What does having a single stock view mean, why is it a necessity in modern retail and how do you achieve it?

A Single Point of Truth For Retail

We say it all the time, but effectively running a large retail business is challenging, and it is getting more complex by the year.

Even ignoring COVID-19, the highly competitive nature of the industry means retailers must always be pushing forwards, constantly improving their offering, and ensuring margins are optimised to the nth degree.

Managing a full store network is hard enough, but now retailers must operate online channels and even blend operations to offer services like click-and-collect.

The need to manage increasingly complex operations in better and more innovative ways has led retail down the path of digital transformation.

The digitisation of stores and supply chains delivers one of the most crucial requirements of effective modern retailing – product visibility. For retailers who can achieve a single unified view of stock, meeting the high standards of customers and shareholders get a whole lot easier.

Let’s explore the new holy grail of retail – A Single Stock View

What is a single stock view?

A single point of truth in retail means having a single view of stock across the business. It means stores and distribution centres aren’t islands of merchandise that are clunkily attempting to share their version of stock information with one another as best as possible.

Instead, at the foundation of the business is a unified view of every single product. Because this view of stock covers the entire network, items can move between stores and DC’s and remain in line-of-sight the entire time. This has huge benefits for individual operations and the business as a whole.

Doing this requires the right digital technologies. RFID enables retailers to track their products with pinpoint accuracy, and cloud-based infrastructure and The Internet of Things allows you to build a digital view of products, and easily share this data across the organisation.

A single view of stock must be:

A single point of truth for retail inventory must be:

Single Stock View Diagram

What are the benefits of a single stock view?

How do you achieve a single view of stock?

So, what does it take to gain this reliable and complete view of stock?

A single view of inventory starts with a single item. By giving each item an RFID tag, you are essentially giving it a unique digital identity. This means, using regular RFID reads and sensors, you can easily track the item as it moves along the supply chain.

Once it has arrived in a store, the stock becomes far easier to count, monitor and control. Because all this information is stored centrally in a single place, the individual item can be seen by the online store (and its customers) and even neighbouring stores and DC’s.

This transparency boosts efficiency and makes cooperation between different arms of the retail operation far easier to manage.
With RFID in place, you can verify and track your products on an item-level, giving you a complete digital view of every individual item and every single item-movement, in real-time.

But to get every step of the operation singing off the same sheet requires supporting software that is:

  • Cloud-Based
  • Utilises the Internet of Things
  • Is End-to-End, covering from the factory to the shop floor
Single Stock View Roadmap

The Detego platform is the single point of truth for retail inventory

The Detego platform puts all this together and delivers a single stock view that can be counted on. Using RFID, we effectively digitise every single product in the supply chain and the store network. The information can then be fed into existing systems, such as ERP and OMS. The Detego platform covers every step of the item journey, from the factory to the distribution centre to the store. This delivers all the benefits mentioned above, and our in-store application guides store staff to effectively capitalise on this complete view of store inventory.

Diagram of RFID tracking across a retail supply chain

‘Detego is our “Single point of truth” in terms of in-store inventory. As a result, we are able to improve our omnichannel services such as click & collect, returns from e-commerce in the store or directly deliver to consumers from the store in a very efficient way. These are exactly the services our consumers expect today.’

Tobias Steinhoff, Senior Director Business Solutions Sales Strategy and Excellence, adidas

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