As 2016 draws to a close, we will take this month to review the many exciting opportunities and challenges Pinnacle responded to this year and what we have to look forward to in the coming year.
Managing adequate inventory levels and shrink are two critical and sometimes invisible components of any successful convenience store. If not managed well, companies may be ‘leaving money on the table’ regarding inventory. More importantly, their customers- the consumer who is relied upon for all profitability- will find these seemingly invisible components very visible. Without loyal clients’ preferred products in-stock, those consumers will leave unhappy- perhaps never coming back. And, with multiple social media outlets at their fingertips today, customers aren’t hesitant being extremely vocal about their experience!
Pinnacle’s approach to inventory solutions can be drilled down to the path of a candy bar. Convenience store retailers are constantly looking for ways to get the most from their merchandise, even to the last chocolate. In today’s competitive market, it’s not enough to just buy and resell for a profit. Retailers must stay ahead of the hurdles and headwinds of changing consumer tastes, market saturation, product staleness and shrink. At each step of the inventory timeline, using Pinnacle software and solutions guides the sales process, product mix, ordering, profit evaluation and movement flow- insuring you get the most from your snack merchandise, down the last candy bar.
In a diverse inventory such as snack foods, convenience stores need true business intelligence when it comes to managing their product mix. Varying demographic desires, regional flavor and cross spectrum economic factors all impact the merchandise a store carries. Competitive retailers need tools that collect and analyze snack food sales data quickly and accurately- showing trends and exceptions to make decisions fast. Critical data needs to be accessed in near real-time on web-enabled devices in the home office or while traveling. With EPM, Pinnacle's real-time business intelligence solution, workers across the enterprise can make immediate, informed decisions that have a significant, positive impact on the bottom line.
Retailers are faced with the challenge of keeping store shelves replenished not only with the correct products but also the correct amount of products. In no other product category is that more true than tobacco. Mismanaged store inventory can be a serious problem for retailers: often the wrong products are being ordered, higher quantities than needed are ordered on slow moving products, and low quantities are ordered on those with high demand. Overstocks and out-of-stocks can cause major problems; sending customers to competitors when the item they need is crowded out from slow moving stale merchandise.
Convenience store retailers navigate a complex inventory terrain on a daily basis. Managing time-sensitive merchandise, increasing variety, age-restricted inventories, rebates and more; managers need access to business information quickly and easily. They also need an effective system to utilize that data in ways that grow profit margins, decrease shrink and gain a true competitive advantage.