If you used to study Accounting at university, you might be familiar with many ratios and formulas in reports such as profit, profit margin, cost of goods sold, inventory turnover ratio, etc. Just need to click reports for retailer, you might find out hundred thousand of results for must-have and nice-to-have reports which include the above ratios. Most people have known about reports such as Best Sales Products report, Store Performance report, Profit report, etc. However, these reports are quite general and shared amongst industries. That’s also the reason you’re taught this subject at university.
And each industry has their own characteristics that entails retailers to figure out the way to track down, summarize info and control them efficiently.
If you work in supermarket or plan to open a fresh/grocery store, have you ever asked yourself which info you need to track down in addition to the popular report about profit, revenue and cost?
If you’re in fashion industry, what should you take care about to plan the right strategy for the next season?
Let’s check the list below for a few industries which we helped client to build typical reports
1. Grocery or fresh food
In grocery store or fresh food store, please take note that there’re many short life-cycle products (usually within 1 day or a few days) such as vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, etc. Therefore, to guarantee that your product quantity is controlled efficiently while you still can provide the fresh food to customers daily, you have to check the expired products or the almost expired products each day. Therefore, you need to have a few following reports:
a. Expired products or shrinkage report:
You count the products at the beginning and at the end of day to calculate how many you have to remove from the shelves each day. Thanks to this kind of reports, our client can figure out that a few products are not preserved properly by negligent staffs that lead to more loss than estimated.
Inventory Shrinkage for Grocery/Food stores
b. Warning for almost expired products
You can set up the average life-cycle for each SKU then whenever the product almost comes to the end of life-cycle (1 day to come to the end for instance), the report can summarize and system alert you with the message. You can take action such as creating the instant meals from these things or running promotional programs for these products to quickly push these products to be consumed.
One of the prominent characteristics of this industry is seasonality. The profit margin can be very high at the beginning of the season or when a new collection is released and it’s gradually decreased at the end of season. The products are not the type that you can do replenishment after a period of time but are designed based on season.
R&D team will design and create the new collections, estimate the consumption from scratch then manufacture or buy new products based on the trend of that time. Therefore, it’s very important to have Sell-through report in which you can determine how many percentages you sold items to the customers against the amount of inventory you receives from suppliers/manufactured. The period (usually one month) examined is useful when comparing the sale of one product or style against another. Or more importantly, when comparing the sell-through of a specific product from one month to another to examine trends.
3. Electronics or Products (Watches, Hot tubs, Musical instrument, etc) that you provide Warranty/Repair service
a. Report about warranty time
You have to suffer the fee of warranty or after-sales here whenever customer requests to repair items. Plus, it’s not good if customer has to come to store so many times to repair items/ request a warranty, that indicates that your product you sold has the bad quality and bring the uneasy feeling to customers. Therefore, you have to track down the activities here efficiently with the metrics such as: how long each customer has to wait since the request of warranty/repair until it’s fixed, how many times one product is fixed, what is the warranty rate, etc.
Plus, when you work with big brands such as LG, Samsung,etc, you also have to pay attention to the warranty time these vendor provide and the real warranty time your end customer can get. For example, many provider manufacturers calculate the warranty time as 12 months since they provide them to retailers. However, it takes 4 months on average for you to provide them to the end customers so customers finally get only 8 months of warranty since the purchased date. Once they need to get a warranty and find out that their warranty time is shorten by this reason, they might not be happy and choose other retailers who can provide them with the longer warranty time.
b. Installation service report
It’s very critical to the electronic retailers to provide the installation service to the end customer in the most comfortable manner. Therefore, if you cannot have a report to track down activities here, you might have to confront with the uneasy feeling and complaints from the customers later.
c. COD /receivable reports /commission reports
This industry usually charge client with the high fee or collect money only after retailers complete installation of products in customer’s addresses. Plus, with the high-value products in these industries, it’s very important to track down commission for salesmen.
4. Food and Beverage
In F&B industry, it’s very popular that you create the products based on client’s request. For instance, coffee shop create macchiato from materials such as water, ice, milk, coffee so in addition to shrinkage report, you also need to have report to track down the complete meals sold and calculate materials planning .
5. Other reports
Actually, to improve any activity in retailing operation, you all have to be based on data-driven approach: create the suitable reports to track down activities, figure out the issues by visualizing information with graphs, diagram, etc and design the suitable strategy.
Is there any industry or typical report I missed? Feel free to comment or discuss here 🙂