Mobile inventory management allows retail employees to instantly scan products and take stock of inventory. Using a smartphone, tablet or wearable device, associates can count and track all of the products distributed across a retailer’s environment.
This capability ensures adequate stock levels and real-time awareness of the availability of inventory for orders. In addition, automating the inventory management process with mobile data capture greatly reduces the human error associated with manually counting and tracking inventory.
Having an accurate, current understanding of where inventory is located is critical to succeeding in today’s seamless retail environment. According to a 2016 IBM study, 72% of consumers consider the availability of two-day delivery an important factor in making a purchase.
Therefore, retailers need to have flexible, accurate inventory management and tracking mechanisms in place. Mobile inventory management enables the efficient location and distribution of products that retailers need to keep modern customers happy.
Leveraging mobile devices, employees can easily perform inventory checking and counting in varied scenarios such as on trains and trucks, in outdoor storage yards, and on store shelves. A mobile device-based inventory management system also enables retailers to manage replenishment directly from the store floor.
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Mobile inventory management can even reduce the risk of loss, as missing items will be quickly noticed. With statistics from the National Retail Federation (NRF) indicating inventory shrink cost the US retail industry $45.2 billion in 2015, loss prevention represents a significant source of enterprise cost reduction.
The expense of managing inventory is also decreased, as total cost of ownership (TCO) of traditional mobile devices is up to five times lower than TCO of dedicated scanning devices. By utilizing a bring your own device (BYOD) strategy, retailers can reduce mobile inventory management costs even further.
Combined with seamless, enterprise-wide inventory transparency, improvements in cost and labor efficiency make mobile inventory management a clear benefit for retailers.
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