Does WMS Help Prevent Stock-Outs in Clothing and Footwear Industry?
Published on 7 April 2021
Inventory shortages lead to financial and reputational losses. Around 70% of customers abandon the online store for good after 3 unsuccessful purchase attempts. Retailers must then make sure they are in control of their inventory and that they have the best inventory visibility possible. Browns Shoes Inc. managed to eliminate most inventory problems by implementing the Generix Warehouse Management System.
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In the fashion and footwear e-commerce segment, stock-outs are one of the main threats to profitability. International studies speak of billions in annual losses worldwide. Indeed, an inadequate stock, out of sync with customer demand, increases the inventory storage cost and results in unrealized sales. It can prove to be difficult to dispose of those extra items, and a retailer may even need to destroy them. It is estimated that the losses can reach about 10% of the annual revenue for online clothing and footwear stores.
The challenge: Satisfying the evolving needs of the end customer
There is another side to the problem of stock shortage, and that is the consequences it has on the consumer. We are talking about the fashion segment, in which impulse buying has an important role to play. According to a study by Harvard Business School, the lack of stock causes around 9% of buyers to give up the purchase if they do not find what they are looking for right away, 37% will opt for another brand and 21% will search in another online store. When out-of-stock is repeated three times, 70% of customers will not visit the online store again. An out-of-stock situation, therefore, results not only in immediate but also in future losses, as it has a direct impact on the reputation of the company and the brand. Companies like Browns Shoes have customer service standards they want to maintain, and as customer demands change and evolve, the technology used by retailers must evolve too.
How to avoid stock-out problems?
The demand forecasting solution is not always easy to achieve and is undoubtedly one of the great challenges of the logistics world in general. What is essential in this sector is to have an automated Warehouse Management System that is robust and integrated with the rest of the management tools. These systems allow retailers to fix their inventory problems. The Generix WMS facilitates complete and real-time inventory management and optimizes the logistic flows outside and inside the warehouse. It also allows to control the availability of each item and to anticipate possible stock shortages.
Of course, a Warehouse Management Solution is an essential step for an automated warehouse management, but in addition to facilitating operations, the system allows to control the flow of each product in real time, and thus, obtain statistical data that helps understand which products generate the most revenue for the company and adjust supply policies in the long term, improving overall profitability.
The WMS systems are a key element in minimizing the risk of stock shortage, which in the fashion world can be a serious problem that threatens the profitability of the company.
Technology’s constant evolution is there to help business owners adapt and automate their warehouses. Click Here to find out more about the role of automation in the warehouse and its benefits.
How Browns Shoes prevents inventory shortages: A case study
Browns Shoes is a family-owned business that in 2014 decided to invest in a new facility. A warehouse was going to be built and fitted with the most advanced systems for inventory management. The goal for Browns’ Omni-Channel distribution center was to be well equipped to respond to the evolving needs of Browns’ clientele. One of the main advantages in warehouse automation is achieving inventory accuracy. According to an interview with Alexandre Hubert, Browns Shoes’ Supply Chain Director, “In less than 6 months after implementing Solochain, we achieved 99%+ inventory accuracy”. Inventory accuracy helps Browns Shoes maintain its reputation as an efficient and effective footwear retailer and avoid the hidden costs of out-of-stock inventory. Precise data and inventory visibility also guide Browns Shoes in the decision-making process, allowing them to take advantage of all possibilities of improvement.
As omni-channel driven demands become the norm, with resulting customer satisfaction harder to achieve, supply chain professionals need to leverage advanced WMS technology to keep their operations nimble, efficient, and scaling - especially in these volatile times. Given Generix Group’s completeness of vision and ability to execute, as recognized once again by the Gartner analyst community, their Solochain WMS is well positioned to help companies needing a modern, flexible and agile solution that can easily adapt to their changing needs. More Information about Generix WMS