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Ag Retailers: how do you ensure stock is properly distributed?
Inventory management is a vital factor in any ag retailer’s success and profitability. Despite this, many businesses still rely on antiquated and vulnerable systems. Failing to implement integrated and real-time systems can result in stock going unsold and customer expectations going unfulfilled. With robust inventory management systems in place, a business can take full advantage of the increasing connectivity present in the supply chain, ensuring demand is met and sales opportunities are maximized.
What does successful inventory management look like?
- Effective stock placement, ensuring no location is overstocked while others are sold out, and that stock is better matched to directly correlate with demand.
- Complete visibility of inventory, whether it’s located in third party warehouses or at distributor facilities.
- Transparent stock movements, enabling suppliers to trace consignment stock and retailers to achieve a more efficient workflow.
- All financial transactional models on a single platform, reducing manual input errors and man hours.
- Increased customer loyalty granted by smoother customer service and greater insight.
How do you get there?
Proagrica, the leading provider of digital solutions for agricultural businesses, have successfully worked with businesses across 5 continents, and invested heavily in the development of workflow tools to meet the needs of ag retailers.
“Increased competition from online and generic providers means businesses are actively looking to drive efficiency and oversight,” says Lindsay Suddon, Chief Strategy Officer at Proagrica. “Collaborative stock management solutions grant visibility to manufacturers and distributors, helping them to act in advance to meet demand and business requirements. A lot of stock out there is consigned stock, belonging to input manufacturers until the product reaches the farmer. This can result in a lot of returns. The solutions granted by a properly integrated supply chain can minimize that and make sure your business doesn’t waste sale opportunities of particular stock.”
As Lindsay points out, there is more at stake than one lost transaction. Cumulatively, unoptimized inventory management can quickly reduce customer loyalty and cost sales in the future: “Some retail outlets run out of stock in some locations but are full in others,” says Lindsay. “It’s difficult to then not lose custom. Within the data ecosystem between input manufacturers and ag retailers, businesses can reap huge benefits from integrated workflows, and ensure they’re well prepared for a more connected and data-based future industry.”
What is the future for successful ag retail businesses?
“Connectivity is at the heart of it,” says Lindsay. “Bringing data systems together results in greater profitability for the whole supply chain. Currently, a lot of businesses are relying on out-of-date and locked-in systems or spreadsheets.”
“Every retailer has their own needs. Perhaps your business is involved in a number of rebate programs or has to manage different locations with individual requirements. Integrated data solutions can work to match your unique needs and adjust to match the rules and complexity of your situation. Connectivity benefits every member of the supply chain, with measurable benefits for your individual business.”
Existing inefficiencies in inventory management are common but don’t have to be permanent. With increasing competition in the marketplace, ag retailers are under increasing pressure to drive efficient business management in order to remain competitive. In Proagrica’s recent survey of US ag retail businesses, 68% of respondents identified enhanced management of sales and productivity as key factors that would grant their business substantial value.
Integrated data solutions give retailers the full toolset to meet the needs of a changing market. Effective inventory management is a key piece of the puzzle – with strong data solutions and the resulting workflow tools, ag retailers are better placed than ever to meet customer demand and remain competitive and profitable.