6 Realities of Managing Products That Can’t Be Ignored
Every retailer anywhere in the world has to grapple with managing products. Each retail operation is different, so there may be different techniques and different methods of managing these four aspects of your inventory, but every retailer must have a plan for each of the following parts of the product management process.
- Vendor Management – Who you order your products from matters. Are you going to order the cheapest products you can find? There’s nothing wrong with that, but you have to make that a part of your plan. Do you deal with luxury products only? Then you must find the right vendors that deal with the right products. Managing your vendor relationships is just as important as anything else in retail.
- Allocations – Once you order a product, you’ve got to side which stores get the product and how many units each store receives. Ideally, you’d make this decision before you ordered a product, but you need to have a process in place for allocations.
- Replenishment – How often do you replenish your inventory? Do you do it monthly, weekly, per product, or as you need? Perhaps you set minimums and order your product automatically when you hit the trigger. Whatever your process, it needs to be well thought out so that you do not end up with no product at all.
- Pricing – Managing your prices is an art. It entails using specials, discounts, incentives, and other tools of the retailer to manage your overstocks and other product realities.
- Loss control – Product losses happen. Sometimes an item is stolen or damaged. Hopefully, you have a plan for minimizing losses.
- Customer desires – Do you order product with your customers in mind? Knowing what customers want is not an exact science, but it is the business you are in.