E-commerce: No stock, no sale!

For webshops, having the right stock is crucial. However, for many e-commerce businesses, their assortments have been allowed to explode while the resulting long tail has a destructive effect on the stock turn. As customer expectation increase as loyalty falls, demand is becoming increasingly more erratic.

To stock or not to stock

One of the most important decisions for online retailers is not to determine whether to buy 2 or 3 units of an item but whether or not to stock it in the first place. Ultimately, retailers must weigh up whether the additional margin is worth the risk. Two aspects are important here: is the customer prepared to wait, and if not, can a supplier deliver directly to the end customer in a timely manner. Slim4 automates this process, taking into account all of the business rules in place.

Volatile demand

With more competition and greater transparency in pricing, consumer demand in the online environment is highly volatile. In order to provide customers with the desired service level targets, this uncertainty in demand results in a higher requirement for safety stock. However, Slim4 helps businesses to invest capital as efficiently as possible.

From inventory strategy to the purchasing strategy

In the online environment, space is totally unlimited: you can always add another item to the webstore. After all, availability is not merely limited to when the shelf is full, you can hold as much stock as you want. However, with rapidly expanding assortments, it’s vital that inventory levels are kept under control.

Ultimately, what is your inventory strategy? What level of service would you like to achieve for each item? At what point does an article become an end of life item? What is your purchasing strategy? How do you deal with promotions and discounts? Based on the business rules, Slim4 translates the corporate strategy to ensure a robust and consistent inventory management process which is largely automated.

Support for product returns

While returns are unavoidable in retail, they cause a huge amount of disruption to logistics and inventory management processes. For article groups, Slim4 can adjust the forecast to take into account returns. This can then be taken into account when calculating purchase orders in order to prevent over-ordering.


Erik de Witte

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