Since Covid-19, supply chain disruptions and inflation are present-day challenges for e-commerce businesses. The direct consequences of these challenges are that inventory management and maintaining a positive cash flow position are even more crucial for your business. Accurate inventory management is essential if you are aiming for sustainable business growth. Insights into the performance of your products will allow you to improve purchasing decisions and inventory management. What are the difficulties when managing your inventory? How can automation and data-driven tools improve your inventory level? We explain it in this blog and show you five ways to streamline your inventory management with help of NetSuite and Optiply
What are the difficulties that e-commerce businesses experience in managing their Inventory?
Growing your business can be difficult if you have limited visibility into the performance of your products.
- Without accurate data insights into your fast- and slow-selling products, managing your inventory and placing orders can be challenging tasks.
- Secondly, if you rely on a partly manual purchasing process, it will be harder to manage your purchasing tasks. Manual input may give you a sense of control and flexibility but means in reality that your purchasing process is time-consuming, sensitive to mistakes, and hard to scale.
- Thirdly, limited insights into the results of your purchasing decisions make it harder to analyse these decisions and adjust when needed. Inaccurate purchases can lead to excess stock and or understock.
- Finally, cash flow problems can arise when you make the wrong purchasing decisions over a longer period. If you are purchasing products, but demand is not there for these products that can negatively impact your cash flow position.
How does NetSuite Improve Inventory Management for eCommerce businesses?
A lot can happen in a day for your business, let alone an hour, so you need real-time company-wide visibility to ensure that you’re not making decisions based on ancient data. NetSuite provides up to date information across multiple locations regarding sales trends, financials and inventory levels, all in one place. If one of your stores is approaching dangerously low inventory of a specific SKU, it could easily be transferred from another (potentially overstocked) location to avoid a stockout. No matter how good your replenishment and management of stock is between locations, regularly counting the inventory is still necessary and can drain resources for lengthy periods without the proper systems in place. NetSuite provides reminders for each SKU to be counted whilst significantly reducing the resuources required and potential for human error through cycle counting (categorising inventory based on volume of transactions and/or value) within each location. Having a global view of your business also allows you to reduce shipping costs with predefined fulfilment rules to eliminate multiple shipments for a single order, a capability that Optiply’s forecasting tools enhance.
Which Inventory Management problems does Optiply solve for e-commerce businesses?
Inventory management can be frustrated by limited access to accurate data. If you do not have clear insights into the performance of your products it will be difficult to plan your next purchase orders. Improve your inventory management by adding a purchasing tool that can give you detailed data insights. Optiply can analyse your business’ inventory and categorise the products via the ABC analysis. This means that category A products are impactful and the B and C categories have less impact on your business’ revenue. In addition to this, historic sales data and forecasting models are used to give you real-time purchasing advice. This solution will make your purchasing process more accurate and effective. It means that you can speed up your replenishment, and make your purchasing process less time-consuming and less sensitive to errors. By improving the accuracy of your purchasing decisions your inventory management will become more accurate. That will enable you to fulfil customer demand continuously, without having the risk of excess inventory.
5 ways NetSuite and Optiply can help to streamline your Inventory management
1. Add automation to end manual steps in the purchasing process
Automation improves your purchasing process by making it less time-consuming, and less dependent on manual input. Additionally, automation can take over a big task such as replenishment. Your inventory management and purchasing decisions will become more accurate and easier to manage, which gives you time to focus on other parts of your business.
2. Use data to make the performance of products visible
With purchasing advice based on real-time data you always have an accurate insight into the performance of your inventory. Which products are having the most impact on your revenue and which products should you purchase less of and/or phase out? Data-driven purchasing means you can adjust your purchasing planning accordingly.
3. Improve your purchasing decisions to avoid lost sales
Using automation from a data-driven purchasing tool can give you accurate purchasing advice based on real-time data. This has a direct impact on your purchasing decisions and gives you the insight to improve your purchase orders. The result is that you can avoid lost sales due to stockouts.
4. Improve the collaboration between your teams with data
Use the knowledge of a data-driven purchasing tool to improve the collaboration between teams in your business. Make data visible to help and decide, for example, together with marketing on the products you want to push in the next campaign and meet up with sales to analyse and improve your forecasts.
5. Integrate your systems to create more visibility
Make data presentable, for example, in a dashboard. As per the previous point, you will ideally have a system that allows you to have shared access across multiple departments/ locations. Data should also be presented in a way that makes it easier to start a conversation and identify and track cross-team actions and owners.
Accelerate your business growth with automation
Clearly, managing inventory isn’t an easy task so if you want to achieve these five goals for your business, automating and streamlining your inventory management with Excellent Zephyr and Optiply is a no-brainer. Through implementing Optiply together with NetSuite, you’ll reduce time spent on purchasing and be able to do so with more confidence. Given visibility over your entire business, you’ll be able to purchase, transfer and sell inventory like never before, holding less inventory across your operation but ensuring fewer stock-outs.
NetSuite customers report up to an 80% increase in business insights which results in a 30% reduction in inventory costs whilst implementing Optiply boasts 80% less time spent on purchasing and 26% less inventory being held.
Who are Optiply?
Optiply is the number one purchasing software provider for more than 500 e-commerce customers aiming for a more sustainable supply chain. Optiply’s AI purchasing algorithm allows businesses to automate 80 per cent of their purchasing decisions. Accurate forecasting makes it possible to balance businesses’ inventory to ensure they will not miss out on revenue due to stockouts or invest too much capital in their next purchase orders.
Knowledgeable partners like Excellent Zephyr enable Optiply to increase the value for our customers. The power from the ERP system NetSuite also makes our Optiply app perform better.
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