Inventory Planning with Vend HQ

Melissa Gonzalez and Francesca Nicasio discuss the Inventory Planning and POS systems for retail.

A Few Show Highlights:

On this episode of Tuesday Talks, we had the opportunity to speak with Francesca Nicasio, the Content Marketing Manager and Retail Expert at VendHQ. Like our CEO Melissa, Francesca is a published retail author. She wrote Retail Survival of the Fittest: 7 Ways to Future-Proof Your Retail Store. Francesca helps retailers design in-store experiences that keep customers happy and coming back. She does this by automating and streamlining tasks to be the most productive, and increasing repeat purchases through creating loyalty and rewards programs.

We asked Francesca, what are the most important considerations for retailers when selecting POS and inventory management systems? Francesca stated that the most important consideration is finding a POS system that matches the nature of your business. A POS system should match and support your current businesses capabilities, whether that be large scale or small. If a business has multiple locations or an e-commerce site, the system should be able to work flawlessly throughout the entire corporation. Another important consideration is price, because costs of a POS system can be very significant depending on features desired. It is important to not choose a system based on price alone, choose a system that works best for your company’s needs. Equally important and often overlooked, is having customer support from system you choose. A software can be perfect, but having customer support that is readily available for when problems arise is key to keeping your business flowing seamlessly.

A great case study on VendHQ is how their client Christmas Elves used it to plan their inventory and increase their sales. By using the sales reports generated by VendHQ, Christmas Elves was able to identify trends in consumer habits and preferences. They noticed that there was a trend where customers moved away from buying white Christmas trees, and instead purchased snow covered or flocked Christmas trees. As a result, they haven’t bought as many white trees and the ones they have are on sale.

We also asked Francesca about common pitfalls that occur when planning inventory and how to prevent them. One of the most common problems is lack of data. Francesca believes having data on your inventory is extremely important and can be the backbone of good inventory planning. Businesses need to know in real time how fast product is selling, how often product is selling out or going out of stock, and how customers are behaving while shopping in store and online. Another common pitfall when planning inventory is that internal teams are siloed. There is often a lack of alignment between sales, merchandising, and warehousing teams. Making sure all parts of a company are on the same page and share information with one another helps ensure inventory planning is optimized on all levels.

During our talk with Francesca we learned what is important to account for when selecting a POS system. First, find a POS system that matches your business’ needs is extremely important. Next, consider pricing when looking for technology systems and consider their customer support needs. Additionally, choose a system that has enough data to keep inventory management running smoothly.  Finally,  analyze all the data gathered and ensure internal teams are always working together.

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