Guest Column | August 26, 2011

Real-Time Inventory Mastery - Look To The Cloud

Baruch Goldwasser, Director of Strategy, NetSuite, Inc.

By Baruch Goldwasser, Director of Strategy, NetSuite, Inc.

The time has come to take a careful look at the sophistication of your company's inventory management capabilities. After all, inventory represents a tremendous percentage of a retailer's assets. The accuracy and transparency of that inventory to your shoppers is the difference between profitable success and eroding margins, or worse.

Today, cloud computing gives merchants of all sizes the ability to manage inventory in multiple locations and channels—stores, warehouses, and Web sites—in a single database and application. The cloud also eliminates the need to maintain costly and cumbersome networks between store locations and headquarters. Any Internet connection can give each customer, retailer and warehouse employee the potential to see true stock levels in real-time.

Better inventory visibility enables better inventory planning. When every sales channel and inventory location are in real-time harmony, it becomes much easier to make informed judgments about ideal stock levels and re-order points. With real-time visibility, managers can see inventory levels at-a-glance and take action if replenishment procedures are not being followed correctly, or if demand is outstripping expectations.