Stock reordering needed a facelift
Stock reordering: Yet another process that has traditionally been a thorn in the sides of merchandisers everywhere.
Highly manual, the traditional reorder process suffers from inaccuracy – a consequence of human error, low data processing capabilities, and the fact that the future is never likely to be a perfect reflection of the past.
Similar to the initial buy, the further off demand ends up being from original estimations, the more likely retailers are to inflate warehouse costs and worsen their cash position. And let’s not forget to mention – create unnecessary waste. This in-season management of reorder becomes even more important as demands continuously change throughout the season and as retailers need to take an increasingly customer-centric approach to their merchandising.
So, Nextail set off to fix that. Already helping retailers to transform their allocation, replenishment, and end-of-season stock transfers through agile AI solutions, it was time to take on the reorder process.
Nextail takes to the Beta Lab
Since the idea was to develop this new solution with actual retail data across a variety of verticals (apparel, footwear, jewelry, home appliances, and accessories), the Nextail Beta Lab sought out collaboration with our most innovative retailers.
The Beta Lab is made up of customers who work with Nextail to brainstorm, test, and review new solutions and features still under development, providing real world insights and feedback for continual improvement. In exchange, Beta Lab participants get early access to new developments as well as the ability to inform solutions at the forefront of the new retail.
When first embarking on the new Reorder solution, one agile retailer that immediately came to mind was Spanish affordable-luxury jewelry brand, Aristocrazy.
Aristocrazy, the first agile retailer onboard
It’s not everyday that a retailer will help test and provide data for the development of a solution that will impact an essential merchandising process, but already working with Nextail First Allocation, Replenishment, Store Transfers, and Mobile App, Aristocrazy was no stranger to bottom-up, data-driven merchandising automation, and knew the potential Reorder could have on their business.
As a Beta Lab participant, Aristocrazy became a major contributor to the development of the Reorder solution, informing functionalities and allowing us to work with their data to sharpen forecasting capabilities.
The team shed light onto how they had been carrying out reorder scenarios, sharing insights related to the significant aspects to account for when approaching the development of a great reorder solution. As the solution and its functionalities began to come to life, Aristocrazy helped us validate initial results and brainstorm next steps, provided valuable feedback on the UI/UX, and even carried out parallel testing between their standard operating procedures vs. the Reorder proposal.
According to Marta García Villasante, Aristocrazy Senior Buyer, “The main reason we were ready to welcome this solution was to be able to save time on the reorder process while also achieving more adjusted results. Reorder is not an easy process that has a big impact, having a quality solution can be a big strategic advantage for a company.”
The Reorder solution today: Quick, easy, efficient
The latest in the Nextail portfolio of solutions, Reorder, was developed precisely to grapple with the familiar retail pain points of a highly manual, inaccurate and potentially costly traditional process.
Reorder enables speed and flexibility in business-as-usual scenarios
Like all Nextail solutions, Reorder takes a bottom-up approach and calculates a demand forecast based on granular data and AI automation. Since retailers know how probable each SKU is of selling through each channel of their network, they no longer have to base reorder decisions on estimates or over-purchase stock to overcompensate for uncertainty.
In fact, the Reorder solution will automatically deliver decisions that can be complemented with buyers’ intuition.
Speaking about Reorder in a webinar on assortments, Sinead O’Keefe, Product Manager at Aristocrazy said, “We’ve gotten a lot out of [Reorder] in a very short period of time. It’s really a tool that empowers the purchasing department because 98% of what we purchase is confirming what we already know, but it’s doing it a lot faster and it’s giving us a lot more time to dedicate that to other things that really add a lot more value.”
And also in unexpected circumstances
Of course, things don’t always go as planned. In the face of unexpected circumstances, the speed and flexibility the Reorder solution permits allows retailers to act quickly.
Speaking of recent supply chain disruptions, Sinead continued, “[Reorder] has allowed us to be a lot more reactive as soon as problems come up. Because it is so fast at calculating, because it goes to the detail, because we can have that vision, that granularity, it has allowed us to react very very fast. Normally, it might have taken us weeks to be able to react to certain problems that we’ve encountered. Here we were able to do it in days.”
Manual work cut in half to unlock more value
By automating a traditionally cumbersome process like reordering, Nextail cuts the manual work involved with reordering the correct amount of SKUs by up to 50%.
Before working with the Reorder solution, Aristocrazy might spend up to three entire days per month carrying out regular reorders, and sometimes even more time depending on the complexity of the reorder such as those associated with large marketing campaigns and important events.
Today, with all that time unlocked, and in addition to likely increasing job satisfaction, retailers can spend time focusing on other areas of the business such as focusing on customer experience and more.
Sinead said, “[Reorder] really does validate that work while making it a lot more streamlined, a lot faster… And that is obviously great for a department especially when resources are limited, while it means you can add a lot more value to the company as a whole.”
The Reorder solution going forward
Just like all Nextail solutions, Reorder will just continue getting stronger as time goes by.
In fact, the Beta Lab continues to onboard additional Nextail customers to continue sharpening Reorder forecasts in different verticals, developing new features, and continuing along with the product roadmap.
“Working with the Nextail team was very easy and helpful. From the very beginning, they understood the whole reorder process, the complexity of our business and products, and always listened to us, developing the necessary approaches and proposals. Their response time was also fast, and constant improvements allowed us to move quickly,” Marta commented.
And one of the many benefits of SaaS solutions like Reorder is that as soon as there’s an upgrade or an improvement, it’s automatically available for users – no special services or upgrade packages.
Marta expressed what she expects for the future of Aristocrazy and Reorder, “I’m really pleased with the solution and the outcome. We’re using Reorder for all our orders and have given up working with old manual fields and forecasts. The next steps currently under development will give us an even broader perspective of the whole reorder plan. In addition to more accurate orders, Reorder will continue helping us automate this process and give us more visibility over large reorder inputs.”
Are you already working with Nextail and interested in testing the latest solutions and features? Contact us here to get in touch and learn more about the Nextail Beta Lab.