Warehouse Management

The Frugal Warehouse: 5 Ways to Save Costs in Logistics

Warehouses play a vital role as the pivotal hubs where products await their journey to customers’ doorsteps. However, as indispensable as they are, warehouses can also become significant cost centers if not managed with precision and foresight. However, businesses often invest significantly in warehousing, either because of a lot of manual work contributing to labor costs or not implementing the right technology.

As efficiency and optimization reign supreme, the need to reduce warehousing costs while maintaining quality service has never been more critical. From managing inventory and process optimization to implementing automation and data-driven decision-making, in this blog, we will explore the different aspects of warehouse operations with a keen eye on how to save costs.

1) Investing in the right tech stack

Using the right technology can transform a warehouse into a cost-efficient, agile, and responsive operation by minimizing paper-based operations and reducing labor dependency. The overall impact can be as high as a 20-25% reduction in costs. This is possible due to the digitization of processes and the implementation of intelligent pick-paths increasing picking and packing efficiency.

Additionally, a capable WMS can also help in processing B2B and B2C orders from the same platform, thereby eliminating the need to juggle between different applications. This results in reduced training time and helps in getting new workers up to speed in a matter of hours. 

There are many other benefits of finding the right solution for your warehouse operations, like optimized space allocation, end-to-end inventory tracking, data analytics, and more.

Finally, you should choose a reliable solution that has historically proven to work well without any bugs that could affect the warehouse operations. Customer care should also be exceptional because the operations team is bound to need some support, especially when starting out. All of these factors contribute to better operations and save warehouse costs.

2) Streamlining inventory management for enhanced efficiency

Effective Inventory Management is mission-critical for businesses. It can help minimize carrying costs, reduce stockouts and overstocking, optimize storage space, and improve overall warehouse operations. This can be made possible by gaining real-time visibility into inventory levels, locations, and movements. It also allows managers and workers to quickly identify where specific items are located within the warehouse.

With the right system in place, there will be no need for cycle counting for regular inventory. This ensures that inventory accuracy is maintained without requiring extensive, time-consuming annual physical counts. Businesses can also implement models like just-in-time (JIT), which allows them to get inventory just in the nick of time. This means they can save on tons of excess storage costs and free up tied-up capital. 

3) Accurate demand forecasting and resource allocation

Precise demand forecasting and resource allocation are fundamental to efficient warehousing practices. They help minimize the inefficiencies and costs associated with excess inventory, stockouts, labor misallocation, and other factors that can drive up warehousing costs.

Reliable demand forecasts enable you to anticipate an increase or decrease in demand and manage stock levels accordingly. This means you won’t lose out on sales opportunities when the demand is high and won’t end up overstocking in the opposite scenario. 

Demand forecasting also helps in understanding your future needs. It helps in building better relationships with your suppliers and gives you an upper hand when negotiating costs and delivery times. This allows you to allocate capital more efficiently getting better ROI.

4) Retaining employees and building morale

The warehousing industry has among the highest turnover rates among all at 37%, which is 10 times higher than the average of 3.6%. This calls for a fool-proof system that prevents errors, ensuring newly hired employees are not affecting business. However, the primary focus should be to retain old employees and build strong relationships with workers. 

A motivated and stable workforce tends to be more productive, efficient and committed to maintaining a well-organized and safe warehouse. It also reduces costs as for every new employee, there is an advertising, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding cost alongside the training they need to go through, which also requires a lot of time.

From an overall operations perspective, older employees also tend to be more productive and make fewer errors, resulting in fewer returns, rework, and customer complaints. Combined with a highly motivated workforce, all of these reduce the labor costs significantly for a warehouse.

5) Adapting a strategic approach to risk management

By proactively identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks, warehouses can operate more efficiently and cost-effectively by minimizing unexpected disruptions and losses. Being proactive is important because the damage will already be done if a business is reactive. So, investing in measures and strategies to prevent inventory loss or damage is critical.

For example, businesses also need to ensure that the system they implement is stable and doesn’t have any bugs that can affect the operations or risk system data.

There are many other aspects to risk management, like having multiple vendors to prevent supplier risk, safety management so that warehouses are compliant with laws and regulations, and much more. However, the most important aspect would be to manage the workforce efficiently to reduce turnovers and absenteeism, as they are the core of operations.

Final thoughts

If your business hasn’t yet started implementing these measures, it’s high time to get started. By adopting a holistic approach that encompasses all the above points, you can significantly bring down your operational cost while improving efficiency and customer experience. Connect with our experts today to explore how Increff WMS can help you achieve your warehousing goals.

Smart Merchandising

Mastering Demand Forecasting: A Comprehensive 7-Step Roadmap to Maximize Sales

Amazon, the massive online retailer, rakes in significant profits in North America because numerous local stores struggle to accurately predict how much of a product people want to buy. So, when eager customers head to their nearby stores to purchase something they truly desire, they are often met with disappointment as the item is out of stock. Frustrated and impatient, these shoppers turn to the ever-reliable Amazon, which appears to possess a remarkable knack for promptly meeting their demands.

This anecdote underscores a fundamental truth in the retail world: accurate demand forecasting is not just about predicting how many units of a product you’ll sell. It’s a strategic imperative that can determine the fate of businesses. Beyond bolstering sales, effective demand forecasting is a linchpin for managing cash flow and maintaining streamlined operations. If you’re caught with excess inventory or can’t keep up with customer demand, you’re essentially bleeding money.

In this blog, we embark on a journey through a seven-step action plan tailored for retail merchandisers to revolutionize demand forecast accuracy. By implementing these steps, retailers can drive significant sales growth while ensuring financial prudence and operational efficiency. Let’s explore how these strategies can transform your retail business into a well-oiled, demand-forecasting machine.

Step 1: Understanding Your Customers

A solid demand forecasting strategy hinges on a thorough grasp of your customer base. This entails the meticulous collection and analysis of data related to customer preferences, purchasing behaviors, and historical buying trends. To delve deeper into your customer base, it is advisable to establish direct communication channels with them. In the context of B2B operations, supplier portals and data exchanges can prove to be invaluable resources for forecasting customer demand accurately. 

Conversely, in the realm of B2C enterprises, harnessing real-time localized consumer data serves as the cornerstone for crafting a comprehensive demand forecast that can form the basis for a unified demand forecast shared with stakeholders. This multifaceted process involves the implementation of surveys, careful scrutiny of customer feedback, and segmentation of customers based on various factors such as demographics and buying habits, all of which yield invaluable insights.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of your customers, it is advisable to explore questions such as:

  1. Do my customers exhibit seasonal shopping patterns, or do they maintain a consistent buying pattern throughout the year?
  2. What are the preferred sizes and colors among my customers?
  3. Are there particular brands that hold a special appeal to my customer base?
  4. What are the unique preferences of shoppers in my local area?
  5. How swiftly do consumer trends catch on with shoppers in the vicinity of my store?

This in-depth comprehension of your customer base forms the foundation upon which you can tailor your forecasts to precisely match the unique needs and preferences of your customers.

Step 2: Leverage Technology and Automation to Increase Accuracy

In the realm of retail, a notable portion of industry participants continues to rely on antiquated planning systems and labor-intensive methodologies for gauging customer preferences. In times past, these conventional approaches sufficed due to a relatively stable market landscape. However, in today’s dynamic and ever-evolving market environment, the imperative for change is unmistakable.

A noteworthy issue lies in the fact that approximately 15% of inventory inaccuracies can be attributed to software systems that lack interoperability, thereby fostering communication impediments. Moreover, when we disregard the integration of technology, we expose ourselves to data inconsistencies that arise from human errors.

Embracing advanced technologies and automation tools can significantly enhance demand forecast accuracy. Algorithms, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics can process vast amounts of data quickly and provide more accurate predictions.

For retailers looking to secure a competitive edge, investment in cutting-edge forecasting and adaptable tools, capable of learning from evolving market patterns, is imperative. By doing so, these businesses can not only rectify inventory inaccuracies but also empower their teams to concentrate on more strategic, high-value tasks, thereby ensuring the continued prosperity of their operations.

Step 3: Centralize Your Data for Real-Time Visibility

To improve forecast accuracy, retailers should centralize their data sources and create a single source of truth. A centralized data repository enables real-time visibility into inventory levels, sales data, and other relevant information. This centralized approach allows for quick decision-making and ensures that all stakeholders are working with the same data.

Step 4: Don’t Let Go of Past Data

Historical data represents an invaluable asset in the quest for more accurate demand forecasting. Retailers should maintain a comprehensive historical dataset that includes records of sales, revenue, discount strategies, promotional activities, size-related variations, stockouts, and exposure metrics. This historical data provides a solid foundation for forecasting, as it sheds light on past patterns and trends, which are essential for shaping future forecasts.

Furthermore, a thorough analysis of historical data can uncover valuable insights for optimizing the assortment mix and depth. By examining this data, retailers gain a holistic perspective that helps in fine-tuning inventory strategies. This comprehensive approach also simplifies the identification and rectification of issues, such as size cuts and highly discounted sales within the sales history. All of these factors contribute to a more refined and accurate forecasting process.

Step 5: Bring in In-Depth Algorithm Analysis

In-depth algorithm analysis is crucial for retailers to enhance demand forecasting. This involves ongoing assessment to understand model strengths and weaknesses, ensuring adaptability to shifting market dynamics. Steps include identifying persistent top sellers, conducting granular-level computations with multiple product attributes, and analyzing past data to determine the ideal assortment mix and depth. By focusing on these aspects, retailers can fine-tune their forecasting algorithms, leading to more accurate predictions and improved inventory management.

Step 6: Incorporate Granularity Models

One-size-fits-all forecasting models may not provide the level of accuracy needed in today’s retail landscape. To improve accuracy, consider incorporating granularity into your forecasting models. Granularity here entails crafting distinct forecasts for various product categories, individual store locations, and even delving into the realm of SKU-level forecasts. This meticulous level of detail empowers retailers to make more pinpoint predictions and execute inventory optimization strategies with greater finesse.

This approach is not just about accuracy; it’s also about understanding the intricate nuances of your inventory. It enables retailers to predict true size ratios more effectively, ensuring that stock levels align with customer demands. Additionally, incorporating planned trends and promotions through a granular override system further refines forecasting accuracy. By dissecting and addressing each component of your retail operations with granularity, you’re better equipped to navigate the complexities of the modern retail environment, ultimately driving growth and profitability.

Step 7: Remember External Factors Do Matter

Recognizing that demand forecasting extends beyond historical data, it’s crucial to understand the significant influence of external factors. Economic conditions, weather patterns, seasonality, and market trends all play pivotal roles in shaping consumer behavior. As we touched upon when discussing causal relationships in forecasting demand, the integration of these external factors is paramount.

Let’s emphasize this point for its critical importance: always consider external factors. While you may have a solid grasp of your marketing strategies, promotional schedules, and the predictable holiday selling seasons, the realm of unpredictable and uncontrollable variables remains. These external factors can introduce unforeseen changes and disruptions that must be accounted for within your forecasting models to ensure accuracy.

Over to you

Have you started basic forecasting for your retail business? Implementing these strategies can put retailers’ guesswork to rest and make them better at understanding what their customers will buy, all based on data analysis. It’s like having a predictive tool that helps them stock the right items at the right times. When they do this, it makes everything in their supply chain work more smoothly, like a well-oiled machine.

What’s even more critical is that it ensures customers are more likely to find what they want when they come to the store, which makes them really happy. And as we know, happy customers are more likely to return and buy more, creating a win-win situation for everyone involved!

If this is something you are interested in, we can help you with it. Just get in touch with our experts today. 

Smart Merchandising

Top 5 Merchandising Solutions: Global Leaders in Enabling Accurate and Seamless Inventory Optimization

Have you ever considered the intricacies of managing a fashion brand across both retail and online realms? Juggling numerous stores across cities, gauging distinct identities, predicting demand, and maximizing sales require strategic finesse. Navigating markdowns, stock transfers, and style discontinuations is paramount. The complexity of nationwide operations, warehouses, and logistics renders manual Excel management overwhelming. Here, merchandising software steps in, boosting efficiency and accuracy.

Effective retail merchandising drives sales, enhances experiences, optimizes inventory, and fuels revenue growth. This blog will compare the top five global merchandising solutions (alphabetically): Impact Analysis, Increff, Nextail, O9, and Onebeat. Through this assessment, you’ll gain insights to select the optimal software for your business, streamlining processes and boosting profitability.

Key Capabilities of an Ideal Merchandising Solution 

A smart merchandising solution has several vital features contributing to its effectiveness and efficiency. Some essential features make it ideal:

  • Demand Forecasting: Accurate demand forecasting is crucial for maintaining optimal inventory levels. A robust solution should leverage historical data, market trends, and analytics to generate precise demand forecasts.
  • Inventory Optimization: The solution should enable retailers to manage inventory efficiently by recommending reorder quantities, safety stock levels, and markdown strategies. This prevents overstocking or stockouts and minimizes carrying costs.
  • Assortment Planning: Effective assortment planning involves selecting the right mix of products for each store or channel. The software should help retailers analyze customer preferences, buying patterns, and local market trends to curate the ideal product mix.
  • Pricing Strategy: Implementing dynamic pricing can boost competitiveness and maximize revenue. An effective solution optimizes real-time pricing by considering competitor rates, demand elasticity, and market positioning. It should also align financial goals with annual merchandise and sales plans.
  • In-season Management: Monitoring sales performance during the season allows for timely adjustments. The solution should provide insights into product performance, enabling retailers to make data-driven decisions regarding replenishments, markdowns, or promotions.
  • Collaborative Tools: Merchandising involves multiple stakeholders across the supply chain. A good solution should facilitate collaboration between teams, from buyers and planners to suppliers and distributors.
  • Data Visualization: Clear and intuitive visualizations help merchandisers grasp insights quickly. An ideal software should offer customizable dashboards and reports that present data in an understandable manner.
  • Integration Capabilities: Seamless integration with other retail systems, such as POS and ERP software, ensures smooth data flow and cohesive decision-making

Top 5 Global Merchandising Solutions

1. Impact Analytics

Impact Analytics is a leading retail merchandising solution provider. Its solution focuses on

enhancing the customer experience, helping retailers optimize and tailor product assortments to local market preferences with the help of AI. By leveraging data-driven insights, retailers can make informed decisions about product selection, pricing, and promotions. This leads to increased customer engagement, loyalty, and overall revenue growth.

Key Modules:

Demand Forecasting– Enable precise demand forecasts, covering SKUs across all hierarchy levels throughout their lifecycle.

Assortment Planning– Craft smart retail financial plans and efficient Open-to-Buy budgets with forecast integration. Boost margins and inventory turns. Enhance product attribution for optimal accuracy and ROI.

Pricing and Promotions– Eradicate errors with top-tier retail price optimization software. Utilize AI and ML-driven insights for precise pricing strategies.  

Allocation– Enhance customer-centric assortments by optimizing allocation decisions and space-aware planograms. Elevate execution with AI-driven shelf monitoring.

Business Intelligence– Achieve data-driven insights with intelligent reporting.

Enhance decision-making and improve business performance. 


  • AI-driven assortment optimization for improved sales
  • Dynamic pricing strategies to enhance competitiveness
  • Personalized offerings based on customer behavior analysis
  • Increase customer engagement and loyalty
  • Maximize revenue through strategic pricing and promotions
  • Quick deployments that reap immediate visible results

2. Increff

Increff merchandising software empowers planners, buyers, and merchandisers to make well-informed decisions across inventory management, from purchases to markdowns in both pre-season and in-season periods. With over 100 customizable, patent-pending algorithms tailored to the fashion and lifestyle industry, Increff enables sustainable and profitable growth. It also provides solutions for both omnichannel and smart merchandise planning. 

Increff’s solution covers the entire merchandising spectrum, from planning and buying to allocations. The software analyzes real demand and automates decisions, enhancing sales, profitability, and inventory efficiency while reducing costs and boosting customer satisfaction.

Key Modules:

  • Planning, Buying, Future Inventory Projection & Reordering: Bring in granular data analysis in merchandise planning and buying using advanced algorithms operating multiple levels and planes of calculation. Increff empowers planners to optimize store-level inventory mix, extending to granular design-level attributes of styles
  • Allocation, Replenishment, Interstore Transfer: Optimize assortment mix and distribution based on the store-style ranking algorithm for maximum sales. Ensure accurate inventory placement at the correct time in the correct location and depth, adapting to sales trends.
  • Regional Utilization: Optimize inventory distribution across a multi-warehouse network to increase proximity to customers, reduce delivery time and logistics costs.
  • Markdown Optimization: Improve the sales and margins by automating discounting decisions based on a first principle discounting engine, which can provide suggestions for each style at each store, specifically making it more granular, accurate and scientific.  
  • Merchandise Financial Planning: Enable pre-season and in-season budget planning, aligning with KPIs like Margins, Revenue, and COGS. Achieve data-driven financial goals, optimize inventory, and enhance profitability.
  • Business Intelligence: Empower every role from store manager to CEO with essential Business Intelligence dashboards. Quickly grasp business performance insights and drive better decisions all across brands and retailers.


  • Streamline assortment planning with data-driven recommendations and smart inputs from the software
  • Calculate the True Rate of Sale by automatically correcting for loss of sale due to unavailability and artificial spikes because of discounting
  • Intelligent Store Style ranking to set priority for style allocation. Enhance customer satisfaction by offering the right products at the right time
  • Reduce anomalies like overstocking and understocking
  • Buying/ Allocation for new stores without any historical data available
  • Additional recommendations, including Planogram, Price Bucket, and Style Depth, contribute to streamlined allocation processes
  • Recommends store-level pullbacks using style performance and availability data for inventory optimization, correcting depth and brokenness
  • Fast deployment and easy integration
  • Highly customizable data model created on your data
  • Real-time insights into demand patterns and trends
  • Flexibility for taking Strategic/ Subjective calls for multiple modules
  • Improves inventory turnover and profitability

3. Nextail

Nextail transforms retail merchandising with the help of AI. Predictive analytics offer precise customer demand forecasts, while real-time insights empower retailers to make informed choices regarding allocation, replenishment, and markdowns. This optimization reduces waste, maximizes profits, and enhances overall retail efficiency, showcasing Nextail’s prowess in elevating merchandising to new heights through agile, data-driven approaches.

Key Modules:

  • Assortment Planning: Optimize sales and profit by determining ideal product assortments using AI recommendations, flexible parameters, simulations, and continuous monitoring.
  • Buying and Reordering: Forecast local demand for optimal new product purchases, empowering buyers with data-driven decisions and intuitive expertise.
  • First Allocation and Replenishment: Distribute precise initial SKU units to all points of sale, replenishing sold stock efficiently. Anticipate demand for optimal allocation.
  • Rebalancing or Inter-Store Transfers: Move stock between stores to reduce overstocking and consolidate broken size sets
  • Events and Promotions: Measure elasticities to improve and prepare promotions and recalculate demand baselines after events
  • Business Intelligence: Instead of just reports, Nextail integrates actionable insights into systems for seamless execution.


  • Hyper-local demand anticipation
  • Real-time insights into demand fluctuations
  • Reduce inventory holding costs and waste
  • Improve stock availability and sales performance
  • Enhance profitability through optimal markdown strategies
  • Efficiently manage replenishments/reorders to align with customer demand
  • Responsive to trends
  • Advanced AI-driven insights

4. O9

O9 Solutions offers a comprehensive platform that seamlessly integrates supply chain and merchandising planning. This all-inclusive solution empowers retailers with complete operational visibility, facilitating well-informed decision-making. With the help of AI-driven analytics, O9 forecasts demand, optimizes inventory, and aligns processes, resulting in heightened efficiency and greater customer satisfaction.

Key Modules:

  • Integrated Business Planning: Align decision-making across functions for streamlined operations
  • Demand Forecasting: Demand forecasting and inventory optimization supported by AI. Enhance customer service levels while reducing carrying costs.
  • Assortment Planning: Enhance store efficiency and sales by data-driven assortment planning, inventory allocation, and trend-based strategy implementation.
  • Allocation and Replenishment Planning: Enhance profitability with efficient allocations, distributing merchandise to stores for optimal sales across product lifecycles. Adaptable, multi-tier replenishments.
  • Merchandise Financial Planning: Build and manage customer-centric Merchandise Financial Plans across a global network.
  • Markdown Management: Unified platform for pricing management. Swiftly adapt strategies for market changes, ensuring resilience to evolving demands.


  • End-to-end visibility and collaboration across supply chain processes
  • Accurate demand forecasts for effective inventory management
  • Optimize assortment planning and allocation for improved sales
  • Reduce costs through efficient supply chain decision-making
  • Improve customer satisfaction through better stock availability
  • O9 serves expanding businesses, adapting to evolving needs and scalability

5. Onebeat

Onebeat specializes in merchandising solutions designed to enhance retail performance through AI. Their platform offers demand forecasting, inventory optimization, and replenishment recommendations. Analyzing historical data and real-time market trends, Onebeat’s solution empowers retailers to align their inventory levels with customer demand, thereby reducing excess stock and improving turnover rates.

Key Modules:

  • Demand Forecasting: AI-driven demand prediction ensures precision. Balanced Bottom-Up and Top-Down methods for consumer-centric and strategic planning
  • Assortment Management: Master dynamic category management and raft store-specific assortments from real-time demand.
  • Smart Replenishment and Allocation: Optimize replenishment, prevent overstock, and ensure stock availability by tracking SKU demand. Maintain real-time inventory targets and enhance inventory distribution for peak sales and ROI. 
  • Inter-Store Transfers: Streamline goods movement, accounting for broken sizes, sets, seasonality, and SKU sales variations.
  • Special Events: Monitor product performance per store, aiding seasonal and promotional event preparation. Algorithms optimize slow-mover liquidation and guide future planning.


  • Accurate demand forecasting for improved inventory management
  • Optimize inventory levels for better turnover rates
  • Efficient replenishment strategies to meet customer demand
  • Minimize excess inventory and carrying costs
  • Enhance overall profitability through data-driven decisions
  • Streamline retail processes through AI-driven insights

Final Thoughts

As the industry evolves, merchandising tools prove indispensable, ensuring optimized operations and heightened profitability. Embracing advanced technology empowers retailers to navigate complexity and deliver unparalleled shopping experiences, solidifying success in a dynamic market.

In modern retail, the choice of merchandising software shapes your business journey. Tailor your selection to your unique needs, scale, and goals. As retail’s dynamic landscape demands precision, the featured top five systems offer robust solutions, enhancing merchandise strategies and profitability. Remember, this investment secures your business’s future success.