Two Firms Partner to Help Retailers Streamline Inventory Management During Virus Volatility

As footwear’s brick-and-mortar remains largely closed and stores furlough employees, retailers are relying more on e-commerce to bring in revenue. But that presents a new set of challenges: inventory management.

An integration between B2B inventory platform Inturn and enterprise solution SAP aims to equip brands with the technology to tackle this issue head on.

“Slow-moving and excess inventory management continues to be a major challenge, with widespread reports of increased inventory levels, unpredictable demand and unprecedented sales volatility,” said Ronen Lazar, Inturn CEO and co-founder. “Companies are actively looking to better align their supply chains with world markets.”

Inventory technology has been slow to modernize, with many brands lacking a comprehensive management system. Without real-time visibility, companies are often forced into clearance sales and inefficient transportation of goods between stores, warehouses and manufacturing hubs. According to experts, that leaves money on the table, which is detrimental during periods of crisis.

The stakes are currently high across the industry, making inventory oversight more critical. Brands may need to access additional warehouse space in high-density areas, as customers aren’t able to visit physical stores; alternatively, they might require drop-shipping partners to fill these orders. Others may simply face a surplus of goods.

“While some manufacturers are unable to keep up with the demand for their core product lines, others are facing wary consumers who have decreased discretionary spending that will ultimately result in record amounts of slow-moving and excess inventory build-up,” said Abe Marciano, Inturn’s COO. “Even suppliers of fast-moving consumer staples will experience extreme levels of supply and demand volatility in the coming months.”

The Inturn platform, which serves a number of SAP’s largest enterprise customers, will be available on the SAP App Center to all its customers. Inturn reports that its existing customers have experienced a reduction in operation expenses (85%), increased margin recovery (10+%) and decreased time to market (by up to 60 days). During the coronavirus pandemic, the company expects its users to see similar impact.

“The wave of excess inventory within many companies, but even more importantly across the industry, is unprecedented,” said Lazar. “Enabling an efficient flow of inventory throughout the entire life cycle will be critical.”

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