In the modern on-demand retail environment, consumers expect to get what they want, when they want it. For today’s omnichannel shoppers, nothing is more frustrating than hearing that a desired item is out of stock.
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All of us have been in a situation where something we wanted was out of stock. The experience creates a negative impression of the retailer. Simply put, telling customers that an item is out of stock just isn’t an acceptable answer for retailers anymore.
All retailers would agree that the ideal situation is to have enough stock of items for their customers. Yet, out-of-stock issues continue to plague the retail enterprise. There are situations where out-of-stocks occur outside of a retailer’s control. But if you’re experiencing difficulty keeping items in stock on a regular basis, your inventory management process is most likely letting you down. To be effective, an inventory management system needs to be transparent and work at every level—from the warehouse to the sales floor.
The main inventory management issue currently facing retailers is that the traditional methods of taking inventory present problems. Manually counting inventory and writing the results down on paper is a time-consuming process that is prone to all sorts of errors. What if an associate accidentally writes 100 instead of 10? What if they lose the paper?
Even if you provide your employees with dedicated barcode scanners, you’ll still face issues with using bulky and expensive dedicated devices that may not connect to your back-end enterprise systems. So you might be collecting the data digitally, but you can’t immediately do anything useful with it.
On the other hand, mobile barcode scanning enables employees to use their own smartphones or enterprise-issued smart devices to get the job done. This approach streamlines the inventory management process while also reducing errors, as well as labor and hardware costs. Using a connected device that can do more than one thing, mobile barcode scanning makes it possible to connect to enterprise systems and manage inventory levels and replenishment throughout the retail supply chain.
Don’t get stuck in the past. By modernizing your inventory management process through mobile technology, you’ll be able to eliminate the phrase “out of stock” from your vocabulary.