8/02/05

Why PCRush.com is streamlining inventory management

An improved inventory management system will help PCRush.com get better access to product data and expedite fulfillment.

Kurt Peters , Executive Editor

 

A new inventory management system that PCRush.com expects to have in place this fall will expedite customer service and result in quicker fulfillment.

PCRush, which ranks as No. 195 in The Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, currently uses an internally developed and maintained inventory management system to monitor its warehouse and fulfillment operation. But the web retailer is working with SCMdoctors, a Los Angeles supply chain management consulting firm, to update the system with new applications that will help PCRush more closely monitor inventory and speed replenishment.

Today PCRush’s inventory management program can track information in real-time, but the data is limited. For instance, the system will only let PCRush managers know the warehouse is close to running out of a particular product when there are only about five items left in stock.

If the items sell out, PCRush.com has to cancel orders or call customers and ask their patience in waiting for the items to be restocked. But in the highly competitive online personal computers and accessories space, not having items in stock can mean unhappy customers and lost business.

With its improved inventory management system, PCRush is expanding its access to product data and more proactively monitoring its inventory of about 500 products. For instance, the new system will more closely align daily inventories with customer orders and avoid items being out of stock. An improved inventory management system will also help PCRush speed up the stock replenishment process by helping better track how long particular products have been sitting on the shelf. “We are not going back to zero in stock,” says marketing manager Arezu Lilie Rahimzadeh. “We are going to be in a better position to measure customer demand.”

PCRush and SCMdoctors are currently writing the business rules for the improved inventory management system. The next part of the project is a pilot test followed by a full implementation. “Now we will know much more effectively what we have on the shelves,” Rahimzadeh says.

The new inventory management system coincides with the move in a few months to a bigger headquarters and warehouse of about 30,000 square feet.

PCRush is expanding to keep up with growing sales. The company, which had web revenues of $22 million in 2004, expects Internet sales to grow in the range of 20% in 2005.

 

Topics:

inventory, Just-in-time, Management, Operations research, Safety stock

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