By Lisa Henthorn, V.P., Corporate Communications

Inventory location snafus packed a gigantic lump of coal inside the retail industry’s holiday stocking.  CNBC projected out-of-stocks, overstocks and returns will cost retailers a whopping $1.75 trillion in 2015, spelling doom and gloom for an otherwise prosperous holiday season.

“What’s more, as retailers struggle to get a read on how much merchandise they have and where it’s located, many are falling short on their promise to make it easy for shoppers to pick up their online orders in store. As a result, these businesses are likely to miss out on future sales from consumers whom they’ve disappointed in the past,” CNBC reported.

In other words, retailers took a financial beating – and will continue to get socked – when they don’t have full, real-time visibility of every item they have in stock, in stores, in distribution centers and in transit.

Not surprisingly, this lack of visibility had an impact on retailers’ shipping partners.

As SupplyChain 24/7 reported: “Peak holiday season usually is the most wonderful time of the year for shipping companies thanks to a surge in online orders, but this year, it is highlighting the growing gap between the transportation industry’s haves and have-nots.”

The “haves,” wrote SupplyChain’s Aaron Pittman, are those organizations that understand that “full visibility, shelf-connected retail systems, same-day and home-delivery, and new approaches to inventory management are all interconnected, with real-world consequences for the companies involved.”

For companies looking to be among the “haves,” Eyefreight’s transportation management system (TMS) can help. Leveraging cloud-based technology, the Eyefreight TMS provides retailers and shippers with full, real-time visibility of their entire inventory – as well as every other mission-critical aspect of their shipping, transportation and logistics operations.

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