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Yearly Archives

2016

Does Your Forecasting and Inventory Replenishment Software Prevent or Encourage Fires?

baby-its-cold-outsideHow often I walked into the corporate office of my former employer and thought ‘whew, is it HOT in here’? Knowing I was headed for budget and planning meetings that were going to steal my day with the end obvious result: wrong products and /or wrong locations.

How can you survive when customers expect new product almost monthly? The expectations of customers and the resulting changes to their shopping habits have been dramatic in the past 3 years. In the past a retail/ wholesale company could change product assortments 2-4 times a year to keep customers satisfied. Today social media has forced a new world order where product assortments need to change monthly to meet customer expectations. How do you respond? The great ‘idea’ is to find new sources and buy new products more frequently, operating more like the grocery industry has for years, right?!?! (just pretend the 60+ day lead times will not matter)

 

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the-internet-of-things-is-bound-to-make-an-impact-in-your-demand-forecastingThere’s a lot of buzz surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT). With Nest Labs’ line of household connected devices and Amazon’s new Dash Button for reordering groceries, customers are getting used to more and more connectedness in their day-to-day lives. Retailers too are trying out ways to be not only more connected to customers but also to connect disparate parts of their business operations by adding connectivity to everyday things. RFID chips in packaging can track inventory from source to customer and provide all kinds of valuable data, as well as lower shrinkage. Digital signage and shelf tags saves labor and reduces pricing errors. With all the new and exciting things that the Internet of Things can bring to retail, it’s shocking how behind the times most inventory planning and replenishment software is.
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Why Some Demand Plans Burst into Wildfires in Your Location Channels

Sometimes in retail, we feel like all we are doing is putting out fires. Little things pop up every day that are urgent but maybe not all that important. This store is out of that, this vendor short shipped something else, and your boss’s boss wants to know why sales were down in this class. We get bogged down in this week’s problems so much so that we forget to prevent next month’s or next season’s fires. Your time should be spent on seasonal planning, demand forecasting, vendor collaboration, and other proactive activities. When do you take off your fireman’s hat and let the small fire burn for the greater good?
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what-your-monday-reports-are-not-telling-you-about-your-sales-and-inventory

Put Down the Sales Reports

Mondays are generally known in retail as “report day.” Sales and in-stock reports aplenty, sorted and summed by every conceivable angle land on every desk from the CEO on down. The point of all these reports is to find exceptions and actionable items. But sometimes it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. You don’t need a bigger haystack; you need a magnet!
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new-demand-forecasting-and-lead-time-forecasting-ideas-top-5-blogs-of-2015Earlier this year we decided to revamp our company blog. We’ve been working hard to deliver fresh content and fresh perspectives every week. You may have also seen our new Slide Share presentations on lead time and seasonality and our new whiteboard animation on Lead Time Forecasting. (If you haven’t seen them, click the links and take a look.) We are really excited about all this new content and it turns out, so is everyone else! In case you missed them, take a look at our most read, most shared, and most talked about blogs from 2015. We’ve covered everything from lead time forecasting and lost sales to omni-channel retailing. In 2016 you can expect to see even more new and insightful demand forecasting, supply chain, and retail content from us, including a few surprises I can’t talk about yet. Stay tuned!

 

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