On Shelf Availability

On shelf availability, or OSA, relates to the old supply chain adage of getting the right product in the right place at the right time.  It sounds simple, but anyone in the supply chain space understands all the causal factors that can make a great plan fall apart, i.e., weather disruptions, competitive ads, raw material shortages, etc.

When on shelf availability is gone and the shopper faces an out-of-stock, shoppers are more likely to buy a substitute product which may or may not be from the same manufacturer.  Worst case, the shopper may purchase a competitive product at a different retailer or forego the purchase all together.  Depending on the type of product and the shopper’s loyalty to the product, the future sales could be permanently affected.  Due to poor data and tracking, retailer out-of-stocks continue to run at 8% to 10% and soaring to over 20% for promoted products.  

However, with actionable insights provided by VELOCITY®, you can improve on shelf availability by monitoring the status of your inventory and supply in near real-time to:

  • Reduce out-of-stock by easily identifying potential issues such as phantom inventory1 and distribution voids and quickly resolving them
  • Reduce costs from overstocking
  • Improve your overall margins

Case Study: Retail Execution Optimization fuels 40% Sales Increase

Before partnering with Retail Velocity, a sporting goods supplier found that direct POS data was very hard to collect, cleanse, and harmonize in a timely manner in order to improve on-shelf availability and reduce out-of-stocks (OOS), returns, and markdowns.  VELOCITY®’s retail execution optimization changed all that!

Their VP of Sales stated that "VELOCITY® gives suppliers the tools they need to manage their direct POS data, perform trouble-shooting, and resolve problems quickly. We use VELOCITY® to pull exception-based reports for out-of-stock, on-shelf availability, etc., and use that information to work more effectively with service companies, buyers or even store managers.  If I can identify phantom inventory1 counts that indicate a store-level problem, I can control my own success at the retail level – and that's a powerful advantage.

"In less than 3 months, we began to notice an increase in our sales figures.  We believe that this is due primarily to increased effectiveness in inventory management through VELOCITY®’s exception reporting features.   For the first time, we are able to capture and track historical item-level sales and inventory at individual stores, so we can identify which stores are effectively maximizing their sales and which stores are not.   This allows us to re-route our territories, so we can service our high-performing and high-maintenance stores more efficiently.   With VELOCITY®, we can actually document and measure these sales increases and compare our performance levels with stores in which there is a lower level of service.   We've been able to prove a day-to-day sales improvement of up to 40% in the stores we service – and we can trace these improvements to our ability to better manage inventory, increase sales and improve our category's ROI.

"Velocity has been a real strategic asset for us. In addition to bringing on additional revenues, we also credit Velocity with our ability to give our customers tangible proof of our impact on their bottom line – to prove our value to them over time. Our customers want to know how we can do all the things we do – how we provide the reporting no one else can. That's a huge competitive advantage. And we credit VELOCITY®."

Please contact us today to request a demo.


1Phantom Inventory: When a specific item is out of stock, but the inventory system is reporting a positive on-hand value.

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