Inventory management is essential for the success of your eCommerce and retail operations.
Knowing where your inventory is, how much you have, and how to get to where it needs to go with the greatest efficiency can reduce operating costs, increase revenue, and create greater customer satisfaction.
Here are the top inventory control statistics to keep an eye on as 2018 comes to a close:
1. Domestic Inventory Management is on the Rise
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of operating warehouses has increased 10.4% from 2013 to 2017 – an increase of over 1,600 new warehouses in the U.S. alone.
These domestic warehouses cut down on shipping costs and eliminate potential taxes, tariffs, and fees associated with international shipping.
Customers get their orders quicker retailers save money, and more jobs are kept in the United States.
2. Investments in Inventory Operations Technology are Increasing
The Motorola Future of Warehousing Study predicts that 66% of retailers will have made a significant investment in Warehouse and Inventory Management technology through 2018.
Top areas of impact for the investments are streamlining processing and eliminating manual processes.
These “internal agility” initiatives answer the call for responsive warehouses that are able to grow with companies in the rapidly expanding eCommerce market.
3. Shipping Cost and Speed Matters
Aberdeen Group reports in “What Has Changed in Wholesale Distribution: 2015 & Beyond,” that 87% of today’s customers are willing to wait two or more days to receive free shipping.
With services like Amazon Prime and many major retailers offering free shipping thresholds, the norm is set to become customers expecting a free shipping promotion every time they shop online. To avoid warehouse backups and still meet customer expectations, order picking-and-packing must be automatically optimized for maximum efficiency.
4. Warehouse Management is a Necessary Investment
Statista states that from 2016 to 2017, 25% more retailers and manufacturers were investing in better warehouse management technology. This means that half of the organizations surveyed are reinvesting into technology to drive better distribution center technology.
This makes a lot of sense when viewed in the context of another statistic from PeopleVox - human error is the top issue in 46% of warehouses.
5. Item Level Tagging Greatly Improves Accuracy
In a research study conducted by Auburn University RFID Lab Studies, researchers found that retailers benefit from item level tagging because it increases inventory accuracy from an average of 63% to 95%.
That’s a phenomenally large increase, and likely part of the reason that more than half (57% to be precise) of retailers surveyed are currently implementing RFID, and 29.8% will plan to have it completed by the end of 2018.
6. Click and Collect is Growing Rapidly
Click and collect (also known as in-store fulfillment) is when a customer buys a product online, then picks it up in store.
There are a few other variations of this process, but the main gist here is that 23% of all US consumers are using click and collect. An unsurprising 32% of Millenials and 35% of Gen Xers are banking on click and collect as well.
After you’ve armed yourself with the knowledge of these changing trends in inventory and warehouse management, schedule a demo of the SkuNexus platform to see how it can be customized to fit unique fulfillment and inventory management challenges.