Getting stock levels right

Getting stock levels right

In today’s turbulent market, ensuring your stock levels are constantly kept accurate and up to date is at the core of your operational efficiency and profitability.

With 69% of companies admitting to not having total visibility on their supply chains, managing varying stock levels and categories can be one of your most critical challenges and one of your biggest financial losses if not properly managed.

Securing stock and storage

With a shortage of available warehousing space being one of the biggest bottlenecks for the industry, warehouse-utilising businesses will continue to be under immense pressure to not just sell, but actually secure and store their stock in the first place in 2024.

The continuing, rising costs of living and business, combined with socio-political unrest, has meant that UK businesses across every industry are experiencing supply chain and fulfilment disruptions. Lead times are extended, and in some cases, suppliers just cease to exist.

With consumers now having greater choice over where and when they shop, their loyalty and spending can easily be reallocated, ensuring consistency is critical.

But, despite all of this, 73% of retailers say that they still struggle with inventory demand forecasting.

Assess demand before you supply

It’s more than likely that the different items you stock follow different sales patterns. Ultimately, you need to ensure you’re using different forecasting methods for different items and their different demands.

For example, you could simply stock to a constant minimum requirement; therefore, if something sells relatively consistently throughout the year, you could set a certain minimum quantity you always want to have in stock.

If certain stock and variants are seasonal, only looking at its demand over a few months won’t offer a true reflection of annual sales and orders. You’ll need to monitor peaks over the last few years to more accurately forecast.

Within Orderwise, you can set a forecasting method for each individual variant at each stock location.

It’s straightforward to stipulate:

  • Minimum or maximum requirements
  • Any usage periods to ignore
  • Any one-off spikes in demand that might throw off your future figures

Best of all, OrderWise works out all of these numbers for you, allowing you to focus on boosting sales.

Automation and accuracy

In a recent study, 62% of warehouses reported human error from manual processes. Therefore, it’s vital to ensure that all of your data is stored in one place as transferring this information between multiple systems is time-consuming and relies on human intervention.

Repetitive jobs like purchasing and stock takes only take longer when you’re rekeying data from one platform to another, whether it be digital or on paper. It leaves much greater room for manual error, and it means the data your team is accessing is not in real-time.

No matter how many marketplaces you operate across, online or in-store, OrderWise integrates your orders and sales with your warehouse and logistic operations to ensure stock is in the right place at the right time.

Not only that, but the lead times and minimum order quantities set by your suppliers, are also recorded and taken into account.

Orderwise To Purchase Report

The OrderWise To Purchase Report is the simplest way to ensure your warehouse is full of the stock you need to meet your customers’ requirements.

It uses all of the forecasting information that you stored against each item and then uses your current stock information as well as your sales information from every sales channel to ascertain what needs purchasing.

It generates a report that will tell you:

  • The amount needed
  • How that value was worked out
  • Who you’re buying it from
  • Where they have a minimum order quantity
  • The cost

You can edit the quantities, chosen suppliers and costs. You can also view your purchase history of a selected item, usage charts and supplier information, all from one screen.

Forecasting functionality and best practices

By utilising your data correctly, you can ensure you’re meeting your customer’s requirements while eliminating the risks of under or over-stocking items.

For more information on the forecasting functionality available in Orderwise as well as our expert insights on best forecasting practices, check out our latest Wise Talks.