Inventory Control: The Digital Warehouse

When managing marketing materials and promotional goods across sales teams, it becomes clear that budgets aren’t always going to be enough. Controlling funds might not be the key to ensure marketing materials are being distributed wisely across profit centers or regions.

The Recon GRP eCommerce platform is home to an allocations solution that provides administrators the control and flexibility to ensure materials are being distributed wisely. After the goods are distributed, the reporting features in the system give advanced insight in to the goods consumption to help build a foundation for continuous improvements as programs continue over the years.

So, how does it work?

The Recon GRP eCommerce platform, at it’s very core, is a virtual representation of the physical inventory in the warehouse and/or showrooms (and all the components that make them work – product intake, inventory aging mechanisms, distribution, etc.,). When a user logs into view a product, they can see the inventory remaining and gauge how much they need to order (and when that user finalizes an order for products, the next user will see depreciated inventory). Pretty straight forward, so far.

Now imagine that you are running distribution across multiple sales team members in multiple departments and you want to make sure that specific products get distributed proportionately to different regions. Without technology, in order to control distribution to make sure the inventory is getting close to where it ideally should be for the most impactful outreach programs, lockboxes might be deployed to make sure the correct amount of products or going to the right people. One lockbox for your representative from Los Angeles, another one for your rep in the OC and a few more for the inland regions.

Allocation systems alleviate the need for physical lockboxes, and introduce a control component to the user ordering mechanisms. Administrators can dictate sets of inventories to different departments and different users which prevent over-ordering inventory and skewing of product distribution. If we take a look at our previous scenario, a user will login to the system to acquire products and see the available inventory. However, with allocations, they will only see their segmented inventory that has been issued to their user account. When this user finalizes their order, their segmented inventory will deplete, but the next user will only see their independently allocated total inventory.

Whenever processes are translated from physical or manual controls, not only is efficiency increased, but so is in-depth, pivotable insight. With initial allocations, reporting mechanisms will allow the administrators to easily see inventory utilization to figure out whether users are appropriately ordering the goods allocated to them, but also pinpointing users that are underutilizing available inventory. These details increase an organization’s ability to produce, distribute and market more accurately while decreasing waste and identifying ways of increasing impact.

Expanding the Allocations Program:

In addition to allocations, The Recon GRP e-Commerce platform includes forecasting features that work in unison with the allocations module. Forecasting gives users the ability to communicate how much of each eligible product they think they might need for the upcoming quarter or year. This will help gauge sourcing and production, while also forming the foundation for allocations to help meet each user’s requested inventory levels.

Over time, reporting and analytics will increase administrators’ ability to pinpoint standard deviations, external factors for annual consumption, and so much more. All of these mechanisms will smooth out the edges that are often found in marketing and distribution programs that lead to unforeseen waste and a decreased impact of well thought out programs and initiatives.