Reserving the profit line

If you are running more than three or more outlets and facing tough time in managing the merchandise, you are actually missing out on the additional sales percentage, which can be brought home through merchandise management, to know HOW read on!
Managing merchandise

Let’s start with the basics of merchandise management. First of all, what is it? Merchandise management is the theory and practice which makes the inventory manager aware of how much inventory is required over a particular period of time and how much stock they have. So that, a customer can get what they desire from a particular retail brand and that’s retail business is all about! 

In a week how much of your X product sold, out of how many total products, how many are left, how many you need to stock more etc. Don’t you think a retailer should know all the answers? Most of the time retail POS are integrated with retail inventory, which automatically sends information as to in a week how much sales have been made. Based on this a retailer can make arrangement of keeping stock, re-evaluating the stock etc. If your POS is yet to get connected with your retail inventory then it’s high time you should do it on priority basis. 

OTB is now the common inventory strategy in retail houses managing inventory efficiently. OTB plan in retail indicates the difference between how much inventory is required over a particular period of time and how much is actually available. This includes inventory on hand, in transit and any outstanding orders. OTB inventory plan helps a retailer to improve sales, reduce markdowns and scale up overall gross profit. Balakrishnan Gopal, CCA and CEO, STeMS India reasons, “OTB is as helpful as one wants it to be, a sure shot and dynamic plan that makes the working of inventory easy.”

Under and over stocks of key items may ruin your profit margin. You have to take careful measures whether your merchandise gets replenished on accurate time and quantity, that your inventory manager is aware of which things to keep in stock and which are to replenished on which date and with what quantity. So that you are not ended up with stocking over and stocking less. As per Manish Kulkarni, Merchandise Manager, Reliance Hypermart, “Retailer should focus to avoid under stocking because if it’s over stocked one can send back the surplus merchandise, but if it’s under stock then it will affect the overall running of business.” 

 Navin Bhargava, Head-Buying & Merchandising (North HM) at Aditya Birla Retail opines, “Nothing can be worse for a retailer than getting a customer inquiring for a under stocked product and then buying it from his competitor. It can result in heavy loss of sales and most importantly loss of customers who may never return.”

Specialised system
To reap maximum benefits, a retailer should install specialised retail inventory system which looks after your inventory, category wise, like hardware/fashion/food etc. Apart from OTB, there is a plethora of softwares which are available in the market. 

Measuring Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
KPI measures how well a certain part of an organisation works or what is the performance of an individual over a certain period of time. In retail, the OTB system measures this KPI and sends information accordingly. 

If a retailer is taking care of all the measures, merchandise management is not a hard nut to crack and there will be limited scope of any goof up activities in managing the merchandise!  

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