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A screw is a simple and rather inconspicuous article. But what if ever-stressed Marc Smith, 31, construction manager, notices his team is running out of the right size of screws? Sure enough, the workers could take a spontaneous break, but this very moment, Marc is faced with another delay in the site's progress.

This is exactly where a modern manufacturer could step in with new digital solutions, no longer only offering c-parts on the shelves of his shops, unavailable for online search.

Here are three ideas to innovate stock keeping:

  1. Click and Collect

As soon as he notices the issue, Marc could browse his favorite tools shop online, choose and order the desired screws, all on the go, already heading to the nearest (partner) store of the manufacturer, where the digital order has been submitted to. By this, the construction site is back to business quickly.

  1. Smart Shelf

The issue could have been prevented, if the manufacturer or wholesaler of screws (and building materials) had already installed a smart shelf in Marc’s warehouse. Combined with a personal subscription, all sides benefit from lean processes. The smart storage solution ensures that the supplier automatically receives an order from the customer when the stock of screws reaches the minimum quantity. He then delivers the necessary c-parts automatically, taking into account the consumption of the past few weeks. By this, never too much capital is bound, while at the same time the risk of falling short is reduced.

  1. Automatic reminder

A third preventive action and a solid foundation for a loyal customer/supplier relationship could be initiated by the manufacturer via e-mail:

“Dear Mr Smith, based on the usual weekly consumption of ASSY plus FBS steel galvanised AW, your usual stock may fall below 1,000 pieces next week. Please find attached a quick order template for your convenience.”

With intelligent commerce platforms, personalized services can be offered that guarantee customer loyalty and ensure sustainable customer relations. Augmented reality, sensor technology, mobile access, artificial intelligence - or just good ideas – begin to contribute to this.

Intershop is your partner in B2B, no matter what your idea may be.