Supply Chain Analytics: Challenges and Solutions

Retailers and vendors in today’s retail market face the unenviable challenge of reducing costs and maintaining margins, despite falling overall sales and slow-to-recover consumer demand. One of the areas in which retailers are pushing back onto vendors is inventory management, which for vendors too often translates into retail partners that reduce overall inventories and require… Read more »

You’re not the only one

I sat down with an analyst at a consumer products company the other day, and had an in depth conversation with her about the process she goes through to export data from Retail Link and transform the data into reports for her management. I’ve been working with Walmart vendors for a long time, so I… Read more »

BI in the Supply Chain

I read this very good article yesterday and wanted to share it.  Business Intelligence and Performance Management Rising to the Top of the Supply Chain Executive’s Agenda By Viktoriya Sadlovska and Nari Viswanathan In the context of today’s complex demand-supply networks, in which visibility into key performance indicators across the entire network is key to business… Read more »

Calculating Weeks of Supply

A metric fundamental to managing the retail supply chain is weeks of supply (WOS). Weeks of supply tells the inventory manager how long the current on hand will last, based on current sales demand.  By keeping your eye on weeks of supply, you can avoid inventory stock outs and lost sales.  The basic calculation for… Read more »

Retail Replenishment – How tuned in are you?

I spent about 9 hours yesterday analyzing sales, order and forecast data for Walmart, Home Depot and Lowe’s vendors, and I am somewhat surprised by my observations.  It’s pretty clear that there are some min/max rules in place, as I can see patterns to the order quantities based on the OH inventory and the order… Read more »

Positive Signs In Retail

Nordstrom and Lowe’s both reported big increase in profits, and their CEO’s believe the economy is improving, and their sales will continue to improve. Nordstrom’s Profit More Than DoublesUpscale department-store chain Nordstrom Inc. reported a 152 percent increase in profits during the quarter ended Jan. 30, underscoring how its strategy of expanding price points and… Read more »

Store Level Merchandising Analysis Using EDI 852

The following is a step by step process to aid replenishment vendors in identifying stores on an item level basis, that are losing sales due to inventory stock outs or inventory that is present but unavailable for sale.  Such unavailable inventory may include lost or damaged items or items on the shelf but not available… Read more »

Walmart Tightens Delivery Deadlines

Walmart’s new “must arrive by date” ratchets up supply chain pressure on vendors, shippers and carriers. Like most shippers, Walmart Stores is looking for a delivery guarantee from its suppliers. Unlike most others, the world’s largest retailer now is demanding one. While many retailers were scrambling last week for any space they could find out… Read more »

Poor Weather Causes Out of Stocks

According to the WSJ, the snowstorms that blanketed much of the country in the past week caught apparel retailers in short-sleeves. Most clothing chains have very little winter clothing left on their racks, the result of tightly managed inventories and better-than-expected holiday sales. But, with nearly 70% of the country covered in snow, store shelves… Read more »

How much do retail out of stocks cost?

A recent RIS article  titled, “How Much Are Out-of-Stocks Costing You? Much More Than You Might Think”, By Greg Buzek, provides more evidence that retail out of stocks are costing vendors huge lost sales.  Buzek quantifies the scope of the loss; “A retailer that invested in completely fixing its out-of-stock problem, would gain a solid… Read more »