Do you truly know the stock availability of your brand’s products?

15 March 2021
Author: Kevin Green

In our last two blogs, we discussed how brands can easily see the historic sales data of products and easily capture complex displays regardless of size or position in a store to discover which display locations drive the most value, using DART.  


Today we’re discussing accurately tracking the stock availability of your brand’s products in a store, which is another challenge often experienced by brands.  

Did you know that a field sales rep is only in store for less than 1% of the time a store is open? 

Field reps don’t have a lot of time in store to get the execution right, so every second counts.  

Brands want their products to stand out on the shelf, to be seen by as many consumers as possible. However, if the stock availability in a store is wrong, this has a huge negative impact on brand execution and sales.   

When a field rep visits a store, their mission is often to ensure that the execution of a particular SKU is correct. If there is a stock error, reps have an incomplete view of how to fix any execution problems that may arise. 

Here’s why: 

  • Many stores only trigger a restock order when inventory falls below a certain level, and if the stock level shows that there is more in the system than is actually available, it may never trigger a reorder. This means the shelf will never be at full capacity because new stock is never ordered. 
  • Similarly, if the inventory shows that there is less stock than is available, a store colleague will need to clear the system and reinput it so that it shows the correct number. However if this is not noticed immediately then there’s high possibility that the shelf could remain empty for an extended period of time. 

Both issues mean that should a field rep need to fill a shelf but find the stock level is wrong, they won’t have the correct amount of stock to do it, leading to poor execution. And no one wants to see empty spaces on the shelves. 

If left for long enough, both issues can cause problemin stores as their stock holdings are never up to date, thus making the field rep’s job harder, and leading to a long-term impact on execution, ROI and of course, sales. 

How do Brands solve the inaccurate store stock monitoring challenge? 

DART is our EPOS analytics solution for field and head office users. It uses EPOS data to unlock fast insight and direct action for brands.  

Recently we introduced a new DART feature called Phantom PI, which aims to solve incorrect stock holding issues by preventing instances where a brand’s products stop selling 

We have introduced smart, predictive analytics to the EPOS data, which allows DART to successfully identify stock errors with an accuracy of 90% for any brand.  

DART does this by measuring trends in historic sales and stock levels, and their correlation, to understand what the true base stock level for every product in a store.  

Sometimes the shelf might be full, other times it may have gaps. When receiving their alerts for the day, field rep will receive automatically receive a Phantom PI alert telling them which stores have a stock error that must be corrected.  

This has three benefits for brands who employ field teams: 

  1. Field reps are able to take action on issues quickly, before they start impacting sales.
  2. They are able to take corrective action of products that visually look compliant, but realistically have caused recurring issue for weeks, if not months where stock is never reordered or shelves are in danger of never being full. 
  3. Brand’s products achieve more stable and consistent availability in store.  

Save time, improve sales and fix potential long term issues 

This new feature in DART was built in response to the problems that field reps come up against on a regular basis. By fixing incorrect stock errors, products will remain on the shelf, being replenished regularly due to correct availability, ensuring that a brand’s execution is always on point.  

It also saves time for field teams and retailers because reps will be able to provide evidence of proven stock issues to store staff, meaning corrective action can be taken immediately. 

When a field rep is only in a store for less than 1% of the time it is open, they have limited opportunities to add value and fix issues that occur for the other the 99%. By introducing predictive analytics features like this, DART is enabling brands to deliver results even when no field reps are in store.   

It’s a win win for brands, retailers and field reps! 

Learn how to use EPOS data to unlock your hidden value 

EPOS data sits at the heart of this feature and is what powers DART as a whole. By using this data in the correct way, brands can sell more.  

On April 1st we will be hosting a webinar on how you can use EPOS data to sell more. So join our Strategy and Marketing Director Gordon Neil, Chief Operation Officer of retail data experts, Retail Insight, and our Product Manager Kevin Green to find out how to sell more using EPOS data.