If you don’t have enough stock, you can’t sell, but if you have too much stock, your costs skyrocket. In order to address this problem, most large retail chains like Walmart started to forecast their sales about two decades ago in order to optimize their inventory.
Yet, considering the cost and the efforts involved in getting usable forecasts from your sales history, you had to be a fairly large retail chain yourself to recover your investment. Worse, being small makes it actually more complicated from a statistical perspective. Indeed, statistics are a game of numbers, the more products you sell, the easier it becomes to predict the trends.
The folks at Lokad created their company back in 2008 with the goal of bringing the benefits of advance statistical inventory optimization to small and even ultra-small retailers. Five years later, it’s working with even 1-man shops who are getting their reorder suggestions from Salescast. In particular, they have developed a technology around quantile forecasts dedicated to the long tail with very low rotations.
Salescast, the inventory optimization webapp of Lokad, tells you when to reorder and how much to reorder. The webapp comes with an Express Plan that is free and does not expire. Though it’s capped to 10,000 products; the Express edition comes with the same forecasting technology as the other editions.
Neil Thompson, General Manager at Frampton has been using Lokad to optimize their inventory. "After importing our data into Lokad the file that we receive is quick to return, well formatted, and easy to use. We're able to look at historic stock usage at a glance, easily see the detail, and accurately forecast for future stock requirements. Lokad has helped us to reduce the risk of stock outages and therefore increase sales!"
And Lokad has come to Brightpearl…
We have developed an integration that lets you download all your Brightpearl data straight into Salescast. Avoid holding stock thats not selling, taking up space on your shelves or losing out on revenue beacuse you’ve run out of popular lines. Forecast demand from your sales history and avoid losing money. There is an easy step by step guide for Brightpearl customers on how to use Lokad available here.