The great majority of order-fulfillment discussions today focuses on automation and robotics. With the growth of labor-intensive e-commerce orders, and the challenge of finding enough qualified employees, those topics are certainly justified. But no matter how efficient an operation might be, without access to the products the customer is looking for, there’s no order to fulfill.
A recent survey estimated that 15% of sales are lost due to the retailer not having products in stock. And while most companies find that efficient financial management of inventory will result in some lost sales, stockouts of 1%-2% are generally considered more acceptable. Following are a couple of key points to consider, when seeking to reduce stockouts and gain customer confidence:
By some estimates, e-commerce is expected to make up more than 90% of all retail sales by the year 2024. With thousands of e-commerce sellers being added each year, online retailers need to provide consistent, reliable service to stand out and grab their share of the market. It all starts with having the products the customer is looking for in inventory and in stock.
Greg Kreis is a Principal with Tompkins International.
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