After selecting the right products for a compelling merchandise offer, retailers need to get the goods to stores, and then make sure they stay in stock. The Retail Directions Platform includes a comprehensive set of tools to manage warehouses, handle stock distribution across the stores, and then redistribute the stock if required, to minimise out of stocks, reduce markdowns and to maximise sales opportunities.
The entire supply chain is enabled to use SSCCs and unit loads, minimising the need to handle stock at SKU level, to reduce labour and increase stock accuracy.
Retail Directions’ Advanced Warehouse Management System (AWMS) provides all the functionality needed to run an efficient warehouse operation within a retail or wholesale environment, including store replenishment, customer orders fulfilment and trans-shipments between stores. AWMS can handle hundreds of thousands of SKUs, controlling all stock movements via wireless hand-held devices.
Running warehouse(s) internally can have a significant positive effect on a retailer’s bottom line. Outsourcing this critical part of retail business to a third party or supplying stores directly from manufacturers usually is not the most efficient method of operation. With AWMS, a highly efficient warehouse can be achieved quite easily, thanks to its direct integration with the other parts of the Retail Directions Platform.
Retail Directions Platform allows for stock to be received into warehouses or into stores. Stock arriving at a warehouse can be put away, cross-docked or handled through a break-bulk procedure. Cross docking allows for carton-level trans-shipments, with stock moving directly from the receiving area to warehouse dispatch. When processing break-bulk deliveries, the stock is received into a staging area where it is split by store and moved directly to the dispatch area.
Retail Directions Platform includes facilities to automatically determine store stock replenishment requirements. The facilities rely on stock presentation / holding templates to dynamically calculate the demand, to decide what stock is needed at the SKU level for each store. The replenishment system then generates transfer orders for AWMS (or for integrated, 3rd party warehouses). The system can replenish stores using stock from multiple warehouses.
When necessary, the automatic demand calculation process can also generate direct-to-store purchase orders.
The system can combine explicit stock allocations, store orders and the automatically generated demand to determine the actual quantities that need to be shipped to the stores.
In addition to sourcing from suppliers and warehouses, the Retail Directions Platform also includes stock redistribution tools. Users can review and act on computer-generated stock movement recommendations, which are based on sales forecasts and the stock holdings in stores. A wide range of rules can be stipulated, all aimed at optimising stock holding across the business.