Filipinos are known to celebrate Christmas early. Once September kicks in, you’d hear Jose Mari Chan songs blasting on mall grounds, see Dapitan Arcade stalls abound Christmas decorations for sale, and of course, experience unimaginably worse standstill traffic.
We call it the “-ber months”. Filipino businesses rely on this four-month period for their entire year’s sales. This may be true and established for some, but many are just following suit and don’t even know when the exact period of their business’ seasonality peaks. In fact, in its recent reader survey, Rappler found that -ber season is a myth – to quote: “Though many retailers begin their Christmas campaigns in September, consumers aren’t making the bulk of their purchases that early.”
Not knowing about this behavior as it relates to your business is dangerous and risky especially in inventory management and cash flow. Obviously, understocking leads to lost opportunities and unserved deliveries, resulting to reputation damage. However, another real danger is in overstocking, because cash is tied up to inventories that you may need to undervalue just to sell.
The only way to outlast seasonality woes is through data-driven planning and analysis. Off-peak seasons are a great time to start this deep-dive thinking process so you are equipped when the next peak season comes.
If you already think this is unnecessary time to spend, better be prepared for the worst because truly, it pays to pay attention.
- Historical information is good reference point, especially because you want to understand overall direction in a do-nothing scenario.
- First things first – know your seasonality! Point-of-sale (POS) solutions are top sources for this key information because seasonality should be drilled down as far as days than just months.
- Then, find out historical inventory balances (at least monthly). Just note that not all POS can provide this, except when it is integrated with a dynamic analytics tool.
- Find out patterns and plan accordingly — the devil is in the details!
- Inventory supply must anticipate the demand highs and lows. Understanding and establishing patterns in sales trends help minimize errors in buying inventory.
- Thorough review of inventory balances highlights slow or non-moving inventory, allowing you to plan returns, exchanges, or proper markdown strategies to prevent inventory losses.
- Ensure planning is an ongoing process. Monitor performance, see if plans work, and adjust as necessary.
Don’t succumb to being a bandwagoner especially with running your business. Know MORE so you can WIN in business.
How can we help? Accelerating your analytics journey is the core objective of RAPID INSIGHTS ZONE — premium analytics professional services, made available to all business types and sizes. We offer PREMIUM but affordable retail management solutions and professional services suitable to your requirements: point-of-sale and analytics. Our services will help you KNOW MORE through analytics, so you have MORE TIME and resources to focus on growth. When you are ready to accelerate your analytics journey and inevitable business transformation, contact us!