In recent times, When brands are moving to the D2C (Direct to customer) method of selling over traditional long supply chain method, and sooner they started understanding that running an eCommerce business is a quite challenging job as there is tough competition in the market as well as there are different management methods needed to be implemented to succeed. Every online retailer is trying to serve the customer as fast as possible.
In this fast pacing business, there’s one thing that every eCommerce business struggles with is inventory management, and then the only thing which can keep you ahead of your competitors is a robust inventory management procedure.
It is necessary to have a complete overview of ins and outs of managing inventory to build a sustainable, profitable, scalable eCommerce business in today’s time. There are too many challenges faced by eCommerce businesses, where Inventory management leads the chart.
Multichannel inventory management involves monitoring inventory from various sales sources and storage locations for eCommerce, retail, marketplace, and wholesale purposes. It enables you to effectively manage stock levels, reordering, and inventory forecasting, facilitating accurate inventory turnover planning.
With multichannel management solutions, you can concentrate on scaling your business instead of spending resources on the intricacies of inventory management.
And Here we will talk about some of the challenges & solutions for Inventory Management.
Most eCommerce businesses have multiple warehouses which cause inefficient coordination, as well as brands also sell on multiple eCommerce channels (i.e. One brand selling its multiple products on Their website, Flipkart, Amazon, Meesho & many other platforms), so It becomes very difficult to keep exact track of all inventory arrived at warehouses, and orders dispatched. Manual handling makes it more complicated and time-consuming.
And due to such inefficient inventory management, Stock shortage or stock surplus is a common problem that businesses face. Incomplete information costs a lot to the company resources. And keep ignoring issues like this, which may lead the company to terrible losses and unwanted outcomes.
To avoid such inventory management errors, online businesses across the world are embracing eCommerce inventory management software.
Inventory management is a daunting task that impacts every aspect of your business. To assist you, here are six common supply chain challenges to watch out for when managing inventory.
1. Overselling and stockouts: Managing inventory counts manually becomes increasingly challenging when selling on multiple channels. A sudden change in sales volume can easily be overlooked, resulting in missed sales opportunities due to stock depletion. This creates a negative customer experience, as they may try to purchase a product online only to find out it is unavailable. Even unintentionally misrepresenting inventory levels can lead to negative consequences from online marketplaces. Therefore, it is essential to have a robust inventory management system to avoid such situations.
2. Stocking too much inventory: eCommerce businesses often struggle with the challenge of overstocking inventory, leading to wasted spending and additional stocking fees. This issue becomes more complex when selling across multiple channels, making demand forecasting a crucial but complicated task. Deciding how to store inventory across these channels requires careful consideration. Additionally, other factors such as marketplace sales performance against expectations and performance across other channels must be taken into account when determining inventory levels. Effective inventory management practices are crucial in ensuring optimal inventory levels and maximizing business growth.
3. Inadequate inventory tracking: Ecommerce retailers require visibility on available products across sales channels and their respective pricing. Delivery within the promised time frame is also crucial. The absence of an accurate inventory tracking system poses a high risk of human errors at every stage of the sales cycle. To mitigate this risk, implementing an effective inventory tracking system is essential for efficient and successful eCommerce operations.
4. Inaccurate forecasts caused by poor data: For high-growth eCommerce businesses, accurate and timely data is vital to implement an effective supply chain strategy. The data must be easily accessible, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, obtaining quality and consistent data can be challenging, especially when selling across multiple channels. Reporting features, metrics, delivery, and format can vary across channels, which can make data collection and analysis more complex. Therefore, it is important to establish robust data collection processes and utilize technology to simplify data management.
5. Higher order defect rate: Marketplaces use Order Defect Rate (ODR) to measure a seller’s ability to deliver a positive customer experience. Exceeding the ODR limits can lead to penalties, such as losing selling privileges, for sellers on platforms like Amazon and Walmart.
6. Inconsistent or poor customer experience: Customers expect a consistent level of service regardless of the sales channel used. While this is easily managed for single-channel businesses, every additional channel adds complexity to sales and customer service processes. To ensure a consistent high-quality experience, a complete view of business operations is necessary. This includes the ability to respond to customer needs promptly and effectively. By doing so, you can maintain positive customer experiences across all sales channels and promote long-term business growth.
These are significant challenges of Multichannel Inventory Management without an accurate inventory system. Let’s explore solutions to these challenges.
Here comes the role of eCommerce inventory management software, which helps you to manage your inventory efficiently and keeps you away from the stress of the frequent collapse of inventory. It used to be a cloud-based software product that is developed to link various marketplaces, warehouses, and your organization’s ERP systems together into a single platform.
As the order activities occur on different marketplaces (e.g., Amazon, Meesho, Paytm, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Myntra, and Shopify), the inventory gets managed automatically in real-time. And shows you hassleless statistics of all your inventories in the warehouse, stock dispatched as well as orders delivered.
1. Real-time data and insights: Effective inventory management software offers up-to-date, real-time stock level updates across all sales channels as orders are processed. This centralized dashboard provides easy access to historical sales metrics, along with essential information on shipping performance, inventory, and orders, such as sales volumes and refunds.
3. Analytics: Analytics can provide a comprehensive overview of inventory usage across various channels, including tracking inventory levels, pricing, sales data, and historical data to analyze trends. Accessing this data from a single platform and viewing inventory snapshots quickly can inform inventory control and supply chain strategies.
4. Automated purchase orders and supplier relationships: Multichannel inventory management system should simplify supplier relationship management by storing critical information such as lead times and minimum order levels. Moreover, quality inventory management software can track purchase orders, manage the purchase order process, and automatically generate orders when necessary.
5. Shipping improvements: Multichannel inventory management software can enhance shipping workflows by automating manual tasks associated with each order. It also streamlines the pick-pack-ship process. Further, a good software should provide the option to assign the appropriate carrier or fulfillment partner and track orders after they are shipped. These features reduce the time spent on shipping, eliminate manual errors, and increase customer satisfaction.
6. Multi-location inventory control: To prevent underselling or overselling, it’s crucial to have a clear view of your inventory when managing multiple warehouse locations or inventory across different channels. Multi-location inventory management is essential in knowing the exact amount of inventory available for sale and its location. It provides a powerful tool to track inventory levels and ensure that you are meeting customer demand while avoiding unnecessary costs associated with overstocking.
Implementing OMSGuru makes your work easier and helps to grow your business. It provides you with good inventory data which helps you make data-based strategic decisions about what to do next, what to buy, and where there is a shortage. It increases your real-time visibility and reduces errors. Real-time inventory value tracking not just gives you data but also accurately monitors your company’s complex finances.
Your inventory management system should be able to provide you with a unified view of all your inventory across different physical locations, such as warehouses, storerooms, and pop-up shops, as well as online channels. This is especially important when managing inventory in separate warehouses or keeping track of inventory when on the move. With a good inventory management system you can easily track and manage inventory in different locations and get a comprehensive overview of your entire inventory.
OMSGuru provides advanced inventory management modules including Advanced Multi-Channel Inventory Sync, Multiple Warehouse Management, Print Barcode & Retail Labels, Prioritize stock allocation on Multi-channel, Buffer Stock, Max Listed Stock, Simple & Bundled Combo products, Manage Inventory by Rack Space, Put Away and Pick List.
In short, OMSGuru covers every major feature that an eCommerce business should need for its day-to-day inventory control.
Thus, if your Inventory issues are covered with such software, you can further focus on your business growth and achieve your business target without giving your valuable time and efforts to such easily automatable business operations.