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The Role of Data Analytics in Inventory Management

Mistaking data analytics for a complex endeavour is understandable. At a glance, a mass of numbers and graphs can seem daunting, but by using various tools and techniques you can analyse your data and uncover historical events, their causes and future predictions. 

Data analytics encompasses the practice of scrutinising and deciphering data in order to unearth valuable insights while pinpointing recurring patterns and emerging trends. This procedure relies on different methodologies and instruments for data examination, such as statistical analysis, data mining and machine learning.

Data Analytics can also provide a practical guide for sound decision-making, transforming it into an invaluable tool for businesses.

By turning data into actionable information, data analytics enables businesses to make data-driven decisions, ensuring products are available when needed, ultimately enhancing customer satisfaction.

The Significance of Data Analytics in Inventory Management

For businesses dealing with inventory, data analytics is instrumental in optimising the supply chain. It gives organisations the ability to examine, clean, transform, and interpret inventory data to discover valuable insights, patterns and trends. 

  • Demand Forecasting:

By analysing historical sales data and market trends, data analytics helps businesses to predict future demand accurately. Thus enabling them to make informed decisions about stock levels, minimising the risk of overstocking or understocking, and aiding in reducing carrying costs and lost sales.

According to Wikipedia, demand forecasting refers to the process of predicting the quantity of goods and services that will be demanded by consumers at a future point in time. It is an important tool in optimising business profitability through efficient supply chain management.

Unleashed has inventory forecasting and demand planning software built right into it. Simply add the Advanced Inventory Manager (AIM) module to a normal Unleashed subscription. Then, each sales order, purchase, and delivery contributes to your demand forecasting projection. You can simply convert sales models into real-world purchasing plans with this forecasting capability incorporated into your ERP. To simulate demand scenarios, it supports predictive analytics, manual forecasting, or a combination of the two.

Additionally, Unleashed integrates with various sales channels, including e-Commerce platforms and point-of-sale systems. This data integration allows for a centralised and streamlined view of your entire inventory ecosystem. Unleashed integrates with Inventory Planner – a demand forecasting solution for e-commerce created by Sage. Inventory Planner assists businesses in adapting to market variations and maximising profit by preventing out-of-stock situations and releasing cash from slow-moving items so that it can be reinvested into the company’s growth.

  • Inventory Optimisation:

Inventory optimisation is dependent on thorough data analysis, automated inventory management, and exact demand forecasts. Inventory optimisation typically starts with analysing previous sales data and supplier lead times in order to predict supply and demand patterns.

Unleashed provides real-time visibility into inventory levels and sales trends. It offers a centralised platform where businesses can monitor their entire inventory ecosystem. Including multi-location management, making it suitable for businesses with multiple warehouses or stores, as it ensures efficient distribution and stock allocation, monitoring stock levels, replenishing inventory, and optimising allocation.

By analysing data with Unleashed, organisations can optimise their inventory levels. This ensures that they’re not tying up capital in excess inventory, and they’re reducing the risk of products becoming obsolete or deteriorating.

  • Cost Reduction:

Efficient inventory management through data analytics minimises storage costs, reduces the need for emergency shipments, and avoids excess labour costs. Data analytics maximises resource utilisation, leading to cost savings.

  • Customer Satisfaction:

Accurate inventory levels ensure that products are available when customers need them, improving customer satisfaction and loyalty. Avoiding stockouts and long lead times enhances the customer experience and this happy experience will hopefully keep them coming back for more.

Making Data Driven Decisions with Unleashed

Data analytics plays a crucial role in successful inventory management, and Unleashed inventory management software provides businesses with the tools and insights needed to optimise their inventory operations.

Maximising Profitability with Unleashed

In addition to the data analytics features mentioned above, Unleashed inventory management software also offers:

  • Real-time Reporting: Unleashed provides real-time visibility into your inventory data, allowing you to generate on-demand reports. This includes stock levels, sales trends, supplier performance, and more. Accurate reporting gives you greater insight into your company’s performance, allowing you to identify problems, discover opportunities for improvement, and adapt to changes in the market. Unleashed offers 21 in-depth operational reports, giving you a contextual understanding of functions across your business.
  • Supplier Performance Analysis: You can analyse data related to your suppliers, such as lead times, order accuracy, and pricing. This information from the supplier management system helps in making informed decisions about supplier relationships and negotiations.
  • Customisable Dashboards: Unleashed often provides customisable dashboards, allowing you to tailor the analytics and reporting to your specific business needs.
  • Inventory Valuation: The software often includes tools for calculating the value of your inventory based on different valuation methods, such as FIFO (First-In, First-Out), LIFO (Last-In, First-Out) and Average Landed Cost.
  • Stock Aging Analysis: Aged inventory reports provide an insight into your purchasing behaviours. Various documents that provide key metrics about the status of your inventory and information provided are grouped by cost currency, product line, product identification, unit of measure and inventory class. This helps you track the age of your inventory, allowing you to identify slow-moving items that might need special attention or promotions, and improve inventory control activities.
  • Multi-currency Support: For businesses dealing with international suppliers or customers, Unleashed often supports multi-currency capabilities, making it easier to manage cross-border transactions and analyse currency-related impacts on inventory.

Through accurate demand forecasting, real-time visibility, and automation, Unleashed enables businesses to reduce costs, enhance customer satisfaction, and make data-driven decisions. 

Should you be interested in finding out more about Unleashed inventory management software, get in touch. We are proud partners of Unleashed and we’d be happy to help you get set up.