Inventory management is something that a lot of retail store managers have to deal with on a regular basis. Whenever certain products sell out, it is the manager’s responsibility to contact the various suppliers to restock the shelves.
As you can probably imagine, constantly calling up suppliers takes up a lot of time for managers – time that they could spend doing any number of their important day-to-day tasks.
The inventory sourcing process can be simplified and streamlined through the use of automation to help retail managers restock products easily by sending automated restocking requests to available suppliers.
Wondering what an automated inventory sourcing solution looks like? Below we’ve outlined the process in four steps.
1. Build the Supplier Database
The first step in automating the inventory sourcing process is consolidating the contact information for all your company’s suppliers company into a supplier database. In your supplier database, you will need to make sure you are storing all the important information you need for each supplier, such as their names, their contact information, as well as which products or services they provide your company with. This information will help you down the line when you are setting up your restock request message template.
2. Create the Restock Request Template
Once you have your supplier database with your suppliers’ contact information set up, you need to configure the restock request template that will be sent to them whenever you are sourcing products. While the message itself will be sent to your suppliers automatically, you will have to do a little work up front to configure the message template and the rules for when the messages will be sent to them.
One thing to consider is adding a little bit of personalization to your restock request messages in order to target them to each individual supplier based on what it is that they provide. This personalization can be built into your request message template using merge tags, which will automatically pull the relevant information for each supplier when the request is sent, ensuring that suppliers know that the request is meant for them. This is why it is important to collect and store as much information on your suppliers in the database as possible.
3. Send the Restock Request
Once you have your supplier list and restock request templates set up, you are almost ready to go! The final step before sending the inventory restocking request is to set up responder types. These will be the types of suppliers you need to contact. By specifying which supplier types you need to reach out to, you can limit responses based on the types of suppliers you need. Once this is completed, you'll be ready to trigger the recall and send your messages.â€‹
The inventory sourcing solution will send to all your suppliers almost simultaneously, automatically adding any personalization elements you configured when creating it. After the required number of suppliers have indicated their ability to restock the required products, another message will be sent out to confirm the restocking request has been fulfilled. â€‹
4. Analyze Reports and Responses
After each restock request is sent, the automated solution will generate a report which will provide you with metrics such as the open rate, click-through rate, and information regarding which suppliers responded to the request.
These reports will help you gauge the effectiveness of your request templates and will provide you with the insight you need to optimize them in order to achieve a higher performance.
Looking to automate your inventory sourcing process?
SimplyCast has used its all-in-one engagement automation platform to build an all-in-one inventory sourcing solution using our contact management and Recall tools, that can be used by any business or organization who needs to regularly replenish their inventory stock. The solution can be modified and customized to meet the requirements of each individual business in order to provide the most seamless inventory procurement process possible.
To check out how to manage inventory using SimplyCast’s automated inventory sourcing solution, be sure to click the button below to request a one-on-one demo from our team!