How to grow your D2C business with better planning?

Updated: Feb 21


You’ve spent a great deal of time and money on your marketing. You’re generating great demand. But the consistent revenue growth you expected is not really being reflected. Slow growth, massive sunk costs in fulfilling orders, customer disservice due to lack of stocks. And, the cycle continues yet again with a different marketing campaign.


Many D2C brands have taken great leaps in marketing and advertising, but very few are able to fulfil the demand they generate efficiently and ultimately, this is what it takes to compete with the biggest, and to scale like the pros.


For online retailers, the average cost to fulfill an order is 70% of the average order value.

During volatile times, even higher costs are incurred in trying to fulfill this excess demand yielding your business barely any margins.

  • Holding inventory across multiple nodes to not lose out on potential customers

  • Transporting inventory for quick replenishment

  • Backorder costs

  • Additional labour wages


Despite all these costs, there is still a high chance of not being able to capture every opportunity. Also remember, out-of-stocks are not just lost potential sales, there is a far higher impact on your brand.


You cannot fix these by simply spending more money on holding inventory. This has a massive impact on your bottom line and might even lead to obsolete inventory which is a far greater cost.


Poor Planning and lack of understanding of the consumer demand is to blame.



What separates the brands that invest in great marketing and the brands with great marketing that also grow exponentially is how they plan and fulfill demand.

Leading global companies with the largest supply chains invest heavily in an army of planners, supply chain visibility, and inventory costs, all of this just to never miss an opportunity.This is how they achieve year-on-year consistent growth.


Your e-commerce business may not have the resources to invest in an army of planners or have the capital to hold exorbitant amounts of excess inventory.


So how can you compete?

By leveraging the power of advanced planning technology. Lack of standard planning techniques and tools is one of the many issues plaguing the sector, as is the cost of having to build their own team. Early adoption of AI Planning tools like Crest already puts you at an advantage to increase revenue and position your brand among competitors.



THE SCOPE OF AI-ENABLED PLANNING


AI Planning tools can help predict consumer demand based on past historical sales data and other inputs such as seasonality, socio-economic factors, weather, social media trends, lockdown restrictions and so much more. With an accurate demand forecast, companies can know exactly how much of what inventory to manufacture and stock at a given time and location.


AI-enabled planning lets you optimize and take control of your entire supply chain from Manufacturing to Distribution and Replenishment. The benefits here are immense. Let us take a look.


1. Reduce out of stocks

Meeting demand is crucial in the hyper-competitive market. We have seen just how volatile demand can be in the last two years. AI-enabled Planning gives you accurate predictions of the demand to help you plan for any volatility and fulfil all demand without wasting too many resources on quick replenishment.


2. Eliminate excess inventory

Simply holding excess inventory to fulfil demand will not fix stockouts, it can turn even more expensive. Excess inventory bleeds capital, and can even end up turning obsolete which is an even bigger loss. With Advanced AI Planning, you will know exactly how much to stock. This will help you reduce wastage and grow your bottom line.


3. Free up working capital

Reducing working capital without diminishing order fulfilment is a complex job that requires the expertise of advanced planning technology to ensure speed and accuracy in production, stocking and replenishment. This will not only free up capital but also reduce costs incurred in holding inventory across the supply chain.


4. Consistent Revenue Growth

Fulfilling demand, capturing all opportunities will drive more traffic and sales. Doing this, without bleeding capital and incurring excess costs can only be done by harnessing the power of AI-enabled Planning. This is the main driver for a year on year revenue growth.



GETTING STARTED WITH AI-ENABLED PLANNING

Most Planning tools are designed to be used by internal planning teams of large companies with prior planning expertise and a large capital pool. Another crutch is that there is a long, complex and expensive implementation process that results in various opportunity losses and is not really practical for SMEs who do not have access to these resources.


Most SMBs are either hesitant to adopt such technologies due to the aforementioned problems with traditional tools, or they are simply not aware of the benefits of planning to grow their business.


Crest is a fully automated planning tool built by MateLabs using our proprietary AI and AutoML technology. At MateLabs, we have worked with some of the biggest global brands to optimize their supply chain and help them plan better. We have worked towards making the adoption of technologies like AI fast, simple and efficient.


This is precisely why we built Crest. It’s a simple click-and-go solution that can be used by anyone with no prior planning or data science background. It delivers forecasts with the highest achievable accuracies. Crests’ predictions are real-time and 100X faster than any traditional method, as acknowledged by Google for our (Mate Labs’) AutoML platform.


Setting up an end to end planning system will drastically improve your order fulfilment rates. Tools like Crest make the planning process and implementation process incredibly simple and quick.





With Crest, you can better understand consumer demand and plan ahead. This is especially useful to fulfil all orders during the shopping season when demand is volatile. Crest automated Planning includes-


1. Automated replenishment planning

Balance stock across all levels, without overstocking or under-stocking. Crest plans replenishment while responding to real-time market signals and stock availability.


2. Automated inventory planning

Plan and align inventory across every stage of the supply chain from distribution with the highest accuracy. Fully automated to adjust for any changes in demand and conditions


3. Automated demand planning

Automate demand forecasting and optimize demand plans for the highest accuracy across channels at all granular levels to prepare for any volatile conditions.

You can now sign up and try for free.


You can now sign up and try for free.

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