retail price optimization software. Utilize AI and ML-driven insights for precise pricing strategies.  

Allocation– Enhance customer-centric assortments by optimizing allocation decisions and space-aware planograms. Elevate execution with AI-driven shelf monitoring.

Business Intelligence– Achieve data-driven insights with intelligent reporting.

Enhance decision-making and improve business performance. 


  • AI-driven assortment optimization for improved sales
  • Dynamic pricing strategies to enhance competitiveness
  • Personalized offerings based on customer behavior analysis
  • Increase customer engagement and loyalty
  • Maximize revenue through strategic pricing and promotions
  • Quick deployments that reap immediate visible results

2. Increff

Increff merchandising software empowers planners, buyers, and merchandisers to make well-informed decisions across inventory management, from purchases to markdowns in both pre-season and in-season periods. With over 100 customizable, patent-pending algorithms tailored to the fashion and lifestyle industry, Increff enables sustainable and profitable growth. It also provides solutions for both omnichannel and smart merchandise planning. 

Increff’s solution covers the entire merchandising spectrum, from planning and buying to allocations. The software analyzes real demand and automates decisions, enhancing sales, profitability, and inventory efficiency while reducing costs and boosting customer satisfaction.

Key Modules:

  • Planning, Buying, Future Inventory Projection & Reordering: Bring in granular data analysis in merchandise planning and buying using advanced algorithms operating multiple levels and planes of calculation. Increff empowers planners to optimize store-level inventory mix, extending to granular design-level attributes of styles
  • Allocation, Replenishment, Interstore Transfer: Optimize assortment mix and distribution based on the store-style ranking algorithm for maximum sales. Ensure accurate inventory placement at the correct time in the correct location and depth, adapting to sales trends.
  • Regional Utilization: Optimize inventory distribution across a multi-warehouse network to increase proximity to customers, reduce delivery time and logistics costs.
  • Markdown Optimization: Improve the sales and margins by automating discounting decisions based on a first principle discounting engine, which can provide suggestions for each style at each store, specifically making it more granular, accurate and scientific.  
  • Merchandise Financial Planning: Enable pre-season and in-season budget planning, aligning with KPIs like Margins, Revenue, and COGS. Achieve data-driven financial goals, optimize inventory, and enhance profitability.
  • Business Intelligence: Empower every role from store manager to CEO with essential Business Intelligence dashboards. Quickly grasp business performance insights and drive better decisions all across brands and retailers.


  • Streamline assortment planning with data-driven recommendations and smart inputs from the software
  • Calculate the True Rate of Sale by automatically correcting for loss of sale due to unavailability and artificial spikes because of discounting
  • Intelligent Store Style ranking to set priority for style allocation. Enhance customer satisfaction by offering the right products at the right time
  • Reduce anomalies like overstocking and understocking
  • Buying/ Allocation for new stores without any historical data available
  • Additional recommendations, including Planogram, Price Bucket, and Style Depth, contribute to streamlined allocation processes
  • Recommends store-level pullbacks using style performance and availability data for inventory optimization, correcting depth and brokenness
  • Fast deployment and easy integration
  • Highly customizable data model created on your data
  • Real-time insights into demand patterns and trends
  • Flexibility for taking Strategic/ Subjective calls for multiple modules
  • Improves inventory turnover and profitability

3. Nextail

Nextail transforms retail merchandising with the help of AI. Predictive analytics offer precise customer demand forecasts, while real-time insights empower retailers to make informed choices regarding allocation, replenishment, and markdowns. This optimization reduces waste, maximizes profits, and enhances overall retail efficiency, showcasing Nextail’s prowess in elevating merchandising to new heights through agile, data-driven approaches.

Key Modules:

  • Assortment Planning: Optimize sales and profit by determining ideal product assortments using AI recommendations, flexible parameters, simulations, and continuous monitoring.
  • Buying and Reordering: Forecast local demand for optimal new product purchases, empowering buyers with data-driven decisions and intuitive expertise.
  • First Allocation and Replenishment: Distribute precise initial SKU units to all points of sale, replenishing sold stock efficiently. Anticipate demand for optimal allocation.
  • Rebalancing or Inter-Store Transfers: Move stock between stores to reduce overstocking and consolidate broken size sets
  • Events and Promotions: Measure elasticities to improve and prepare promotions and recalculate demand baselines after events
  • Business Intelligence: Instead of just reports, Nextail integrates actionable insights into systems for seamless execution.


  • Hyper-local demand anticipation
  • Real-time insights into demand fluctuations
  • Reduce inventory holding costs and waste
  • Improve stock availability and sales performance
  • Enhance profitability through optimal markdown strategies
  • Efficiently manage replenishments/reorders to align with customer demand
  • Responsive to trends
  • Advanced AI-driven insights

4. O9

O9 Solutions offers a comprehensive platform that seamlessly integrates supply chain and merchandising planning. This all-inclusive solution empowers retailers with complete operational visibility, facilitating well-informed decision-making. With the help of AI-driven analytics, O9 forecasts demand, optimizes inventory, and aligns processes, resulting in heightened efficiency and greater customer satisfaction.

Key Modules:

  • Integrated Business Planning: Align decision-making across functions for streamlined operations
  • Demand Forecasting: Demand forecasting and inventory optimization supported by AI. Enhance customer service levels while reducing carrying costs.
  • Assortment Planning: Enhance store efficiency and sales by data-driven assortment planning, inventory allocation, and trend-based strategy implementation.
  • Allocation and Replenishment Planning: Enhance profitability with efficient allocations, distributing merchandise to stores for optimal sales across product lifecycles. Adaptable, multi-tier replenishments.
  • Merchandise Financial Planning: Build and manage customer-centric Merchandise Financial Plans across a global network.
  • Markdown Management: Unified platform for pricing management. Swiftly adapt strategies for market changes, ensuring resilience to evolving demands.


  • End-to-end visibility and collaboration across supply chain processes
  • Accurate demand forecasts for effective inventory management
  • Optimize assortment planning and allocation for improved sales
  • Reduce costs through efficient supply chain decision-making
  • Improve customer satisfaction through better stock availability
  • O9 serves expanding businesses, adapting to evolving needs and scalability

5. Onebeat

Onebeat specializes in merchandising solutions designed to enhance retail performance through AI. Their platform offers demand forecasting, inventory optimization, and replenishment recommendations. Analyzing historical data and real-time market trends, Onebeat’s solution empowers retailers to align their inventory levels with customer demand, thereby reducing excess stock and improving turnover rates.

Key Modules:

  • Demand Forecasting: AI-driven demand prediction ensures precision. Balanced Bottom-Up and Top-Down methods for consumer-centric and strategic planning
  • Assortment Management: Master dynamic category management and raft store-specific assortments from real-time demand.
  • Smart Replenishment and Allocation: Optimize replenishment, prevent overstock, and ensure stock availability by tracking SKU demand. Maintain real-time inventory targets and enhance inventory distribution for peak sales and ROI. 
  • Inter-Store Transfers: Streamline goods movement, accounting for broken sizes, sets, seasonality, and SKU sales variations.
  • Special Events: Monitor product performance per store, aiding seasonal and promotional event preparation. Algorithms optimize slow-mover liquidation and guide future planning.


  • Accurate demand forecasting for improved inventory management
  • Optimize inventory levels for better turnover rates
  • Efficient replenishment strategies to meet customer demand
  • Minimize excess inventory and carrying costs
  • Enhance overall profitability through data-driven decisions
  • Streamline retail processes through AI-driven insights

Final Thoughts

As the industry evolves, merchandising tools prove indispensable, ensuring optimized operations and heightened profitability. Embracing advanced technology empowers retailers to navigate complexity and deliver unparalleled shopping experiences, solidifying success in a dynamic market.

In modern retail, the choice of merchandising software shapes your business journey. Tailor your selection to your unique needs, scale, and goals. As retail’s dynamic landscape demands precision, the featured top five systems offer robust solutions, enhancing merchandise strategies and profitability. Remember, this investment secures your business’s future success.

Warehouse Management

Top 5 KPIs That a CEO Must Be Tracking in the Warehouse

Utilizing and monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) are essential operational metrics that reflect warehouse performance and present a strategic approach to identify issues and capitalize on opportunities for enhancing efficiency and expediting order fulfillment with precision.

For instance, establishing a target to enhance picking and packing accuracy allows for adjustments to the picking processes. The subsequent measurement of these changes enables a data-driven assessment of their effectiveness in attaining the set objective. By employing this systematic approach, businesses can drive continuous improvement, ensuring smoother operations and an elevated ability to meet customer demands promptly and accurately.

As a CEO overseeing warehousing operations, there are several key metrics and aspects you should be tracking to ensure efficient and effective performance. These top 5 warehouse KPIs will help you monitor your warehousing operations’ health and identify improvement areas.

1) Number of daily dispatches

The number of daily dispatches serves as a vital performance metric for a CEO overseeing a warehouse. It provides valuable insights into operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and overall business success. As the primary metric for measuring operational efficiency, the number of daily dispatches helps the CEO understand how well the warehouse is performing in meeting customer demands.

The number of daily dispatches has a direct impact on customer satisfaction. Customers expect timely deliveries, and a higher number of daily dispatches implies faster order processing and shipping times. Satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat buyers and advocates for the company, contributing to long-term business growth.

2) Rate of returns and cancellation

High return rates can be indicative of underlying issues that demand immediate attention and resolution. As returns incur additional costs for the company, including transportation, inspection, restocking, and potential refurbishment or disposal of damaged items, the CEO needs to closely monitor this metric to minimize financial losses and maximize profitability.

Performing a root cause analysis of returns can reveal valuable information about customer preferences and pain points. By analyzing return reasons, the CEO gains a deeper understanding of why customers are dissatisfied or encountering issues with certain products. This knowledge can guide product improvements, inform marketing strategies, and even lead to the introduction of new, more desirable products. Addressing these root causes proactively can help enhance customer satisfaction and create a competitive advantage in the market.

3) Percentage of not found

The percentage of “not found” refers to the proportion of customer orders that cannot be fulfilled because the items in the warehouse are lost. One of the most apparent consequences of not found is lost revenue. When customers come to make a purchase but find the desired items are not available, they may abandon the purchase altogether or delay it, resulting in a direct loss of sales. For the CEO, this translates to missed revenue targets and decreased profitability.

It also points to lost items or theft, which can be an alarming concern. Stolen inventory or equipment directly affects the bottom line, reducing profitability and hindering business growth. These losses can be especially concerning if they go undetected for an extended period, exacerbating the financial impact.

Warehouse staff may spend valuable time dealing with the aftermath of theft, such as filing reports, cooperating with investigations, and implementing security measures. This diverts their attention from core warehouse tasks, leading to decreased productivity and efficiency.

4) Rate of QC fail items

It is the proportion of items that do not meet the quality control (QC) standards in a given batch or production run, expressed as a percentage of the total number of items inspected. In various industries and manufacturing processes, quality control is crucial to ensure that products meet predetermined specifications, performance standards, and safety requirements.

A high percentage of QC fail items can result in multiple problems that a business must address as soon as possible. By having checkpoints in quality control, businesses can pinpoint the problem, be it at the vendor end, raw material suppliers, or shipping.

Monitoring this metric over time also helps in implementing corrective actions and process improvements to reduce the number of failed items, leading to better overall product quality. At the same time, business leaders can ensure that the cost of production is kept to the minimum and customer expectations are met.

5) Picking/packing efficiency

Picking and packing efficiency refers to the effectiveness and speed at which items are selected from a warehouse inventory for customer orders, manufacturing, or distribution purposes. It measures how well a warehouse can fulfill orders accurately and quickly. Warehouse leaders must track picking efficiency to minimize travel time and maximize efficiency during order picking.

Tracking efficiency also helps warehouse leaders allocate their resources, such as labor and equipment, more effectively. This results in fewer man-hours required to fulfill orders and can reduce overtime costs and potentially downsize the workforce during periods of low demand.

Another major advantage of taking this KPI seriously is the ability to optimize organizing the warehouse layout for high accessibility and minimal travel time between picking locations. It helps identify opportunities for layout improvements and better space utilization.


5 Top Expert Tips to Unlock Inventory Efficiency Like a Pro

In the ever-evolving landscape of online commerce, businesses face razor-thin profit margins, fierce competition, and the critical significance of each dollar. Navigating this challenging symphony requires adept conductors with its surging demands, intricate supply chains, and market volatility.

However, amid these complexities, poor inventory management is a common obstacle that threatens businesses. The consequences of inefficient inventory practices extend far beyond inconvenience; they can result in substantial financial losses that significantly impact the bottom line. To thrive in this competitive environment, mastering inventory management is indispensable.

In a recent captivating interview with IMRG, our Co-founder, Anshuman Agarwal, unveiled his wealth of knowledge and expertise on the “5 Top Tips To Make Inventory More Efficient.” During this exclusive conversation, Anshuman delved into the critical strategies and industry best practices that can empower retail businesses to optimize their inventory management, streamline operations, and achieve unparalleled efficiency.

Whether you are a seasoned retail giant or an ambitious e-commerce startup, these invaluable tips are poised to revolutionize your inventory management game, providing you with a formidable competitive edge in the bustling marketplace.

Five top tips to make inventory more efficient

Tip 1: Unleashing the Power of Granular Planning

Did you know? By addressing the issues of overstocking and understocking, businesses can achieve a significant 10% reduction in inventory costs. 

In the fast-paced world of fashion, precision is paramount. Anshuman advises that retailers delve into granular planning rather than relying on generalized strategies. Instead of clustering stores, analyzing the unique demand patterns of individual outlets is essential. By closely monitoring daily inventory and sales, businesses can accurately gauge their true potential while identifying areas that may be causing sales losses. 

Furthermore, a deeper examination of specific product attributes, such as sleeve type, fit, and others, can reveal crucial insights into what precisely drives demand. Armed with these granular insights, retailers can make more informed decisions, avoiding the pitfalls of overstocking, restocking, and potential sales loss.

Tip 2: The Art of Automated Buying

In the dynamic world of fashion retail, lead times can stretch as far as six to nine months, accompanied by varying minimum order quantities (MOQs) from diverse vendors and categories. Navigating these intricacies requires a finely-tuned, automated buying process. According to research released by Logistics Trends & Insights, Atlanta, and American Global Logistics (AGL), a majority of retailers, comprising 72%, intend to transform their supply chain operations by incorporating real-time visibility through automation and analytics. 

By leveraging historical data and precise sales projections, automated buying empowers retailers to make well-calculated decisions regarding inventory levels when new stock arrives. This streamlined approach minimizes uncertainties and optimizes inventory with remarkable precision, ensuring success in the fast-paced market.

Freeing retailers from manual tasks allows them to focus on strategic planning and creative endeavors. The symbiotic partnership between human creativity and data intelligence marks a new era of retail excellence, empowering fashion retailers to thrive in a competitive landscape.

Tip 3: Embracing the Efficiency of Automated Replenishment

Many brands fall into the trap of relying on manual and sporadic store replenishment procedures. Recognizing this critical issue, Anshuman passionately advocates for the implementation of automation as the ultimate solution. By harnessing the power of automated replenishment systems that continuously analyze sales trends in real time, retailers gain the upper hand in decision-making for each store’s inventory needs.

The automated system’s prowess doesn’t stop there. It cleverly identifies the nearest alternative style to replace any stocked-out item, ensuring a seamless replenishment process and averting potential sales losses. With this cutting-edge approach, businesses can bid farewell to the haunting spectre of stockouts.

Embracing more frequent and accurate replenishments is the key to unlocking success. By doing so, retailers stay ahead of the curve effortlessly, accurately predicting trends and efficiently meeting customer demands. In Anshuman’s vision, automation is the catalyst for empowering retailers to make informed and timely choices, ultimately propelling their brands to new heights.

Tip 4: Catalyzing Omnichannel Retailing

The omnichannel retailing experience has evolved into a cornerstone of modern retail success. Businesses can maximize customer satisfaction and drive conversions by seamlessly integrating physical stores, websites, and social commerce platforms. The key lies in maintaining a single view of inventory across all channels. Real-time inventory synchronization is crucial, enabling customers to access available products regardless of their chosen shopping platform.

This fosters a seamless shopping experience, making purchases, returns, and stock access effortless for customers. Embracing a robust omnichannel retailing solution elevates efficiency and enhances the overall customer experience, leading to tremendous success in the competitive retail landscape. The future of retail lies in the hands of those who can adapt to these changing dynamics and cater to their customers’ needs, ensuring continued growth and prosperity for their businesses.

Tip 5: Opting for Inter-Store and Dark Store Fulfillment Wisely

With a vision to amplify efficiency, Anshuman recommends retailers should delve into the innovative realm of dark stores. The traditional model of servicing online orders from physical stores often incurs heavy operational expenses, hence the emergence of dark stores as an enticing prospect. These establishments, acting akin to compact warehouses, promise an upgraded and cost-effective system for online order fulfillment.

Dark stores, strategically designed, enable a remarkable reduction in logistics expenses and a noticeable boost to profit margins. Their true essence lies in their ability to swiftly and consistently restock online orders. This not only leads to an enhancement in customer experience – with orders reaching the doorstep faster and more reliably – but also ensures more effective and efficient utilization of inventory.

Anshuman’s push for the exploration of dark stores is a testament to the fact that innovation in retail is ceaseless and that embracing it can truly revolutionize how businesses operate while simultaneously optimizing profits and customer satisfaction.

Final thoughts

Mastering inventory efficiency is a crucial component of a successful retail business. With Anshuman Agarwal’s expert advice and the five transformative tips – granular planning, automated buying, automated replenishment, omnichannel retailing, and discerning inter-store and dark store fulfillment – retailers can unlock unparalleled efficiency gains, simplify operational complexities, and deliver unmatched customer satisfaction. Embrace these strategies, and watch your inventory management soar to new heights of effectiveness and profitability.

Let’s build a future where efficient inventory management sets the stage for retail triumph.

Catch the complete conversation with IMRG here:

Five tips to improve inventory



Warehouse Management

Top 5 Warehouse Management Systems in India for Optimizing Your Supply Chain Efficiency

Have you ever contemplated the intricacy involved in operating a selling platform like Amazon, Flipkart, or eBay? The immense challenge lies in managing billions of products, catering to millions of buyers, and handling a vast array of warehouses, employees, and machines. Due to this monumental scale, manual management of these processes becomes exceedingly arduous. This is precisely where a Warehouse Management System (WMS) can make a significant impact by enhancing efficiency and reducing errors.

However, with numerous options available, choosing the right one for your business can be challenging. In this blog, we will compare five leading WMS solutions: Increff, Infor, SAP, Unicommerce and Vinculum (in alphabetical order). By evaluating their key features, and benefits you can make an informed decision that aligns with your business requirements.

Key features of an Ideal WMS System

An ideal Warehouse Management System possesses several key features that contribute to its effectiveness and efficiency. Here are some essential features that make a WMS ideal:

  • Inventory Management: Comprehensive inventory control, real-time tracking, accurate stock levels, and visibility across multiple warehouses or locations. It should enable efficient order fulfillment and prevent stock outs or overstock situations.
  • Order Processing and Fulfillment: Streamlined order processing and fulfillment workflows, automating tasks such as order allocation, picking, packing, and shipping.
  • Integration Capabilities: Seamless integration with various systems and platforms including e-commerce platforms, marketplaces, shipping carriers, and other essential software solutions to exchange data and streamline operations.
  • Real-time Visibility and Reporting: Immediate access to inventory levels, order status, and performance metrics.
  • Warehouse Optimization: Features for layout optimization, slotting, and picking strategies.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: Ability to accommodate growth and adapt to changing business requirements.
  • Mobile Functionality: Mobile apps or responsive interfaces for improved efficiency.  Mobile apps or responsive interfaces enable warehouse staff to perform tasks, such as receiving, picking, and inventory updates, using handheld devices, improving productivity and accuracy.
  • Integration with Automation Technologies: Support for robotics, conveyor systems, and barcode scanners.
  • Exception Handling and Alerts: Mechanisms to detect and address issues, with proactive notifications.
  • User-friendly Interface: Intuitive and easy-to-navigate interface, requiring minimal training.

Top 5 Warehouse Management Solutions in India


Increff WMS is a cloud-based solution specifically created for Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) brands, retailers, and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) to ensure precise inventory management, error-free operations, efficient multitasking through inventory serialization and rapid employee training. Increff is an effective web-based software for multi-channel order fulfillment and warehouse management. Its WMS solutions offer a comprehensive overview of inventory across all marketplaces and enable seamless order management. Increff provides the following services:

  • Manpower management
  • Simplified operations
  • Designed for scalability
  • Complete tracking with 100% scan-based system and integration of unpaid principal balance
  • Integration with multiple systems
  • Streamlined end-to-end operations through a single interface
  • Remote deployment of warehouse management system in under 7 days.

Key features:

  • Intelligent Inventory Management: Utilizes advanced algorithms and real-time data for accurate inventory visibility, batch tracking, and automated stock replenishment.
  • Robust Order Processing: Automates order workflows, including allocation, backorder management, and optimized pick list generation, reducing errors and ensuring prompt fulfillment.
  • Warehouse Optimization: Implements intelligent storage allocation, optimized picking paths, and efficient put-away strategies to minimize travel time and enhance resource utilization.
  • Seamless Integration: Integrates with ERP, CRM, and e-commerce platforms for smooth data flow and real-time updates, eliminating data silos and enabling end-to-end visibility.
  • Data Analytics and Reporting: Provides customizable reports and actionable insights into warehouse performance, order accuracy, and inventory turnover, facilitating data-driven decision-making.


  • Ability to reveal the final component of an SKU and meet the demand for it.
  • Complete tracking of even rejected items for full transparency.
  • Individual-level measurement of performance, including speed, productivity, and error rates.
  • Elimination of the need for cycle counts.
  • Addresses labor hiring challenges – requires basic literacy skills to operate.
  • Resolves attrition concerns – only 5 minutes of training per screen.
  • Real-time synchronization of inventory and orders, with enhanced integration across online platforms to resolve order excess problems.
  • Enables the generation of any type of report or Management Information System (MIS) without the need for software coding, as data is captured at a highly detailed level.

Infor® WMS

Infor offers its flagship Warehouse Management Solution, known as Infor® WMS. This system enables businesses to achieve agile fulfillment by combining advanced warehousing capabilities, customizable rules, integrated labor, task, and inventory management, as well as 3D visualization in a single user-friendly solution. This unified approach allows businesses to comprehensively evaluate their requirements, incorporate value-added services, prioritize tasks, and eliminate bottlenecks. By doing so, Infor facilitates the attainment of perfect order fulfillment while enhancing throughput and reducing costs.

Key features

  • Receiving & Put-Away: Streamline scheduling, inspections, put-away, returns, cross-docking, and flow-through. Configure locations dynamically. Support voice and RF activities, as well as mixed, rainbow, and multi-pallet operations.
  • Inventory Management: Optimize fulfillment in multi-site and multi-owner operations. Reduce obsolescence with rotation rules and LPN-controlled tracking. Enhance visibility down to bin location level. Conduct real-time, system-driven cycle counting.
  • Picking & Replenishment: Support order, cluster, and consolidation picking, as well as dynamic replenishment. Incorporate voice, RF, ecommerce, kitting, and allocation requirements. Improve stock rotation and space utilization with automated triggers.
  • Wave & Task Management: Prioritize and interleave tasks for B2B and B2C fulfillment. Use configurable rules to optimize cycle times, balance workloads, and build shipments. View outstanding work with flexible graphic queries.
  • Labor Management: Measure, assess, and view DC activities to increase operational efficiency. Identify bottlenecks and balance resources related to inventory, location, workflow, labor, or equipment. Utilize engineered labor standards and real-time performance metrics to inform scenario analyses.
  • 3D Visual Warehouse: Visualize DC activity using an embedded, interactive interface. Infor WMS system serves as a virtual decision hub, allowing users to ‘see’ workflow, bottlenecks, and at-risk inventory. Seamlessly initiate corrective action to alleviate delays and increase productivity.


  • Advanced inventory management
  • Real-time visibility into warehouse operations
  • Process automation for increased efficiency
  • Labor management for optimized workforce productivity
  • Integration capabilities with other enterprise systems
  • Scalability and flexibility to adapt to changing needs
  • Built-in analytics and reporting for data-driven insights
  • Mobile functionality for improved mobility and efficiency


SAP offers a versatile warehouse management software (WMS) that enables sellers to efficiently handle a large quantity of goods while conducting agile operations through streamlined and accelerated warehouse processes. Its key features are:

  • Flexible Deployment Options: SAP provides both on-premise and cloud-based deployments, allowing sellers to choose the most suitable option for their specific needs and infrastructure.
  • Comprehensive WMS Solutions: The software offers a comprehensive set of warehouse management solutions, encompassing various aspects such as inventory control, order fulfillment, and warehouse optimization.
  • Integration with Quality, Production, and Track-to-Trace Processes: SAP’s WMS software seamlessly integrates with quality management, production management, and track-to-trace processes. This integration ensures a holistic approach to warehouse operations and enables end-to-end visibility and control over the entire supply chain.
  • Real-time Control of Warehouse Automation Equipment: The software enables real-time monitoring and control of warehouse automation equipment, such as automated picking systems, conveyors, and robotics. This feature enhances operational efficiency and accuracy while reducing manual labor requirements.


  • Comprehensive functionality
  • Integration capabilities with other SAP modules
  • Scalability for handling high volumes of goods
  • Real-time visibility into warehouse operations
  • Support for warehouse automation


Unicommerce WMS software solution is a powerful tool for e-commerce businesses, streamlining warehouse operations with features like inventory management, order processing, integration, and analytics. Unicommerce’s advanced WMS software recognizes the dynamism necessary in a warehouse solution, whereas conventional warehouse management software merely handles the stock location and stock level of commodities in a warehouse. Unicommerce helps you:

  • Centralize the critical functions that are required in omnichannel retail situations
  • Maintain healthy stock levels and ensures location-allocation in numerous warehouse sites
  • Manage 6000+ warehouses
  • Automate purchase management while tracking and routing shipments.

Key Features:

  • Inventory Management: Real-time visibility into inventory levels, multi-warehouse tracking, stock transfers, and automated reconciliation.
  • Order Management: Centralized order processing, order tracking, order splitting, and bulk order processing for multiple sales channels.
  • Warehouse Operations: Wave picking, batch processing, automated task allocation, and efficient pick, pack, and ship processes.
  • Returns Management: Track return orders, automate inspection and re-stocking processes, and facilitate refunds or replacements.
  • Integration and Compatibility: Seamless integration with sales channels, marketplaces, and ERP systems for data synchronization and eliminating manual data entry.


  • Streamlined operations
  • Multi-channel support
  • Scalability
  • Built-in analytics

Vin eRetail WMS (Vinculum)

Vin eRetail WMS (Vinculum) is a cloud-based system that assists businesses in effectively handling their inventory, order fulfillment, and logistics. It offers real-time oversight and control over warehouse operations, boosting overall efficiency and customer satisfaction. The solution simplifies catalog management for multiple marketplaces by providing tailored import templates. It ensures precise inventory tracking, batch management, virtual bundling, and efficient logistics with shipping rules and guidelines. Additionally, it seamlessly integrates with ZPL/EPL-supported printers, eliminating the need for external printing platforms. By employing batch and wave picking methods, it improves inventory accuracy, productivity, process efficiency, and space utilization.

It provides the following services:

  • Specific templates tailored to each category for consolidating all product-related information onto a single platform
  • Intuitive interface allowing users to easily access and review item details and select desired marketplaces for listing
  • Creation of marketplace-specific upload templates for streamlined preparation
  • Cloud storage for maintaining and managing master data
  • Real-time payment and inventory reconciliation with seven available options
  • Sales analytics dashboard for monitoring performance
  • Monthly business analysis report for comprehensive insights

Key Features

  • Inventory Management: Vin eRetail WMS solution simplifies inventory control by tracking stock levels, monitoring product movement, and automating replenishment. It provides accurate inventory information for multiple warehouses and sales channels, ensuring better control and minimizing stockouts or overstocks.
  • Order Fulfillment: The system automates order picking, packing, and shipping, streamlining the fulfillment process. It optimizes order routing, assigns tasks to warehouse staff, and provides real-time updates, improving order accuracy and reducing fulfillment time.
  • Warehouse Optimization: Vin eRetail WMS system optimizes warehouse layout and resource utilization. With features like bin mapping, put-away strategies, and picking algorithms, it minimizes travel time and maximizes productivity. It supports advanced order picking methods such as batch picking and wave picking.
  • Integration and Scalability: The WMS seamlessly integrates with e-commerce platforms, marketplaces, and shipping carriers, facilitating smooth data flow and automated processes. It supports scalability, enabling businesses to handle increased order volumes and expand operations without disruptions.


  • Increased efficiency
  • Enhanced visibility
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Scalable and flexible

Final thoughts

Ultimately, the choice of a warehouse management system depends on your business needs, size, industry, and budget. It is essential to thoroughly evaluate and prioritize the features and capabilities that align with your specific requirements.

By implementing an efficient WMS, businesses in India can optimize their supply chain operations, reduce costs, enhance customer satisfaction, and gain a competitive edge in the market. The top five systems highlighted in this blog provide excellent options for companies seeking to improve their warehouse management and drive overall supply chain efficiency.

Remember, investing in the right WMS is an investment in the future success of your business, so choose wisely and embark on the journey toward an optimized supply chain.

Warehouse Management

5 B2B Order Management Essential Capabilities You Can’t Ignore

Gone are the days when B2B customers were content with a lackluster experience. The tide has turned, and B2B buyers now crave the same level of satisfaction they receive as consumers. Surprisingly, the B2B Future Shopper Report 2023 reveals that a staggering 46% of B2B buyers feel frustrated with their online purchasing encounters. What’s more alarming is that 40% of global B2B buyers have ditched their suppliers in the past year alone. It’s evident that the world of B2B commerce is evolving rapidly, with B2B e-commerce projected to skyrocket to a whopping $3 trillion by 2027.

In this transformative landscape, traditional methods just won’t cut it. Manual processing, spreadsheets, and outdated legacy applications or ERPs designed for back-office tasks can no longer meet the demands of B2B order management. To succeed, companies must embrace a new approach—one that encompasses flexibility, agility, scalability, customization, intelligent decision-making, real-time inventory visibility, and customer-centric capabilities.

For B2B organizations, it’s high time to reevaluate their approach to order management. In this blog, we will explore five essential order management capabilities that no B2B supply chain can afford to overlook.

5 key features a B2B Order Management Solution

Real-time Inventory Visibility

A comprehensive order management system should provide real-time visibility into inventory levels across multiple locations and channels. This capability ensures timely restocking, prevents stockouts, and avoids overstocks. By implementing centralized inventory management, businesses gain a unified view of their inventory, allowing quick assessment of stock levels, monitoring replenishment needs, and tracking product movement. Enhanced visibility enables proactive inventory management, minimizing stockouts and overstocks. Real-time updates ensure accurate inventory counts, enabling reliable information for selling systems. Balancing customer satisfaction and cost control ensures the availability of the right products when customers need them.

Real-time Order Tracking

Real-time order tracking is a fundamental capability in B2B order management, delivering transformative benefits. It provides visibility and transparency throughout order fulfillment, reshaping business operations and customer interactions. With real-time order tracking, businesses boost customer satisfaction, proactively resolve issues, ensure timely delivery, optimize operations, and improve communication.

  • Customer Satisfaction: Real-time order tracking provides B2B customers with visibility and transparency, leading to increased satisfaction and confidence in the buying process.
  • Proactive Issue Resolution: Businesses can quickly identify and address any potential issues or delays in order fulfillment, allowing for proactive communication and problem-solving to maintain a smooth customer experience.
  • On-time Delivery: Real-time order tracking enables businesses to closely monitor orders, ensuring timely delivery and meeting the strict timelines and dependencies of B2B customers.
  • Operational Efficiency: Access to real-time tracking data allows businesses to analyze their order fulfillment processes, identify areas for improvement, streamline workflows, and optimize resource allocation, leading to improved operational efficiency.
  • Effective Customer Communication: Real-time order tracking facilitates accurate and timely updates to customers regarding order status, shipping information, and estimated delivery times, enhancing transparency and minimizing customer inquiries.

Unit of Measure (UOM)

This is a crucial aspect of inventory management in a B2B OMS because it enables efficient shipping of inventory in bulk and facilitates seamless stock transfers. Here are several reasons why UOM is important in this context:

  • Bulk Shipping: Many B2B transactions involve large quantities of products being shipped from one business to another. The UOM allows for standardization and consolidation of inventory units, enabling efficient packaging, handling, and shipping of goods in bulk. Instead of shipping individual items, which can be time-consuming and costly, businesses can optimize logistics by grouping items into larger units of measure (e.g., pallets, cases, or cartons).
  • Accuracy in Stock Transfers: When businesses transfer inventory between different locations or warehouses, having a consistent UOM ensures accurate and seamless stock management. Each location can have its own preferred UOM for receiving and tracking inventory, ensuring compatibility and minimizing errors during transfers. It simplifies inventory reconciliation and reduces the risk of discrepancies or misunderstandings between the transferring parties.
  • Inventory Control and Replenishment: Effective inventory management relies on accurate tracking and control of stock levels. UOM helps businesses accurately measure and monitor inventory quantities, facilitating timely replenishment and preventing stockouts or excess inventory. By setting reorder points and utilizing UOM-based inventory control methods, businesses can optimize their supply chain, improve customer service, and reduce carrying costs.

Integration with Partners and Suppliers

B2B supply chains require seamless integration with partners and suppliers for effective collaboration. An ideal order management system supports standardized communication protocols like EDI and APIs, enabling real-time data exchange. Integration enhances supply chain visibility, optimizes demand forecasting, and reduces lead times, enabling businesses to respond swiftly and improve performance.

Managing partner codes for B2B marketplaces and ERPs is crucial for seamless integration. These codes serve as unique identifiers, allowing accurate tracking and differentiation. By assigning partner codes, the system efficiently manages orders, inventory, and data associated with each partner. Mapping these codes to external systems establishes a reliable connection.

Partner codes streamline order processing and fulfillment by quickly identifying associated partners. This enables efficient order routing and accurate inventory allocation. Automatic application of pricing and contract terms based on partner codes ensures consistency and reduces errors.

Pool-Based Inventory Exposure and Allocation

In a B2B Order Management System (OMS), the use of pool-based inventory exposure and allocation brings numerous benefits, that include

  • Optimized Inventory Management: Pool-based inventory exposure ensures efficient allocation of inventory across B2B sales channels, preventing overstocking and stockouts while maximizing utilization and reducing carrying costs.
  • Fulfillment Flexibility: Reserving inventory specifically for B2B sales channels guarantees availability for fulfilling B2B orders, meeting the unique needs and preferences of B2B customers, such as larger quantities or specialized products.
  • Improved Order Accuracy and Efficiency: Pool-based inventory allocation streamlines order processing, reduces errors, and minimizes overselling by providing accurate inventory tracking and dedicated allocation for B2B sales channels.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience: B2B customers benefit from improved product availability and reliable order fulfillment, leading to higher satisfaction, stronger relationships, and repeat business.
  • Scalability and Growth: Pool-based inventory management supports business scalability and growth by efficiently allocating inventory across multiple channels as B2B operations expand, avoiding bottlenecks and optimizing operations.

By investing in a good OMS that offers these capabilities, B2Bs can improve their order management processes, increase customer satisfaction, and boost their bottom line. But, it is important to note that regardless of whether the business operates in a B2B or B2C environment, there are several key features that a good Order Management System (OMS) should possess. These features not only enhance operational efficiency but also contribute to the overall success of the business. Some of these essential capabilities include:

Routing and Splitting: A robust OMS should have the ability to intelligently route orders to the most suitable fulfillment centers or distribution channels. It should also support order splitting, allowing the system to divide orders with multiple items and fulfill them from different locations if necessary.

Omnichannel Order Handling: With the rise of multichannel selling, an OMS should be capable of seamlessly managing orders from various sales channels, such as online stores, marketplaces, and brick-and-mortar locations. This ensures a consistent and unified customer experience across all touchpoints.

Returns and Exchanges Management: Handling returns and exchanges can be a complex process, but a good OMS should have built-in capabilities to efficiently manage these scenarios. It should provide easy return initiation, automated refund or exchange processes, and real-time visibility into return statuses.

Fast Inventory Synchronization: Timely and accurate inventory updates are crucial to prevent overselling and stockouts. A reliable OMS should offer real-time inventory synchronization, ensuring that inventory levels are accurately reflected across all sales channels and preventing discrepancies.

Seamless Integration: A robust OMS seamlessly integrates with e-commerce platforms, webshops, and multiple WMS. This enables smooth syncing of product information, order details, and customer data, ensuring effective order management. Integration with various WMS platforms optimizes inventory management, order routing, and fulfillment across multiple locations, enhancing operational efficiency.

Store Fulfillment Options: In an omnichannel environment, where businesses may have physical retail stores alongside their online presence, an OMS should facilitate store fulfillment options. This allows customers to place orders for in-store pickup or ship-from-store, providing greater convenience and flexibility.

By incorporating these key features into their OMS, businesses can establish a strong foundation for effective order management, regardless of whether they operate in a B2B or B2C setting. These capabilities empower businesses to streamline their operations, enhance customer satisfaction, and ultimately drive growth and success in the increasingly competitive marketplace.


How to Succeed in Retail: Overcoming Supply Chain Challenges with the Power of Advanced Tech Innovation

As we navigate through the uncertainty of our current times, the age-old adage, “necessity is the mother of invention,” proves accurate once again. Retail businesses are experiencing an unprecedented era of turbulence – inflation is mounting, consumer behavior is evolving at an astounding pace, and the retail landscape is shifting, necessitating more agile, innovative, and sustainable approaches.

Faced with these challenges, how do retailers keep their heads above water? The answer lies in adopting advanced technologies.

#1 Challenge: Can algorithm-driven approaches help in decision-making?

In today’s dynamic retail landscape, businesses have realized that data is not merely an offshoot of transactions; it is a treasure trove teeming with invaluable insights. The hero of this evolving narrative is algorithm-driven retailing, where the alchemy of advanced analytics transmutes raw data into actionable insights, facilitating strategic decisions in the blink of an eye. 

As per Gartner’s estimations, by 2025, algorithmic retailing is set to unlock over $1 trillion in the total value for retailers. This powerful approach tackles the intricacies of consumer behavior, seasonal patterns, market realities, and supply chain trends with unparalleled precision.

Recent research by Harvard Business Review (2023) reveals the transformative impact of this data-driven approach – retailers leveraging algorithmic merchandising have witnessed a significant 15% boost in average order value and an impressive 25% uptick in customer retention rates.

The forward-thinking predictions by Gartner further underline the potential of algorithm-driven retailing. Moreover, it equips retailers with unmatched agility to respond to market shifts. The swift and precise decision-making capability powered by algorithms allows businesses to adapt their strategies promptly and effectively, confronting the hurdles of inflation and supply chain disruptions.

An often underappreciated aspect of algorithm-driven retailing is its contribution towards environmental sustainability. By finessing order quantities and curbing overstocks, it reduces waste and fosters eco-friendly business practices. By 2025, it’s estimated to diminish out-of-stock situations by a staggering 80% and escalate inventory turns by 25%. This data-powered strategy enhances customer satisfaction and profitability by accurately forecasting demand, fine-tuning pricing, and deftly curating product assortments to mitigate the risk of overstock or stock shortages.

By harnessing the power of advanced algorithms, businesses can predict demand with higher accuracy, optimize pricing, and deliver personalized customer experiences on a grand scale. In essence, adopting algorithm-driven retailing is akin to having an indefatigable retail scientist working round-the-clock, continually refining your business operations.

#2 Challenge: Can automation and digitization improve warehouse efficiency?

As the heartbeat of a retailer’s operations, warehouses are transitioning from traditional stockrooms into technologically advanced nerve centers, bolstered by the power of automation and digitization. This revolution is not only redefining the nature of warehousing but also underlining its strategic role in today’s competitive retail landscape.

According to a report by LogisticsIQ, the warehouse automation market is expected to grow from $14 billion in 2020 to $30 billion by 2026, with an impressive CAGR of 14%. These figures underscore the robust trust and investment businesses are placing in warehouse automation and digitization.

Automation delivers unprecedented operational efficiency. It streamlines workflows, reduces errors, and dramatically enhances productivity. Furthermore, manual tasks such as order picking, packing, and shipping can be automated, freeing up valuable human resources for strategic tasks and decision-making.

Digitalization, on the other hand, provides retailers with real-time visibility and control over their inventory. With digital systems, businesses can track product movement, manage stock levels, and respond to changes in demand promptly. According to Zebra Technologies’ Warehouse Vision Study, 77% of decision-makers plan to invest in Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and digitize their inventory, picking, packing, and restocking processes by 2024.

Moreover, automation and digitalization facilitate predictive analytics, enabling businesses to anticipate future trends, manage resources effectively, and make data-driven decisions. This ability to anticipate and respond to market fluctuations can offer retailers a significant competitive advantage in the dynamic world of e-commerce.

#3 Challenge: Can stores address fulfillment challenges?

In the ever-evolving retail landscape, the boundaries between online and offline shopping are rapidly fading. As consumers demand faster deliveries and better availability of products, retailers are forced to rethink their fulfillment strategies. But amidst this transformation, a new model called “fulfillment from store” is emerging, offering a glimmer of hope for sustainable retailing.

Imagine a symphony of brick-and-mortar stores that serve as more than just customer engagement points. These stores become dynamic micro-fulfillment centers, poised to deliver products with unprecedented speed. This vision is becoming a reality as retailers redefine their physical stores as local distribution hubs, unlocking their incredible potential.

One of the remarkable benefits of the “fulfillment from store” model is the drastic reduction in last-mile delivery costs. McKinsey reports that last-mile delivery expenses account for a staggering 41% of total supply chain costs. By utilizing physical stores as fulfillment centers, retailers can significantly cut down on these expenses. Not only does this lead to cost savings, but also contributes to the reduction of carbon footprints, laying the foundation for a more sustainable retail ecosystem.

Furthermore, this model empowers retailers to bring products closer to their customers, resulting in faster delivery times. The Forrester Institute conducted a study in 2023, revealing that retailers adopting the “fulfillment from store” model reduced their delivery time by an impressive 27%. This not only enhances customer satisfaction but also fosters customer loyalty, as shoppers value swift and reliable deliveries.

Additionally, the consolidation of online and offline inventories enables retailers to optimize their stock levels, reduce overstock and markdowns, and avoid the detrimental effects of out-of-stock situations. By harnessing the power of technology and strategic inventory management, retailers can create a harmonious balance between meeting customer demand and minimizing waste.

While the “fulfillment from store” model holds great promise, challenges remain, particularly within the fashion industry. The implementation of store fulfillment strategies in marketplaces has been constrained primarily by technological limitations. Brands encounter difficulties in deciding which products should be made available on which retail channel and incur elevated expenses when delivering individual items from stores to customers’ residences.

However, with innovation and collaboration, these challenges can be overcome. Technological advancements can empower brands to streamline their inventory management systems, ensuring that the right products are available online and in physical stores. Collaborative efforts between retailers, logistics providers, and technology companies can help drive down the costs associated with last-mile delivery, making sustainable retailing a viable reality.

Ultimately, achieving sustainable retailing requires a collective effort from all stakeholders. Retailers must embrace innovative fulfillment strategies, leverage technology to optimize inventory and forge partnerships to address logistical hurdles. 

#4 Challenge: Can sustainable retailing be truly attainable?

As we navigate through challenging times, the issue of greenwashing has become increasingly prevalent in the business world. Greenwashing refers to the deceptive practice where companies make misleading environmental claims, leading consumers to believe that their products or services are eco-friendly or sustainable when in fact, they are not. Beyond being a matter of bad business ethics, greenwashing undermines the collective efforts to reduce the environmental impact of human activity.

In order to truly achieve sustainable retailing, it is crucial for companies to move beyond greenwashing and embrace genuine environmentally friendly practices. One key aspect of sustainable retailing lies in the use of advanced technology. By incorporating cloud-based inventory management systems, retailers can minimize waste by accurately matching supply with demand. This reduces the need for overproduction and excess inventory, thereby decreasing environmental harm. Furthermore, algorithmic retailing can optimize logistics and transportation routes, leading to a reduced carbon footprint for the retail industry.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) has reported that retailers utilizing advanced technologies have successfully reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 19% in 2022 compared to previous years. This showcases the positive impact that embracing sustainable practices can have on the environment. By adopting these technologies, retailers not only benefit their bottom line through increased efficiency but also contribute to the overall goal of achieving sustainability.

However, sustainable retailing goes beyond technological advancements. It requires a holistic approach that encompasses various aspects such as responsible sourcing, ethical manufacturing practices, waste reduction, and the promotion of sustainable products and services. Companies need to be transparent and accountable in their environmental claims, ensuring that they adhere to recognized standards and certifications that validate their sustainability efforts.


While sustainable retailing poses challenges, it is not an unattainable goal. It requires a shift in mindset and a commitment from companies to prioritize environmental responsibility over short-term profits. Consumers also play a vital role by demanding transparency and holding companies accountable for their environmental claims. By supporting genuinely sustainable brands and products, consumers can drive the market toward a more sustainable future.

Innovate or fall behind – The ball is in your court

The retail industry stands at a critical crossroads. As challenges mount, technology emerges as the lifeline for survival and prosperity. The path forward may be challenging, but the promise of advanced technology illuminates the way. To thrive in the future, retailers must wholeheartedly embrace these transformative technologies. It is no longer a choice but an imperative for survival and growth. The time is now to adapt, innovate, and harness the power of technology for a successful future in the ever-evolving retail landscape.

Smart Merchandising Warehouse Management

How to sell effectively on online marketplaces?

Success in the fast-paced world of diverse marketplaces hinges on selling efficiently. As an e-commerce seller, you face a daunting challenge: standing out in a crowded digital marketplace while streamlining your operations to meet customer demands swiftly. To navigate this intricate landscape, you need the right tools and strategies to optimize your selling process and stay one step ahead of the competition.

Recent statistics demonstrate the undeniable impact of marketplaces in the retail industry. An eMarketer’s Worldwide eCommerce Forecast report indicates that 2023 e-commerce sales will contribute 20.8% of the total retail sales at $6.31 trillion. With millions of potential customers just a click away, it’s clear that embracing marketplaces is essential for businesses seeking exponential growth.

In the words of retail magnate Jeff Bezos, “Obsess over customers: when given a choice  between obsessing over competitors or customers, always obsess over customers.” These words underline the central pillar of successful marketplace selling – prioritizing the needs and expectations of your target audience. 

However, achieving this customer-centricity requires a robust infrastructure seamlessly integrating inventory management, order processing, and fulfillment. By harnessing the power of technology, businesses can supercharge their selling capabilities, enhance operational efficiency, and elevate customer satisfaction to new heights.

This blog will delve into the fundamental strategies and best practices that will empower you to sell efficiently in marketplaces. 

Understanding the online marketplace landscape

E-commerce has transformed the way businesses and customers interact. While earlier, you would go to your favorite shop and restaurant if you wanted to buy some clothes or have food, things have changed now. 

With internet access and countless online platforms, it has become easier to compare multiple options and choose the best. This poses a very fundamental challenge to businesses in offering customer service, product availability, pricing, and more.

But the online landscape also gives businesses a serious advantage. It is the access to a vast customer base, allowing them to tap into a global audience that would otherwise be challenging to reach. 

Moreover, marketplaces provide a tremendous advantage in terms of built-in traffic. With millions of potential buyers browsing marketplace platforms daily, sellers can capitalize on the high visibility and exposure, significantly reducing the need for extensive marketing efforts and customer acquisition strategies. The changing dynamics between customers and businesses mean companies must adapt and change their strategies to sell efficiently on these online platforms.

Strategies for efficient selling in Marketplaces

How to sell effectively on online marketplaces?

The online marketplace landscape is a dynamic and ever-evolving ecosystem that presents many challenges and immense opportunities for sellers. To stay relevant in the market, businesses need to rethink their strategies and stay updated with the latest trends in the e-commerce landscape.

1) Branding

Building a strong brand presence instills trust and credibility among online shoppers. A well-defined and consistent brand image sets you apart from the competition in a marketplace environment where multiple sellers offer similar products. Customers are more likely to choose a brand they recognize and trust, which can lead to increased sales and customer loyalty.

A survey conducted by Salsify in the United States suggests that 43% of consumers are willing to pay extra for the brand they trust. This highlights how important branding is to sell in online marketplaces. As a brand, you must also revamp stories about your classic core products, which you end up reordering from time to time.

Effective branding helps you create a unique identity that resonates with your target audience. A strong brand can also evoke emotions, forge deep connections with customers, and shape their perceptions of your products. 

All in all, branding is a really powerful tool for selling effectively in online marketplaces. By establishing trust, creating a differentiated identity, building emotional connections, and leveraging brand advocacy, you can increase your visibility, attract loyal customers, and drive sales in the competitive marketplace.

2) Inventory optimization 

Optimizing your inventory is crucial for ensuring efficiency in managing online sales in marketplaces. Now there are a lot of aspects to this. Firstly, brands must expose 100% of their inventory on all marketplaces instead of segregating stocks for different sales channels. It will ensure that no matter which platform a customer finds you on, they can access all your stock. This can increase sales by 2 to 3 times.

Brands must also strive to understand style performance. As an online brand always searching to satiate newness in your customers, you might end up buying huge depths in quantities for new styles, which will later end up in landfills. The correct way here will be to launch new designs in small Minimum order quantities/MOQs and check the style performance day to day over a short time. Assessing the Rate of sale (ROS) then and the inventory left in the warehouse, the brand can then take a call on whether to order the style in a large quantity. 

However, the most important aspect of inventory management would be real-time visibility of all your stock, preventing overstocking and stock-outs. It helps track product movement and will allow you to make informed decisions regarding the replenishment or discontinuation of products. A study by Zepra shows that reducing stock-outs and overstocks can lower inventory costs by 10%. 

Real-time inventory visibility also prevents discrepancies, improves operational efficiency, and ensures high order fulfillment . This improves customer satisfaction and loyalty which will benefit your online marketplace ranking in the long run. 

3) Work with data

Data plays a vital role in selling over online marketplaces by providing valuable insights and enabling data-driven decision-making. By analyzing customer data, including demographics, purchase history, preferences, and browsing behavior, sellers can identify trends, patterns, and buyer personas. It can also provide valuable insights into market trends, competitor performance, and customer demand. 

However, with the increase in sales comes the problem of making the in-season decisions of what to put a style on an offer, discontinue it, market aggressively, or re-order it. These decisions are crucial since they directly impact each sales partner’s revenue uplifts and margins.

For this, Increff has built the MS Analytics module to help brands take intelligent actions for each style for every sales partner by recommending data-backed actions at a very granular level. It analyzes the sales KPIs (quantity sold) and the online metrics (page views) data for a particular period and recommends actions like Re-ordering, Marketing, Liquidating & Killing against each style code for every sales partner.

According to Mckinsey Global Institute, data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, 6 times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times more likely to be profitable! This approach helps businesses make data-backed decisions, optimize product listings, refine marketing strategies, and allocate resources effectively.

4) Store fulfillment 

Store fulfillment can enhance online selling by leveraging physical retail locations to fulfill online orders efficiently. It enables faster delivery to customers because online orders can be fulfilled from stores instead of warehouses which are generally located much farther away. This increases customer satisfaction and improves the overall shopping experience, giving sellers a competitive advantage in the online marketplace.

Fulfilling orders from stores also allows sellers to leverage the inventory available in their retail shops to fulfill online orders. This ensures that customers can access a wider range of products, including those that may be out of stock in centralized warehouses. By tapping into local store inventory, sellers can provide a seamless shopping experience, reducing the risk of lost sales due to stockouts and increasing customer loyalty.

With store fulfillment, businesses can also implement the BOPIS (Buy-online pick in-store) model, which combines the convenience of online shopping with the immediacy of brick-and-mortar stores. Data from FitSmallBusiness suggests that the BOPIS industry is going to grow at 19.7% annually, reaching $703.2 billion by 2027.

It allows customers to browse, buy online, and then pick up their purchases in-store. It is a great way to sell for businesses as it increases the footfall in the stores, leading to more impulse buying.


Marketplaces have revolutionized the retail landscape by providing a platform that connects buyers and sellers on an unprecedented scale. So, it is clear that if businesses want to unlock their full potential, they need to do so by growing online sales. The easiest way to do so is by managing inventory efficiently and fulfilling orders quickly and reliably. 

Brands must also stay on top of offering exceptional customer experience as they can be easily replaced in the e-commerce landscape if they don’t. Customer service expert Shep Hyken says in her Forbes article that 58% of customers are even willing to pay extra for better service.

And ultimately, staying in touch with the latest market trends and incorporating them into the business’s marketplace strategy is paramount for selling online.