Software analytics let retailers track usage, monitor changes, determine reorders and calculate when and how much to reorder, and check inventory levels on an item-by-item basis. Control of inventory begins right at the cash register: the point-of-sale (POS). Now, inventory records are always up-to-date. This allows better decisions about ordering and merchandising.
The initial reaction was to turn this data into purchase orders for the suppliers (the Spokes). What about instead passing along the POS data to the suppliers and in fact, let them write their own purchase order. The Spoke knows their own products better than anyone else.
POS data can deliver many benefits
- See how well all the items on your shelves sell, and adjust purchasing levels.
- Sales history can adjust for seasonal purchasing trends.
- Provide audit trails to trace any problems.
- Better control through reporting features.
Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) can include situations in which the retailer has given their vendor access to their point-of-sale (POS) system data. This can result in lower costs when inventory management is outsourced; minimize stockouts; better forecasting by leaving it to the experts.