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Manage omnichannel sales thanks to the INVRPT Inventory Report e-message

04/07/2018

Total availability and accessibility to the products and services provided by a company is increasingly demanded by consumers to meet their needs in real time. If a user does not find at any given time the product they are looking for in a physical store or e-Commerce, it will mean a lost sale, with the possibility that the client may not return to look for the product at that same store. And this is something that multi-brand platforms and brands cannot afford today, given the fierce competition among competitors.

Having real-time knowledge of product availability in store or in stock, and even those products reserved in the warehouse, should be a priority for shops, which can always provide effective customer service. To successfully manage the integration of information in all a company’s channels and services, using electronic data exchange systems becomes indispensable.

A good omnichannel strategy brings many benefits in terms of customer satisfaction. The main one is increased consumer loyalty.

The omnichannel approach can be managed thanks to the Inventory Report INVRPT message. This document provides visibility and information on the situation of the goods reserved for a customer by the supplier. The message travels from the supplier to the customer at a scheduled frequency, so that they know what and how much of the product they have at their disposal in the event of stock shortages.

Thanks to an EDI solution, this message is sent automatically and integrated with the management systems of the retailer that needs the information. This way, the client gets immediate results in their ERP/POS to manage a sale and enhance customer loyalty.

In addition, to close the sale cycle, it is possible to automatically generate a purchase order message for the product requested from the internal management system that received the stock query. This way, we avoid stockouts and losing customers.

A typical EDI flow in which this document is used would be as follows:

  • A retailer needs to know the stock of an item, as there is no stock in the store.
  • They receive the Inventory Report from the supplier as per the agreed schedule. This message is usually sent out daily and automatically.
  • The retailer receives the message and handles the sale with the user, as the product is available.
  • From the management tool, the retailer creates a purchase order (ORDERS) via EDI that reaches the supplier immediately, so that the product gets to the store as soon as possible for the customer that requested it.

Automatic supply management thanks to EDI technology

Being able to manage stock efficiently and knowing the status of the products at all times is essential to meet customers’ needs.

EDI technology provides automatic workflows and mechanisms such as “Continuous Replenishment Planning” or “Vendor Managed Inventory”. Continuous restocking systems like these are part of the ECR initiative (Efficient Consumer Response) to provide the end customer with the highest value, the best service and the maximum variety of products. To this end, total synchronization is needed between supply and demand throughout the whole supply chain by means of data interchanges among the parties involved in providing the customer service (Supplier, Distributor and Logistics Operator).

The information exchanged is submitted to complex mathematical analysis to estimate an adjusted demand that lets us process orders adapted to the real needs of the customer.

CRP FLOW is the tool developed by EDICOM to analyse data from EDI messages or the internal management system.

The application can process data from advanced mathematical models to estimate the distributor’s supply needs from the records, such as:

  • Sales record archive, consumption rates, stockouts, shrinkage...
  • Any promotions that might constitute points of demand at different times.
  • Examining schedules to estimate increases or decreases in the demand expected due to seasonality issues.
  • Product expiry dates
  • Transport capacities
  • Storage capacity at destination

Advantages of having an EDI system in the retail sector

  • Increased sales: The disappearance of stockouts translates as regular and stable consumer patterns, improving the service provided to the customer and boosting the number of products units sold at the retail point.
  • No more stock shortages.
  • Fewer product inventories and raw materials: Demand-linked product stocks, leading to fewer inventories of goods and raw materials, which translates as working and management improvements, especially evident in the case of perishable goods.
  • Resource optimization: Less dedicated space in warehouses, availability of advance sales forecasts and the presence of advance supply orders or transport optimization.
  • Shorter provisioning times
  • Improving financial ratios: Less maintenance required thanks to smaller inventories, increased sales, optimized operations or the demand forecast over time. All this translates as increased benefits, or more accurate financial forecasts, gradually leading to better financial management for both customer and supplier.

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