Many businesses have to deal with the issue of out-of-stock products, which can lead to lost profits and decreasing customer loyalty.
But there is an even bigger problem that many distributors sometimes forget to consider – product voids. Product voids occur when the product is out of stock and the placement on the shelf disappears completely. How does this happen, and how can distributors avoid it in the future?
Causes of Voids
Voids can happen for a variety of reasons. For one, an influx of customers can create a mess in the store. Products and shelf tags can easily get scattered and end up in random places. This can lead to a lot of confusion in the store and mishaps when it comes to reordering and properly restocking products. Some retailers also remove shelf tags if they can’t find a product there to avoid having a gap on the shelf. This leads to further issues with reordering.
Voids can create a real headache for distributors, but with the right solutions in place, they can be avoided.
What’s the Solution?
The best way to enhance retail execution and prevent product voids is to get the right software in place to track and monitor small issues before they become larger problems. Void prevention software will give you more insight into in-store performance, so you have more information about products and inventory levels. Data surrounding your inventory levels will help you carry out audits, and also tap into pain points which can lead to communication breakdowns and product voids.
However, it’s not as simple as just having one central database. Data needs to be accessible to multiple people so that it can be properly monitored. An advantage of using the cloud is that multiple people can access the same data at one time. The best void prevention software also provides aggregated reports, which are important for passing information and correcting problems when the need arises.
It can be hard to gather data surrounding product voids, and most companies don’t want the added expense of hiring in-house data analysts. The right software can help you identify bottlenecks so that your products will get maximum exposure in stores. Getting clean and concise data into the hands of your employees can address this problem quickly and efficiently, and ensure that your product stays in distribution and no voids occur.
The data that you collect on the status of your products needs to be stored in a safe and accessible place so that your sales reps can instantly access it and make sure everything is in order with your distribution. Product voids aren’t always easy to detect and manage, but with the right software, you can have access to the data you need in order to improve your in-store processes.
Void prevention software is an important part of your retail execution strategy, and can help you make sure you have a keen eye on what products are in stock and also on their way to different stores. This is the best way to stay on top of customer demands and improve your sales and customer loyalty over time.