Single demand stream based on point of sale data helps reduce out of stocks, increase turns, and improve customer experience
RedPrairie Corporation, a productivity solutions provider, announced the arrival of Store Forecast, the first forecasting solution that synchronises inventory Flowcasting and workforce management (WFM) technologies.
"85 percent of retail out-of-stocks are due to in-store issues, in two major varieties," says Steve Banker, ARC Advisory Group Director, Supply Chain Management. "First, retailers often find that while there is inventory in their stores, shelves are often not replenished, or not replenished in a timely manner. Second, store systems might show more product available than what really exists in the store, creating what we call ‘phantom inventory.’"
In the past, retailers had to rely on multiple, disparate demand streams to schedule supply chain and in-store operations. The Store Forecast solution offers a single demand stream based on store-level item transactions to help guarantee the right people and products are in the right place at the right time, to execute the right tasks.
"Retailers use a variety of different forecasts to drive inventory and workforce plans," says Noel Goggin, RedPrairie Vice President, Retail Strategy. "However, most don’t consider markdowns, receivings, and other standard store tasks that also affect those forecasts. The Store Forecast solution helps guarantee both halves of a necessary equation at the store – the right person, and the right inventory."
The Store Forecast solution triggers inventory replenishment by operating on demand signals from point-of-sale (POS) data, while also combining with execution management for events such as promotions to drive scheduling and various tasks through WFM.
"While recent technological advances offer retailers higher accuracy in inventory planning, or efficiency in labour scheduling, Store Forecast is the first solution that can orchestrate both, together," Goggin continues. "Our organisation considers that unified process the only way to consistently drive a great customer experience – After all, an employee with no inventory can’t make a sale, and inventory doesn’t leave the shelves if there is no employee to sell it when the customer is looking to buy. RedPrairie’s Store Forecast solution is the only one in the industry designed to forecast workforce, inventory and store activity requirements at the store level."
By spending months in the field with retail and distribution center managers, RedPrairie was able to identify a disconnect between labour and inventory that negatively impacts the customer shopping experience – most evident in scenarios such as out-of-stocks. That experience showed the leading cause of out-of-stocks to be not interruptions in the supply chain, but the lack of scheduled employees to shelve products and assist customers once the product reaches the storefront.