Managing cost, measuring shrinkage and offering excellent customer experience, is the key to a successful inventory management for any fashion brands.
Today, any fashion brand's success is based on the trends and styles they offer their customers. Fashion lovers across the globe always prefer to shop from boutiques that frequently come up with new styles. Unable to offer products as per the latest trend, will directly hit the bottom line of your business.
Back in the days, inventory management was just referred to “supply and demand.” While this is still considered today, there are other factors too, that include tracking on-hand inventory, and supply time of procuring products from suppliers.
In this blog, we will discuss on helpful techniques that you can consider, to manage inventory for your clothing store.
Running your own fashion brand, it is always helpful to have an estimate of how much products you expect to sell per month? This way, you can calculate the cost required for selling particular amounts of units every month. For example, if you plan to sell 500 units per month and the annual costs of those units per month, is $10,000, should you only stock 500 units? You can. However, in-case of obsolete inventory, you may have to deny your potential customers that automatically prove to be expensive. Stocking little more inventory than you need, is always a good idea, as far as you ensure that your capital is invested at the right place.
5 effective inventory management techniques for your clothing store
- Check products while you ship it to your customers
Shipping correct products to customers becomes very important for a good inventory management. Accidentally shipping the wrong one, your inventory level for that particular product will mess up.
It is seen, maximum clothing eCommerce returns that are absorbed by fashion brands, sizing and fit tops the list of reasons. To avoid such situations, it's crucial to have an organized inventory management in place. You can have dedicated shelves and proper tagging of individual products that will help you, always ship correct products to your customers.
- Have clear records of your inventory
Another effective technique for good inventory management, is you should have an ability to track products whenever needed. But, if you don't have a system that allows you to store such information, can lead to bad inventory practices. Ensure, you adopt the latest technology that will allow you to track products as per their attributes that include size, type, color, design, etc. Scannable UPC bar codes will make it easy and accurate to update designs and sizes when conducting a manual inventory count. Execute bar code technology on your inventory and experience a inventory management standard for your apparel store.
- Adopt technology to prevent theft
As per "National Association For Shoplifting Prevention," There are approximately 27 million shoplifters (or 1 in 11 people) in our nation today. More than 10 million people have been caught shoplifting in the last five years." And shoplifting scenarios automatically disturbs the inventory levels for your business, as they are not update. To avoid such situations, it's always wise to adopt innovative technology that can help you prevent theft. Leading brands like Macy’s have already adopted “Radio Frequency identification (RIFD) technology for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to products. Hence, investing once, will always keep your inventory levels safe eliminating the risk of costly theft scenarios.
- Don't stock slow moving inventory for long
Stocking inventory for a long time is bad practice for any clothing business. You never know, the trend that is working today, may not work tomorrow. Also, you will also be spending money to protect those slow-moving and obsolete products . Instead, either you return those products, if not possible, at least find out a way to sell them fast. Leading marketplace platforms that include eBay, Amazon.com are allowing fashion brands to list products for free. This way, you can offer discounts and compete with price to get some of those inventory off your hands.
- Automate your inventory management process
Adopting an inventory management software, will offer you a modern inventory management solution for your apparel store. Selling apparel, means you need to ensure that inventory is available always, because denying any of customers for the products they need, will create a negative impact for your brand. However, investing in cloud-based inventory management system, you will eliminate the risk of stock-out scenarios. As, it helps you deal with all your inventory (across multiple warehouses) from one system, resulting to the most effective an ideal inventory optimization solution for your apparel store.
Inventory optimization models are also being used by leading fashion brand, Zara (a Spanish retail store, with some 650 stores in 50 countries). This helps the firm determine which products in which sizes should be ordered, ensuring they stock just what they want.
Owning an apparel store, it is crucial to adopt the best inventory management practices to avoid negative impact on your customers and bank accounts. Following the above techniques, will help you maintain accurate inventory levels, efficiently and cost-effectively.
Today, retail consumers have a range of product choice to choose from. Hence, manufacturing companies are experiencing a huge competition making it difficult for them to retain or increase their brand value.
Manufacturers, therefore need to adapt a flexible approach and consider new technological innovations that allow them to quickly react and always fulfill customers orders, cost-effectively.
Adopting advanced manufacturing innovations in your business processes, that includes new processes, new material and new equipment will help you offer quality output to consumers, which in turn will automatically increase your manufacturing brand's market value.
Benefits of technology innovation for your manufacturing business
In manufacturing business, technology innovation are mostly referred to product - allowing manufacturers to come up with innovative processes and equipment that reduces wastage, and use consumables more efficiently.
The key benefits technology innovations for your manufacturing business will include:
- Immediate responses to any customer’s need
- Quick delivery time
- Streamlined process dealing with customers and suppliers
- Wide product range
- Quality product design.
When you think of using technology to come with new innovations, always consider:
1 - the change you want to introduce and how can it improve efficiency.
2 - resources available to complete that tech innovation speedily.
Technology innovation that you should focus, if you are looking to gain competitive position among other manufacturing businesses in 2015.
1 - Material
Adopt technology to design unique materials that can be used to enhance your products and packaging.
2 - Product Design
Come up with new product design and services, or you can also re-design existing ones to enhance products offerings.
3- Logistics and warehousing
Think on ideas that could help you deliver products to customers swiftly, as well as ensure your warehousing costs is nominal.
3 - Stock control and order processing
The key to success, is to have a real-time control over inventory levels. Implement an multi-channel inventory management solution to manage inventory across multiple warehouses.
4 - Customer and supplier relationship
Adapt technology to come up with a valuable solution to improve customer service with both, your customers and suppliers. Come up with a real-time contact management solution that will allow you access customer’s history data anytime from anywhere. This way you get a chance to build a stronger relationship with them.
5 - Payment processes
Use technology to come with payment solution, that allows you offer multi-channel payment methods to your customers, as well as streamline the process for a quick and safe transaction.
6 - Marketing
Implement innovative marketing strategies to gain a competitive advantage and keep your manufacturing brand visible in the crowd.
Your manufacturing innovation are the valuable asset for your business, adopting technology will help you improve efficiency and increase your brand value, which are essential factor for any business’s success.
Simple, yet powerful