How real-time inventory is indispensable to retailers

Realm Digital 04 April 2018

It’s hard to imagine any company getting by without supply chain visibility.

Without supply chain visibility, how does a company know if its safety stock is enough or too much? How can it respond to a crisis that impacts lead times and customer service levels? How do they know what inventory is selling and what isn’t without sifting through tonnes of spreadsheets?

Real-time visibility of inventory isn’t just fundamental to keeping costs under control. Yes, digitization and the cloud have made this an affordable and indispensable entry-level tool. But beyond that, observers see digitized supply chains and real-time visibility as the difference between “getting by” and being a contender.

A recent Supply Chain Dive article pointed to Adidas and Amazon’s ongoing supply chain ventures. Omnichannel and drone fulfilment can increase sales but they can only be accomplished with real-time digitized visibility that quantifies their efforts. Real-time visibility helped show that when Adidas implemented a ship-from-store in Russia, the new channel increased sales and reduced returns by 20% to 30%.

So how does the ability to know your stock levels and cost of goods sold help retailers? It’s all about having reliable data to make your business more efficient and competitive.

It reduces your anxiety

Getting your inventory levels right can be worrisome. Real-time visibility of your supply chain gives you the data you need to optimize your stock levels, keeping costs under control. Real-time visibility coupled with extensive reporting gives you the data you need for making decisions now and for planning ahead. All too often, companies have no data on their entire supply chain or they must compile data from disparate systems and spreadsheets. Data from a single source that provides real-time visibility and reporting will reduce a company’s anxiety over stock levels.

It reduces costs and fosters growth

The great thing about optimized inventory levels is your costs come down. But real-time visibility of your supply chain – from supplier to warehouse to your omnichannel – can also reduce your cycle times, improve order fulfilment, and allow you to grow your business without necessarily increasing your capital requirements.

It makes your customers happy

The efficiency you find in real-time visibility of your supply chain can lead to increased customer service levels. Improved management of purchase orders, higher-order accuracy, greater warehouse efficiency, and higher productivity all work toward customer satisfaction. Happy customers are likely to continue buying from you, recommend your business to others, and may buy a larger assortment of your products.

It lets you master the omnichannel

Your customers expect the same service regardless of how they buy from you. Companies often struggle with this when they manage each channel separately, using different processes and technology. Real-time visibility of your entire supply chain in a single platform means you can fulfil customer needs consistently.

This article was supplied by Cin7. Get in touch with Realm Digital, a Cin7 implementation partner in South Africa to chat about your inventory management needs.

About Cin7

Cin7 is an all-in-one, cloud-based inventory solution that provides real-time visibility, control, and reporting to manage inventory from one end of the supply chain to the other. Cin7 includes built-in production, warehouse, POS, and B2B e-commerce functionality, along with a growing list of third-party integrations. Optimized for growing, multi-channel companies that need efficient, cost-effective inventory management at a fraction of the cost of a full ERP system. Cin7 is “Connected Inventory”, bridging the gap between suppliers and sales channels to give end-to-end supply chain control. Headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand, Cin7 also has offices in the United States and the United Kingdom. To learn more, visit