If you’re a B2B product-based brand manufacturer or wholesaler, your merchandise is an essential part of your business, so it’s critical to find the most reliable and cost-efficient way to replenish stock in the field, especially your top-selling, most profitable products. Surprisingly, according to the 2016 State of Small Business Report, 46% of businesses either don’t track their inventory levels at all, or they do it manually! This leads to one giant, virtual headache of errors, lost opportunities, and increased costs.
Today, automated, real-time mobile merchandising solutions have become a highly effective means for field reps to quickly and accurately take stock of merchandise at the point of sale, make recommendations for replenishment, optimize shelf space, and ensure retailers never run low on best-selling products. Let’s take a look at the 5 key benefits of doing stock replenishment right.
1. Inventory Control at the Point of Sale
One of the greatest inventory challenges for manufacturers and wholesalers is to maintain the right amount of stock for every product in each retail store – especially of the fastest-moving top-sellers. With the stock visibility that mobile merchandising software provides, field reps gain a bird’s eye view of their stock at the retail point-of-sale so they can quickly and accurately replenish to desired stock levels.
Mobile merchandising apps enable reps to efficiently take count of stock levels using a bar code scanner, get automated recommendations for re-ordering missing products; these are signed off by the retail buyer, and then turn into sales orders to be immediately processed. Mobile merchandising software also helps to identify slow-moving or “dead inventory” on the shelf, so you can devise promotions to sell them more quickly, or replace them with faster-moving products.
Speed and efficiency are the name of the game in today’s retail landscape. By utilizing not only field sales reps but also route staff, wholesalers can more efficiently manage retailers’ stock levels. Route accounting software, can provide route staff with access to all the essential information they need to quickly replenish stock while on deliveries and even manage their routes to optimize productivity.
2. Time Management
Time is money, right? With barcode-enabled stock counting and reporting, field reps save hours wondering around the store aisles taking manual count of stock levels. Product inventory levels at the retail point of sale are quickly collected and immediately transmitted to your back-office operations, providing immediate sell-through visibility to act upon in a timely manner.
In addition, by accounting for how much stock is shipping out and how much is on-shelf in the retail stores, sales team managers can optimize the scheduling of their reps’ store visits based on the sales performance of particular stores and products.
3. Data Accuracy = Increased Profitability
According to inventory management expert Ashok Rao, “companies can increase their profitability 20 to 50% or more through careful inventory management.” Indeed, B2B buyers who order out of stock items or who receive incorrect shipments are less likely to keep their purchase or order from that store in the future. Stock taking and replenishment software reduces human error, ensuring order accuracy, shipping the correct product and quantity in a timely manner, fewer returns, and fewer financials adjustments - so errors won’t keep your business from moving onwards and upwards.
4. Business Scalability
Today, more and more businesses are increasing the range of products they manufacture and stock to meet consumer “long tail” demands. Mobile stock taking and replenishment software enables you to scale your product catalog while keeping close tabs on your stock levels at the retail stores. Therefore, as you enter new markets, add more products to your inventory, or expand your customer base, understanding your top-sellers and slow-movers, and knowing where you have how much of each product can become a matter of a few mouse clicks or mobile taps away.
5. Marketing Investment
Last, but certainly not least, are the intriguing marketing implications that come with mobile merchandising software. Now, any brand or wholesaler can easily assess their best performing stores, best-selling products, the impact of new arrivals, pricing promotions, and more, enabling sales and marketing leadership to launch relevant, targeted and timely promotional activities right down to the individual store and product level.
SodaStream, the world’s leading manufacturer and distributor of Sparkling Water Makers, implemented a mobile merchandising solution from Pepperi to its worldwide operations. Read here to learn of SodaStream’s business challenges and how they set out to address them