Would you say that the secret sauce for success for a retail business is inventory control? If you’re suppressing a yawn over that idea, take a lesson from two of the bigger supply chains that failed to deliver the goods. The question is, why?
In 2011, the Star Tribune reported that Best Buy could not meet the demands of online Christmas holiday shoppers “due to overwhelming demand of hot product offerings…” This news came four days before Christmas. Some of these unfulfilled orders had been made as early as Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, which traditionally marks the start of the holiday buying season. As Dave Brennan, the co-director of the Institute of Retailing Excellence at the University of St. Thomas said at the time, ”Personal disappointment will go along with this, and it will be remembered.”
In 2014, Target’s launch into the Canadian market was disastrous. Marck Wulfraat, president of MWPVL International, a supply chain consultancy group, said, "The Target Canada story will go down in the history books as one of the great supply chain disasters of Canadian history." The problems surfaced when merchandise started piling up in warehouses, barcodes were mismatched, and orders failed to ship. As Reuters reported, “The inconsistencies between goods and computer records caused a chain reaction of delays.”
Clearly, a tightly controlled inventory management system is crucial. Glitches happen, but when they’re big enough to hit the media, it’s hard to recover from that kind of firestorm.
Are you still yawning? Well, this is your wake up call. Do your research. Make sure the inventory management system you choose for your business to succeed has a proven history for delivering the best most accurate inventory control results because commitment to accuracy definitely counts.