27 May Buyer Tools and Training for Merchants
Every business that manufactures or sells products is challenged to balance supply with demand, in the simplest of terms. Importers and manufacturers deal with lengthy lead times, raw materials procurement, compliance, customs, logistics and distribution issues. Retailers face committing real dollars to inventory with zero advance demand signals from their customers. Both face obsolescence, excess inventory, markdowns, customer cancellations, quality failures and changing market demand.
Isn’t it a wonder we make any money?
Inventory is an asset, but a highly volatile one. It is our biggest spend, by far. Inventory challenges our credit facilities, ties up cash, and too much of it has likely sunk many businesses.
But, like food, we need it to survive. Also like food, too much, too little or the wrong food is not so good for us.
Every fraction of a turn improvement in your inventory efficiency frees up cash. Every avoided markdown builds margin and earnings. Every smartly anticipated demand speeds sell-through.
New Normal Consulting offers a suite of tools and trainings for demand planners, buyers, inventory managers and analysts that will dramatically increase and improve your teams’ effectiveness, analytical thinking, decision-making and ultimately, your company’s profitability.
A focused review of your demand planning, inventory planning, buying processes and inventory planning and analysis. This review can be a one-day intensive, or a lengthier, more detailed project.
The output you can expect will be our recommendations for improvements to systems, tools and techniques.
We will dive deeply into:
- Initial inventory planning: What are the tools, assumptions, calculations and financial considerations you use to set up your season or year for success?
- Demand forecasting: How do you determine who is going to buy what and when?
- Open-To-Buy: Tools, processes and disciplines.
- Order cycles. Replenishment. MOQ issues. Lead times. Just in time.
- Dealing with vendors: What are you asking for? What is fair and reasonable? What do the “other guys” get?
- Actuals to Plan tracking. Demand forecast accuracy metrics.
- Vendor fulfillment tracking. Vendor “report cards”.
- Keeping score: Turn rates, margins, GMROI, excess inventory, obsolescence, and product life cycles.
- Merchandising Operating Model: Have you made your processes institutional, codified and shared? Are they documented? Do you stick to schedules? Are your team members trained well?
From this “tune-up” exercise, New Normal Consulting can customize specific projects to fine tune and add horsepower to your merchant team.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to schedule your own merchant team training.
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