The modern retail is digital, connected, omni-channel, dynamic and highly complex. A new era demands a new approach. Welcome to the Flieber way of doing things!
More Brands, More Products
Product offerings used to be limited to the physical space of stores. Control of what was sold to the masses was in the hands of few retail chains. The internet broke this dynamics, offering one single centralized point of sales accessible by anyone. And marketplaces went even further, making it easier to sell products. The result is an explosion of new brands and products available in the market.
The explosion of new brands means that more products are being sold to the same customers. With more options available, and with the backing of positive reviews, it is natural that customers experiment with different brands. The result is a drastic reduction in units sold per product. Retailers who learn how to operate with lower sales volume per product will thrive.
From factories to stores, the retail industry was structured to support high volumes of product flows. But lower sales per product demands much lower inventory levels. How to order and transport low quantities, while keeping a low operational cost? How to keep low inventory levels while not running out of stock? Only retailers who are able to adapt to this new reality will survive.
With a website as the single sales location and lower inventory levels to manage, retailers don't have to worry anymore about having stock spread out in thousands of points of sale. This new reality allows retailers to manage orders from multiple sales channels through a centralized inventory. Being efficient and knowing how to predict inventory needs has become more critical than ever.
Centralized inventories allow for centralized fulfillment operations. Amazon's FBA introduced a new modality of fulfillment solutions: the fulfillment-as-a-service. With the growth of offerings in this segment, retailers don't need to worry about warehouses and fulfillment structures anymore, being able to transfer this complexity to specialized third-party service providers.
The changes in the retail industry are making supply-chains even more complex. To keep low inventory levels, retailers have to operate with a continuous-flow supply-chain, where small batches are delivered more often. Synchronizing sales and inventory, and having an intelligent management system has become mandatory for retailers who want to succeed in this competitive environment.