Supply Chain News

Increase Inventory Visibility across Your Supply Chain and Optimize Omni-Channel Fulfillment

The key to meeting and exceeding inventory efficiency across multiple channels is to improve your company’s omni-channel fulfillment performance, starting with inventory visibility.

Omni-Channel Fulfillment

It’s a challenge with which many retailers, wholesalers, and distributors are likely familiar: maintaining accurate, up-to-date inventory across multiple channels and supply chain segments.

With an ever-growing collection of IoT-enabled devices from which to browse, research and purchase retail products, consumer expectations are at an all-time high - expectations that typically include immediate service and a seamless customer experience.

The key to meeting and exceeding these expectations is to improve your company’s omni-channel fulfillment performance, starting with inventory visibility.

Inventory visibility along the supply chain provides numerous benefits:

  • More accurate forecasting
  • Smarter resource allocation
  • Increased efficiency
  • Reduced stock levels
  • Increased demand fulfillment
  • Greater supply chain transparency

According to a recent research survey on inventory management conducted by LEGACY Supply Chain Services in partnership with Adelante SCM, the majority of businesses experience challenges with inventory visibility and optimization.

Two-thirds of respondents characterized their omni-channel performance (relative to peers in their industry) as average or below, with 30 percent characterizing it as below average.

Download Omni-Channel Logistics Leaders: Top 5 Inventory Insights

Respondents who characterized their performance as slightly above or significantly above average also reported having greater confidence in their inventory accuracy across supply chain nodes.

Here, we’ll explore possible methods to increase inventory visibility across supply chain nodes to improve your business’ overall omni-channel performance.

Inventory at Stores

According to research from the Ecommerce Foundation, 88 percent of consumers research products online before they make an in-store purchase - a statistic that speaks to just how much technology has transformed the buyer’s journey.

Due to this, it’s imperative that retailers’ online storefronts be consistent with their brick-and-mortar locations.

Consider, for example, that a customer goes to your company’s website to see whether a particular product is available at their local storefront.

Omni-Channel Logistics Leaders: Top 5 Inventory Insights

Once they’ve confirmed that it is, they go to the store in person to pick it up, only to be told by a sales associate that the item is currently out of stock.

While it’s possible that the product truly is out of stock, it’s also possible that your inventory management system lacks the real-time visibility to accurately indicate how many items are left on the shelf.

Either way, this lack of inventory visibility has cost the consumer valuable time and, potentially, will make them less likely to return to your store in the future.

That’s why it’s imperative that businesses implement inventory management software that provides real-time inventory tracking and integrates with back-office systems, as well as supplier and third-party logistics systems, for end-to-end visibility and data accuracy.

With the right inventory management system, you can:

  • Ensure that both retail employees and your website have an accurate count of how much product at any given point in time at any given site
  • Quickly adapt to shifts in demand that might require fulfillment from alternate distribution locations
  • Gain insight into your inventory to see which products are performing best

Read: 9 Omni-Channel Logistics Challenges Facing Your Supply Chain

Inventory at Distribution & Fulfillment Centers

Although suppliers, manufacturers and third-party logistics (3PL) providers are each responsible for a different part of the supply chain, they have the same needs with regard to inventory visibility.

Visibility into your manufacturer’s facility or your supplier or 3PL partner’s distribution and fulfillment centers makes it possible to assess product velocity over the course of the average business cycle, adjust inventory level according to demand, perform quality control assurance and more efficiently allocate resources.

This inventory management visibility is essential to ensure that your company has enough product to satisfy customer demand, whether in-store or online.

A warehouse management system (WMS) helps suppliers, manufacturers and 3PLs provide this visibility by enabling them to control and direct warehouse operations - such as monitoring product quantities, cycle counting, picking, packing and more - from a single interface.

A WMS also uses data to provide third-party vendors with an assessment of warehouse efficiency and recommendations on how to improve warehouse operations.

As a result, retailers and wholesalers gain greater visibility into their inventory, which enables them to develop a more efficient order fulfillment process.

Inventory in Transit

The best way to reduce the number of returns to your company is to ensure that the right product is delivered to the right destination, every time.

This is a lofty goal, to be sure, but one made more attainable with inventory visibility into products in transit. If you can track, in real time, which products are being transported and to which destinations, you can ensure that an item that was supposed to ship to a consumer in New York City doesn’t mistakenly end up in the hands of a consumer in Los Angeles or London.

A transportation management system (TMS) is essential to achieving that visibility. Simply put, a TMS is a software system designed to manage transportation operations.

Some of the core functionalities of a good TMS include real-time visibility into shipping processes, status tracking, and up-to-the-minute reporting. These capabilities help retailers, wholesalers and distributors guarantee that the right item is en route to the right customer.

In addition to providing inventory visibility into items in transit, a TMS can automate transportation margin management, improve internal business processes, provide analysis into transportation costs and measure key business performance indicators.

When leveraged by the right 3PL provider, a TMS can also optimize transportation through consolidation tactics and strategies to identify low-cost carriers.

With today’s high expectations around your company’s omni-channel fulfillment performance, having the right tools to boost inventory visibility is more essential than ever.

Read: Industry Study looks at Inventory Management as a Critical Function within Omni-Channel Logistics

Industry Study looks at Inventory Management as a Critical Function within Omni-Channel Logistics

Download the Research Study

Download Omnichannel Logistics Leaders: Top 5 Inventory Insights

Omni-Channel Logistics Leaders: Top 5 Inventory Insights
Based on data collected from nearly 100 companies actively engaged in retail, manufacturing and logistics services, this research paper has provided several valuable insights ranging from current challenges & best practices, characteristics of companies considered high performers, and opportunities for improvement from companies lower on the omni-channel performance curve. Download Now!

Source: https://legacyscs.com/supply-chain-node-inventory-visibility/

Article Topics
Best Practices   Supply Chain   Inventory Management   Omnichannel   Supply Chain Visibility   Transportation Management   All topics


Comments
Be the first to post a comment.
You must be logged in to post a comment. Login.

 
Latest Supply Chain News
Providing eCommerce Merchants Access to Cross-Border & International Parcel Solutions
SEKO Logistics is partnering with ShipStation, the world’s leading web-based eCommerce shipping solution, to increase its eCommerce merchants’ ability to grow in new cross-border markets.

A Leader in the 2018 Control Tower Value Matrix
After examining the entire vendor landscape, Nucleus Research once again placed E2open in the Leaders Quadrant of their Control Tower Value Matrix and ranked us as the vendor with the highest functionality.

Monthly Imports Reach 2 Million Containers for First Time as Retailers Continue Rush to Beat Tariffs
Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports have set another new record, reaching 2 million containers in a single month for the first time as retailers continued to bring merchandise into the…

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Multienterprise Supply Chain Business Networks Report
Uniquely positioned to assist companies with their digital transformation initiatives, E2open ranked as the leader with the highest overall score in Gartner’s magic quadrant for multi-enterprise supply…


 

24|7 Pro Team

The 24|7 Team is your direct pipeline to solutions for your business challenges. It's your opportunity to have supply chain and logistics experts look at your specific challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information.

The 24|7 Team will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list.

1
  Choose a topic for your RFP

Transportation RFP/RFI

The Transportation RFP is your direct pipeline to solutions for your transportation challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific transportation challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request.

Choosing the perfect software or system can be an indomitable challenge. Using this transportation/TMS RFP will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list.

Warehouse/DC Management RFP/RFI

The Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) RFP is your direct pipeline to solutions for your WMS challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific WMS challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request.

Choosing the perfect WMS solution can be an indomitable challenge. Using this WMS RFP will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your WMS Request for Proposal list.

Supply Chain RFP/RFI

The Supply Chain RFP is your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific challenges and needs, and receive free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information. It simplifies finding a pool of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list. The companies in the Logistics Planner have agreed to respond to your request for in-depth information and follow-up, and your request is totally confidential.

Software/Technology RFP/RFI

The Software/Technology is your direct pipeline to solutions for your logistics information technology challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific technology challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request. Whether it's WMS, TMS, Mobile or Cloud, our pros can help.

The companies listed below have agreed to respond to your request for in-depth information and follow-up. Your request is totally confidential.

Executive Education RFI

The Logistics and Supply Chain Education RFI can help you identify the schools, coursework, continuing education, distance learning and certification opportunities available from leading logistics educational institutions.

Upgrade and improve your logistics and supply chain skillsets. Whatever route you choose—advanced degree, executive education, certification or distance learning—the time and money you invest in your education today can pay off in continued career success tomorrow. Contact leading universities and professional institutions for the information you need to prepare for the future.

Third Party Logistics RFP/RFI

This 3PL Request for Proposal (RFP)/Request for Information (RFI) can help you find the 3PL and 4PL providers that can meet your specific 3PL service challenges and needs. The 3PL companies below will provide free, no-obligation third-party logistics advice, solutions, and information.

Ask your 3PL questions, you'll get answers. Simply complete the information, and detail your 3PL challenges. Then, check off the third-party logistics companies that you want to review your request.

1. Choose an RFI topic.
2. Enter your contact information and challenge.
3. Select companies and optional categories.
4. Submit.


2

Your Information



Your Challenge, Problem or Request *

3

Select Transportation Companies

  • Select All

  • 3Gtms
  • BluJay Solutions
  • CSX Trans. Intermodal
  • Kuebix
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • One Network
  • Pitt Ohio
  • Purolator
  • Quintiq
  • SEKO Logistics
  • SMC3


Select Relevent Categories

  • Air Freight
  • Intermodal
  • Motor Freight
  • Ocean Freight
  • Rail Freight
  • TMS

Select Warehouse/DC Management Companies

  • Select All

  • 3PL Central
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • Honeywell Intelligrated
  • Kuebix
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Swisslog
  • Westfalia Technologies
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • Auto ID & Data Capture
  • Automation
  • Conveyors & Sortation
  • Lift Trucks
  • Packaging & Labeling
  • Pallets & Containers
  • Shelving & Racking
  • WMS

Select Supply Chain Companies

  • Select All

  • 3Gtms
  • 3PL Central
  • Amber Road
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • APICS
  • BluJay Solutions
  • CSX Trans. Intermodal
  • Frontier Business
  • Kuebix
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Logility
  • One Network
  • Purolator
  • Quintiq
  • SMC3
  • Synchrono
  • TAKE Supply Chain
  • Westfalia Technologies
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • Global Trade
  • Inventory Management
  • Risk Management
  • Sustainability

Select Software/Technology Companies

  • Select All

  • 3GTMS
  • 3PL Central
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • BluJay Solutions
  • Honeywell Intelligrated
  • Frontier Business
  • Kuebix
  • Logility
  • One Network
  • Quintiq
  • SMC3
  • Swisslog Logistics
  • Synchrono
  • TAKE Supply Chain
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • ERP
  • Sales & Operations
  • Sourcing/Procurement
  • Optimization
  • Transportation Mgmt
  • Warehouse Mgmt

Select Executive Education Choices

  • Select All

  • Graduate Courses
  • Online/Distance
  • Executive Education
  • Certifications
  • Undergraduate
  • Seminars
  • Associations
  • Conferences
  • Tradeshows


Select Third Party Logistics Companies

  • Select All

  • 3PL Central
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Purolator
  • SEKO Logistics
  • Westfalia Technologies


4
 

24|7 Company Profiles