Home / 


In an uncertain future, it is important that businesses both B2B and B2C make sure their inventory management systems can handle the unpredictability. A lot of experts are defining the future as BANI – Brittle, Anxious, Non-Linear and Incomprehensible.

Developing a future proof inventory management system for a BANI world that can deal with erratic fluctuations in demand can be challenging. We examine how you can make sure your inventory management system is ready for the future and get tips on what you need to consider when building your inventory management system.

Inventory management is one of the most crucial business components of any organization. Companies use different tools and technologies to optimize their supply chains, increase product availability, and reduce costs.

Let’s also assume that the application will occasionally fail during data processing, which will lead to re-running of the entire process. It’s also common for large retail chains to host their applications on a public cloud, which means they incur substantial cost overruns.

Implementing a retail inventory management system that can process large amounts of data quickly, effectively, and efficiently has become paramount for retail organizations worldwide. Organizations need to better forecast sales to get the right products on store shelves before they are sold out.

Download to know how you can effectively prepare your inventory management system to handle modern e-commerce trends and market fluctuations while always maintaining the highest level of customer service.

The Current State of Inventory Management Systems

Inventory management is a key component of retail. The goal is to have the right amount of inventory on hand to meet customer demand while keeping costs low. Retailers need to make sure they have enough inventory available, and more importantly, they need to know what products will sell quickly and what may be dead weights.

When a retailer has too much inventory, it may lead to having products sitting in a warehouse waiting for customers that never come. Conversely, if stock is too low, customers are unable to make purchases.

Image 1: Typical RIMS Features Implementing these systems offers certain challenges, including high integration costs, scale-up difficulties, and lack of flexibility. These challenges are often attributed to the complexity of RIMS.

Is Your Inventory Management System Keeping Up with the Demands of Today's Business Climate?

Inventory management systems are designed to anticipate customer demand and product availability. While many inventory management systems can adapt to variations in customer demands, they often need help to deal with unanticipated spikes in consumer interest.

To ensure that your retail inventory management system is ready for the future, it's important that you have a system that can identify and track consumer trends and adjust accordingly.

Data-driven forecasting tools help retailers determine when product inventories need replenishment based on when customers will buy them. These predictive analytics ensure that products are available when they're needed most. Data analytics gives retailers key insights into customer preferences, competitive pricing practices, and seasonal trends in product purchases.

When applied strategically, these insights enable companies to make proactive decisions about inventory levels and product mix to satisfy customers by maintaining product availability on store shelves.

Without these types of analytics, it takes too long for retailers to adjust supply levels when needed, leading to lost sales due to out-of-stock issues. Retailers need solutions that simplify their operations and make them more productive.

In one case, our Information Analytics team overhauled a company’s inventory management system across 20,000+ stores worldwide. The advanced analytics solution provided by our team reduced costs, saved time, and reduced retail product waste.

Predictive Analytics Using PySpark Can Solve Your Product Availability Problems

How Do You Make Your Inventory Management System Future-Proof?

To help your retail business succeed in this ever-changing landscape, consider implementing an inventory management system that is more flexible and anticipates possible changes in product availability. Here are some future technology trends that will affect your retail inventory management system.

Case Study: Developed a Unified Framework for Data Governance for a Loyalty PlatformRead Now
Big Data Analytics for Predictive Picking

Predictive analytics enables companies to make predictions about what will happen next based on analysis of historical data. For retailers, predictive analytics can be a powerful tool that helps them forecast sales figures and avoid stock outages. The article "Implemented a Data Quality Framework to Fuel Data-Driven Decisions" discusses how we built a data quality framework for a department store chain to fuel structured business insights that helped them plan high-impact actions.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT is an initiative that uses sensors to create information about physical objects, collect data, and send it over a network. IoT will enormously impact many industries, including the retail industry. The adoption of IoT in supply chain systems will make all stages more efficient, helping retailers be aware of their stock in real-time, thus making decisions faster and more accurately.

Artificial Intelligence
AI is one of the hottest technologies, applied in many fields, including retail. It can analyze consumers' buying habits and recommend products accordingly.
Omnichannel Inventory Management

One of the most critical trends that affects retailers today is omnichannel inventory management, which refers to managing inventories across multiple channels and locations. With more than one channel and location in play at once, retailers need a way to keep track of what products are available at any given time in order to manage customer expectations.

An omnichannel approach is imperative for long-term business viability in today's world. Brands continuously revamp their offerings to match customer expectations while giving them ever-greater control over how they receive their orders.

The blog BOPIS with Salesforce Commerce Cloud Omnichannel Inventory" discusses how the BOPIS approach to sales and order fulfillment impacts retailers’ approach to inventory management in Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC).

Blog: BOPIS | Salesforce Commerce Cloud | Omnichannel Inventory | BlogRead Now

How Are AI, Big Data Analytics, and Related Technologies Shifting the Ever-Changing Retail Landscape?

Retailers have always been in a constant struggle to balance between maximizing sales and managing inventory. The introduction of artificial intelligence, big data analytics and associated technologies changes how retailers manage their inventory and how consumers purchase their products.

The key is to have an accurate, up-to-date inventory system that can provide real-time data about products and their availability. That way, retailers can make more informed decisions about what items to restock and when.

By using analytics and predictive data, retailers can stay on top of product availability in their stores 24/7. This will help them save money on inventory and provide a better customer experience.

Here are a few ways how these innovations will affect product availability:

Understanding Customer Behaviors

AI and bigdata analytics provide retailers with deep insights into customer behavior and what they want to buy. Retailers can use this information to adjust their inventory accordingly, so that they are better equipped to deal with unpredictable demand.

For example, let's say a retailer has five sizes of a particular product and customers purchase all five sizes at different rates over time. Which size should be stocked most frequently? Should the retailer follow what's selling best, or could it lead to better performance by storing one size until it runs out before going back through the cycle again?

AI can help answer that question by analyzing sales data and identifying trends based on past purchases, telling you which products people like to buy together and how often they buy them. By understanding customer behaviors, retailers can anticipate what customers want instead of reacting after the fact when there's already been a shortage.

Case Study: Personalizing Customer Experience through product recommendations made with Adobe TargetRead Now

For one company our engineers implemented Adobe Target, Adobe Analytics, and Adobe Launch, enabling artificial intelligence (AI)-driven algorithms to automatically generate product recommendations for their websites, converting casual visitors into paying customers. The test and optimization features help gain a better understanding of customer behavior, anticipate their needs, identify the right offer or product, and make engaging recommendations.

Forecast Product Availability by Sensing Demand

When demand changes quickly, product availability suffers. However, forecasting product availability isn't about predicting the future; instead, it's about sensing changes in demand as soon as they happen so you can respond accordingly. When combined with predictive modelling, forecasting software automatically reorders items when they run low without requiring manual intervention by store managers. What if your inventory was updated as soon as a new trend emerged?

Case Study: Ace Your Inventory KPIs with Cloud-based Automation, o9, and BEATRead Now

For example, if you have an item that has been sold out for a long time, likely, there's little demand for it right now. However, if another product has had recent sales activity but suddenly has no more sales activity, there might be more interest in this product than originally thought. These two products would need different levels of availability as they are used by different people and in different contexts.

The case study "Ace Your Inventory KPIs with Cloud-based Automation, o9, and BEAT" describes how our team built a comprehensive, integrated data platform that led to more accurate forecasting. The new end-to-end system gave one company an accurate picture of inventory movement and sales standings. Higher data accuracy allows this company to make better predictions, resulting in higher profit margins and less waste.

Making More Informed Decisions About Items to Restock and When

Knowing product availability helps retailers plan so they can know what products to stock on shelves. It also helps them predict which products will sell faster than others and decide whether they want to carry a product longer so they can clear inventory before making room for new merchandise.

For example, if a store knows from its inventory management system that Product A is almost sold out, but Product B isn't, it might decide to put Product A on sale because it knows Product A will soon be unavailable. Using insights from its sales history and product availability information from its inventory management system, the retailer can make more informed decisions about what items to stock and when.

Tracking the Customer Journey

Data analytics solutions not only offer product availability but also how customers are interacting with products along the customer journey. Interaction information includes how customers find products, how they decide what to buy, and where they're buying them. This allows retailers to identify opportunities to entice customers while building loyalty.

Today, retailers have access to vast amounts of data thanks to technological advances. They can use this information to make smarter decisions about product availability and get products into stores quickly. For example, product availability can help retailers create personalized shopping experiences that show products tailored to each customer's tastes and needs. They also need an inventory system that offers accurate, up-to-date product availability data to keep shelves stocked with customers' desired products.

In this case study, "Deliver Better Customer Experience with Real-Time Dashboards to Track Orders," our engineers set up a system for a large apparel store chain for men that allows employees to promptly respond to customer queries, providing the customers with a better experience.

A Better Customer Experience with Real-Time Dashboards for Order Tracking

Utilizing the Power of Barcode Technology and Part Scanners

Barcode scanning and part scanner applications are vital components of modern inventory management systems, offering numerous benefits for businesses. Barcode scanning ensures accuracy and efficiency by eliminating manual data entry errors, providing real-time updates on inventory levels, and enabling traceability throughout the supply chain. Part scanner applications take it a step further by allowing component-level tracking, optimizing inventory accuracy, facilitating quality control, and optimizing supply chain processes. These technologies revolutionize inventory management, empowering businesses to streamline operations, reduce costs, and meet the demands of an ever-changing business landscape.

In this case study, we explore how the implementation of a part scanner application revolutionized the inventory management processes of a global semiconductor supplier, enabling precise and efficient tracking of parts.

In today's rapidly changing business environment, flexible solutions for managing pricing, inventory, and other essential information are crucial. Accurate labeling and pricing streamline supply chain processes, minimize errors, and enhance customer satisfaction, contributing to a business's overall success.

How to Find the Right Inventory Management System for Your Business?

Companies need solutions that simplify their retail operations and make them more productive. One solution to this problem is a retail inventory management system that incorporates Apache Spark to perform high-speed large-scale data processing. Companies using this solution can choose whether to deploy Apache Spark on-premises or in the cloud, giving them more control over their data storage needs and how they want their data processed.

As part of this process, retailers will also have access to various pre-built algorithms to help them address specific challenges such as product availability. With just one interface, an administrator can maintain order counts across multiple locations and optimize product allocation across stores while understanding how individual SKUs are performing and where they need to be reordered.

One of the best ways for your company to move forward is to engage with a reliable partner. A good place to start your digital transformation is develop an actionable roadmap. We offer an integrated approach to optimize various business operations that create long-term value and meet the organization requirements. For more information read how you can achieve business excellence via an actionable roadmap.


To be ready for an increasingly unpredictable retail environment, retailers must implement robust and flexible inventory management systems that accurately track product availability in real-time. This gives them a better idea of when and where their products are going out of stock so they can quickly restock shelves as needed.

One-way retailers can do this is by implementing an end-to-end inventory system, which includes AI, big data analytics, and connected technologies that provide an up-to-date view of product availability across stores. Implementing these solutions can significantly improve a retailer's ability to react quickly to changes in supply and demand while reducing costs.