How Big Data Can Improve Inventory Management?

Big Data, as the name suggests, is huge amounts of data generated by various sources such as mobile phones, social media, transactions, and others. It has benefited various industries and helped them deliver and grow at a rapid pace.

Today, it is owing to Big Data that businesses can gain a thorough understanding and knowledge of customer demands. Based on them they can make well-informed decisions pertaining to supply chain and inventory management. For example, if you are to launch new packages of Optimum internet plans in a city, you need factual data regarding the internet usage of people in the vicinity. Big Data can provide you the relevant information you need to be able to provide deals accordingly.

Many e-commerce and retail sellers still rely on manual processes to manage their inventories. This not just takes up more resources and time for a task but also increases the chances of error which translates into unnecessary delays and mistakes affecting your customer service and brand reputation. Big Data can be your savior in this regard; it can help you improve inventory management drastically. Here is how.

1#. Improves Demand Forecasting

Big Data helps businesses forecast their demands. When they can understand customer purchase patterns and identify when there is a sudden increase or decrease in demand, businesses can prepare for it well in time. The information can be passed on to the manufacturer or wholesaler of the goods so that there is no delay from their end.

Demand forecasting also helps businesses gauge which products or services are working well for them and which aren’t performing too well. This information can be used to devise better marketing strategies or to discontinue a particular product or service that is not producing the desired results. 

2#. Inventory Planning & Development

A lot of e-commerce businesses suffer because of poor inventory planning. They either have too much stock that is not selling well or they run out of products when customer orders are pouring in. Both scenarios hurt your business. When there are too many products that aren’t being purchased, it means you’re wasting your money on inventory that is not needed by the customer.

Similarly, when you run out of stock and are not able to deliver to the customers’ demands, you’re losing out on a lot of orders and customers. Big Data solves this issue by analyzing the demand in detail. This eventually helps businesses plan their inventory better and make developments as and when required.

3#. Order Fulfillment

Customer satisfaction is crucial to the success of any business. And customers would only be happy if they receive their order/product on time. If you are supposed to deliver an order or a particular date, make sure you fulfill the commitment. Failing to do so reflects badly on your customer service and brand. Big Data analytics can help businesses speed up and optimize their order fulfillment process.

With Big Data, businesses can monitor the process starting from the placement of an order to the delivery of a product. This can help them identify which parts of the process are causing delays (it could be a lack of responsibility on the part of your courier service). Based on this data, they can modify their strategies and take steps to optimize order fulfillment. 

4#. Pricing Management

Businesses can make use of Big Data analytics to determine or decide the final price of a product. This is because Big Data evaluates factors such as the supplies available, their cost, the value of the product, and the pricing of the closest competitors. When businesses have a clear picture of all these aspects, they are in a better position to decide a price that would be profitable for them as well as reasons for their customers.

5#. Seamless Replenishment of Stock

Monitoring customer demand manually and placing orders intuitively can end up badly for your business. It is not only a time-consuming task but can lead to poor decision-making. Your decisions pertaining to the two aspects need to be backed by data. Big Data allows suppliers and retailers to keep track of inventory levels so that they exactly know how much stock is needed where. This helps speed up processes and results in seamless stock replenishment.

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