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Out of Stock! Inventory management rant

Old 07-13-06, 05:07 PM
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Out of Stock! Inventory management rant

Ok, this is definitely one of my biggest pet peeves along with driving and traffic.

Ok, so I got to buy Pink Floyd Pulse dvd today at CC and they are out of stock. This was just released on Tuesday and two days later they are out of stock!

Also, went to Wally world last weekend to pick up a new can opener, old one broke, and they are out of the basic can opener. There was about 4 empty slots where the basic can opener should have been. I mean the number one retailer in the world can't manage their inventory. And I'm sure I really going to drop 8 bones on a fancy can opener that does the same thing.

I thought most big stores these days, especially wally world, had all of the just-in-time inventory management systems, that have the computers automatically track inventory and when a product's inventory drops below a certain number it is automatically ordered and already on a truck to the store the next day.

I can only recently think of these two events, but this happens to me all the time and I just don't understand it.

Ok, rant over. Discuss, share other horror stories, vent your other pet peeves, give witty otter replies.
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Old 07-13-06, 05:17 PM
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Haha. I went to Wal-Mart last week to buy two little trash cans (one for aluminum cans, one for recylcing stuff). They have the cans there, but no lids to be found.

I stocked shelves at Target in my younger days. One, the inventory management systems are incredible! Two, something like the Pink Floyd DVD probably wasn't expected to sell much, so they just stocked a case (12 or so). A place like CC only gets trucks every few days. Three, stuff does go out of stock. When that happens, I think it has more do with with the manufacturer.
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Old 07-13-06, 05:22 PM
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Old 07-13-06, 05:35 PM
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Syd Barrett dying has probably increased sales in the DVD which obviously stores couldn't prep for
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Old 07-13-06, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by j123vt_99
Syd Barrett dying has probably increased sales in the DVD which obviously stores couldn't prep for
Have you ever seen the Wal-Mart inventory control room? There's no way they can't prognosticate.
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Old 07-13-06, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Duh Vuh Duh
Also, went to Wally world last weekend to pick up a new can opener, old one broke, and they are out of the basic can opener. There was about 4 empty slots where the basic can opener should have been.
Of course they can't keep can-openers in stock these days. With a retail price of less than $25, they're practically walking out the door!
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Old 07-13-06, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by j123vt_99
Syd Barrett dying has probably increased sales in the DVD which obviously stores couldn't prep for
Ah, so you're implying that CC had something to do with his death to increases sales. It makes sense!
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Old 07-13-06, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
Of course they can't keep can-openers in stock these days. With a retail price of less than $25, they're practically walking out the door!
I wanted to make that joke.
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Old 07-14-06, 07:19 AM
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I had the same issue with some organic fat-free milk they were carrying. Over and over again, the skim milk was always gone, completely empty. After about a month, they finally doubled their stock so it's not as likely that they're out of it. I usually buy 6 or 7 when I get them, so after I roll through they are all out of them.
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Old 07-14-06, 10:05 AM
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Did they have this at the stores?









Pusser recommended.
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Old 07-14-06, 10:17 AM
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Inventory management is harder then you may realize. I'm not even going to go into some of the shit that goes on, on a regular basis, but amongst some of the problems...

1) Smaller retailers buy stock out. For instance, if CC had a HOT price on Pink Floyd Pulse, maybe a local indie store came in and bought them all to make a few bucks? It happens. Or maybe, as said above, the interest in Pink Floyd , what with the Live 8 thing a few months back, and the Syd Barrett death a few days ago, spurred intersted.

2)The can opener. Who cares? I mean really. Every store sells can openers. Pay $4 more and get the fancy one. Or hell, buy a $12 cheapie electric can opener that you won't lose. Or maybe a local animal shelter came in and bought all the cheap ones. Or a school.

"just in time" inventory systems are in place, however, the system is made to re order when the item is reaching 'low' levels, set by the store. So if the can opener shelf can hold 2 cases, they probably have it order when there are 2 left, so to minimize back stock potential. If there were , 10 on the shelf, and one of the above scenarios happened, the computer did reorder them, but it can't make shit magically appear on the shelf.

My biggest fucking pet peeve is people who come in to the store, and expect things to be in stock all the fucking time. I'm sorry I don't have your "insert brand here" sauce, but we ran out today 'YOU HAVEN'T HAD IT IN 3 WEEKS' blah blah blah.

Shit happens in retail. Things run out. Go somewhere else, or order online.
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Old 07-14-06, 10:30 AM
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Hell yeah T-Ball - you give 'em what fer

I think Duh Vuh Duh has never worked retail.

I know this may come as a shock, but retail isn't perfect and there are a limited number of good and services in the world available for consumption at any one given point in time.

Relax, you will eventually get your 'widget' and the world won't end.
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Old 07-14-06, 10:35 AM
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CC is always out of new stuff that isn't along the lines of Madea's Family Reunion. If I can't get there by Tuesday afternoon I don't bother. I think they do it to generate store traffic wiithout having to actually sell a ton of units at a loss-leading price.

I generally vote with my wallet by not frequenting stores that are chronically out of stock on items.
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Old 07-14-06, 10:52 AM
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I run a small manufacturing plant, and if I can replenish my inventory in under 24 hours, I don't understand why major stores like BB & CC cannot.
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Old 07-14-06, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
Have you ever seen the Wal-Mart inventory control room? There's no way they can't prognosticate.
I think you can get fired for doing that at work.
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Old 07-14-06, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Thunderball
1) Smaller retailers buy stock out. For instance, if CC had a HOT price on Pink Floyd Pulse, maybe a local indie store came in and bought them all to make a few bucks? It happens. Or maybe, as said above, the interest in Pink Floyd , what with the Live 8 thing a few months back, and the Syd Barrett death a few days ago, spurred intersted.
Didn't think of that, thanks for the heads up. Also, sounds like CC is pretty bad with this, didn't know they had a known track record of needing to get it on release day or your out of luck.

Originally Posted by Thunderball
2)The can opener. Who cares? I mean really. Every store sells can openers. Pay $4 more and get the fancy one. Or hell, buy a $12 cheapie electric can opener that you won't lose. Or maybe a local animal shelter came in and bought all the cheap ones. Or a school.
I care. But I do see your point of how these systems work and they are not perfect, but I would think that anything that would drive sales (ie. high demand product) and profit; would be in the best interest of the number one retailer in america to make sure that "low level" is set high enough where they is always current stock. I know, I know, not saying can opener is a high demand product, but for other situations.

Originally Posted by Thunderball
My biggest fucking pet peeve is people who come in to the store, and expect things to be in stock all the fucking time. I'm sorry I don't have your "insert brand here" sauce, but we ran out today 'YOU HAVEN'T HAD IT IN 3 WEEKS' blah blah blah.
Don't even get me started on Frank's Red Hot Sauce.
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Old 07-14-06, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by slop101
I run a small manufacturing plant, and if I can replenish my inventory in under 24 hours, I don't understand why major stores like BB & CC cannot.
My thoughts exactly, especially for the number one retailer in the world.

*runs to prognosticate in inventory control room*
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Old 07-14-06, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Kittydreamer
Biggest pet peeve right now: Summer break
Got the kids all day now to draw penis chairs and look at online porn, huh?
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Old 07-14-06, 12:25 PM
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i doubt can openers are must restock fast items

now my own rant,

there are 3 whole foods in NYC and the weekly sales flyer is for all of them. the one in Chelsea always has everything in the flier. The Union Square one is usually out of something in the flyer. I was there 2 weeks ago to buy some ground turkey. had to go to union square and they were out of course. I was there 2 days ago for something else and suddenly they had the ground turkey on sale even though it wasn't in the circular
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