In the past I have worked in retail for five consecutive years. I have worked for many well known companies, such as Victoria’s Secret, Hollister Co., and Wilson’s Leather to name a few. Customer service was our primary role and we were really focused on the customers. But other than that, inventory was just as important. It was the backbone of the company. Without a sufficient amount of inventory, we would not be able to make our sales.
As an employee at Victoria’s Secret, we had a huge back room where we had our inventory stock. It was shelves and and rows full of the many items we sold. I was in charge of counting all the items we had in stock every two months. I would record the quantity and sizes of each item we had. It was torturous due to how stocked our inventory was. But in return this was great for our customers. If they didn’t find their size on the sales floor, more than likely we had it in the back room. At times we would be at fault for ordering more than what we needed, which made our stock room a bit messy. That caused for our inventoried items to be missplaced at times.
In contrast to having an abundant stock room, as an employee at Wilson’s Leather, I noticed over time we were not efficiently stocked. Our back room was much too small to have a large inventory of leather coats. This caused turmoil between the company and its customers. If the jacket on the sales floor was not in their size, more than likely we did not have it in the back. We would use the alternative of calling other Wilson’s Leather stores in the area and send the customer to another location. This caused us to lose many sales and new customers. It seemed as though we were more of a boutique due to the size of our store and how it could not accomadate a well stocked inventory room.
In conclusion, inventory plays a vital role in a company’s overall performance and customer service satisfaction. Inventory generates sales and allows customers to have confidence in the company, for having the item they want. At Victoria’s Secret we would get audited yearly and it allowed us to see how many total items we should have , compared to what we truly have.
Do you think Inventory truly affects a company’s overall performance?
I currently work at one of the top leading financial institutions of the world. It can be compared to a Walgreens, due to how many locations we have. Recently in class, we discussed what is known as the SWOT analysis. Majority of companies create their own SWOT analysis to determine where they stand amongst competitors.
Three months ago, my financial institution has changed its focus from selling aggressively to the customer to primarily focusing on improving our customer service skills. Our district manager informed us that our bank has undergone some changes due to the fact that we are on the same level as our competitors, rather than surpassing them. As a branch, we disussed our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of our team.
We concluded that our strengths were the products we sold and how each of them varied to fit the customers needs. We also had another strength which was brand recognition. Customers already knew of our company and what products and services it had to offer, without the need of advertising it so much. When it came to discussing our weaknesses, opportunities and threats, the three coincided with one another. We realized in order to stand out from the rest of the other financial institutions, we had to change our attitude. Meaning we had to become more personable with our customers. We needed to become more open and more friendlier than before. Our bank was so focused on making profit that we forgot about how we should treat our customers. Our branch manager guided us by giving us tips on how to offer the best customer service. As the months passed by, we have received many letters and emails sent to our manager telling him how amazing our staff is. With this, came an increase in referrals. Since our customer service was booming, customers came back more and more, and in return they opened more accounts and referred family and friends.
Overall, I believe that if a company were to create their own SWOT analysis, they can benefit greatly. They can improve tremendously just by tweaking with a few things. All in all, customers should be the main focus at all times. A pleased customer equals a great sale in the long run. A company should always find ways to outshine its competitors, and the SWOT analysis is a great tool to use and it benefited our company positively!
Do you believe that in order for a company to be successful, management should include all the staff members in discussions on how to improve the company overall, rather than just have the upper management brainstorm?