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26th July 2021
We all know that retail is undergoing massive change and there are aspects of how we do business now that are almost unrecognisable from retail operations 20 years ago.
Yet there have been two constants – people and stock. We know from our studies that the two biggest workload chunks are:
Serving customers continues to change with self-checkout and self-scan technology, and the relentless drive to contactless payment. And while there have been changes to stock management and handling, the pace of operational stock management change is falling behind what is happening at tills.
So, is the time right for stock management transformation? If one of the most important pieces in an organisation’s productivity puzzle is replenishment, could one touch replenishment be the answer?
For high volume, low service model businesses, stock handling becomes the single biggest workload element. And unless you operate electrical showrooms with display appliances and direct delivery from a centralised warehouse – you will be spending at least 25% of your total store time on stock related tasks.
Peak efficiency is when stock comes in and goes straight to the shelf, and the only time it is touched again is when the customer puts it in their basket – one touch replenishment
For most, this is still a distant dream, with many retailers touching an item of stock multiple times before it gets into a customers’ hands. Drivers of the multi touch stock processes include:
Want to quickly check if you’ve got a problem? If any store stock room has more than a couple of bays of genuinely fast moving and bulky items, then you have an opportunity to reduce the number of times you touch stock
Retailers that have adopted RFID (Radio-frequency identification) technology have found they can operate on much tighter stock levels as stock file accuracy is transformed, and stock related tasks such as counts and booking in are eliminated. However, the price of RF tags means it will be a while before it makes commercial sense to put one on a tin of own brand baked beans, for example
Stock management sounds simple. Yet the complexities of getting forecasting right and setting up supply parameters that work for stores, commercial and warehouses in ever more complex stock systems make it tricky. And that is without the challenges of judging the right levels of safety stock when covid lockdowns create high or zero demand and an industry wide shortage of drivers is undermining confidence in planned delivery cycles.
Whatever challenges your business is juggling, it’s time to get serious about stock management. We’re experts at helping retailers optimise their productivity so they can focus on developing their people and delivering great service. Contact us today if you’d like to talk about productivity or email [email protected]