With the ongoing labor shortage and relentless e-commerce growth, most of the conversations on order fulfillment today are typically centered around automation. While these topics are certainly relevant, it is more important to ensure you have the proper products to fulfill customer orders.

While effective inventory management typically allows for 1-2% stockouts, a recent survey found that approximately 15% of sales are lost due to stockouts. So how can retailers appease customers and avoid excessive stockouts?

Sophisticated software
Despite advances in automation, many companies still rely on manual, paper-based processes to manage inventory. From the recent trade wars to the coronavirus pandemic, today’s level of uncertainty requires a more sophisticated approach to inventory management. There are a wide variety of software solutions available today to fit any company’s unique requirements and budget.  

Achieving accuracy
While not having the right product is frustrating for customers, being told an item is available only to find out it’s not in stock is even more disappointing. In addition to software solutions, companies should conduct cycle counting and other regular inventory checks to ensure accuracy and customer satisfaction.

To survive in the increasingly competitive e-commerce market, sellers need to deliver on customer needs. This begins with having the right inventory at the right time to provide an optimal experience and build longtime customer loyalty.

A version of this article originally appeared in SupplyChainBrain.

About the Author
Greg Kreis
Greg Kreis

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