Monday, September 15, 2014


Inventories are rightly the lifeblood of companies to make businesses work. The two critical aspects of inventory are

1) In demand products need to be readily available for shipment when customers buy them/purchase online.

2) Acquiring and managing the stock that can be very costly if not rightly managed.

Apart from the fact that Drones are being considered to manage large inventories, for logistics ,these Aerial Drones are used to travel between Amazon's warehouses for inventory management. Military contractors are making more than 6000 pounds of front line supplies via aerial drones to remote location in Afghanistan. (1)

This definitely has put the financial card provider, Square on a fallout. Square which manages basic tools to keep count of in-stock items provides updates based on sales from Square Registr and for orders through Square market for those items which are inventory enabled. Item inventory also tracks the payments accepted by mobile staff members.

Apart from this, Amazon has just recently released a new credit card procesing service called Local Register that puts it in direct competition with Square and other companies with card readers like PayPal and Intuit. Amazon plans to tie together products like accounting software and inventory management systems with the goal of making its collection of tools as critical to brick and motar shops as its Amazon Web services offering is doing for online business.

More companies today launch the Sharing Economy umbrella and new business models have emerged. The key divergence is related to inventory management where some start ups have taken ownership over goods to better control the customer experience. eg : Zipcar while others have maitained a peer to peer model to keep costs low like GetAround. The main distinction in the marketplace is who owns and controls the inventory. By stepping as middleman between buyers and sellers recommerce marketplaces guarantee quality and better customer experience, but at the cost of managing an inventory.   Whereas in peer to peer the focus is mainly on reducing the friction between buyers and sellers and not on managing the inventory.(3)

Meanwhile, Flipkart in India, has improved its inventory mechanism through QlikView. These tools have always been existent. But the right use has saved companies. QlikView allows Flipkart to optimize stock levels and lower costs associated with excess stock by using QlikView in dayto day operations. They have reported that they have improved inventory utilization by 5%. They have used it in 12 strong in house IT teams and provied QlikView 11 to 200 users. The QlikView application analyze around 25 million rows of data which is increasing in line with the company's growth.With direct access to company data staa can spend more time on analysis rather than data collation and work on true versions.


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