Lunch and Learn: Improving Product Availability

Corinna Walker, Head of Marketing

Representatives from a mix of supermarket suppliers joined Atheon Analytics to discuss how using SKUtrak can improve product availability.

We all know how vital it is to ensure that the right product makes it to the right supermarket shelf in time for the shopper to purchase it. SKUtrak helps suppliers ensure they have the right amount of product availability in store, and in depot through daily collecting of retailer data on your behalf and presents the data using interactive visual analytics. This allows suppliers to discover and explore what is really happening. By understanding what is happening, suppliers can then make interventions into their supply chain to improve on-shelf availability.

Getting into the detail

In order to optimise availability, you need to drill down into your retailer data to understand why something is happening. 

“It is about seeing where my stock is sitting “ one supplier commented. “I can then see if my availability is low and why. For example are we shorting orders to the depot or is the depot shorting orders to the store? If the store stock is low but the depot stock is high we can get the product pushed through, or if needed we can ask our retailer to place an order.”

Another supplier added how they are able to cross reference against wastage to see if the stores have turned off ordering manually.

Through understanding how your goods are moving through the supply chain it makes it easier to proactively manage your Flow-of-Goods

One supplier commented “We give an alert when stock in a depot is close to zero as we know in a short period of time we will see availability coming through as low.

Be proactive

The top line review dashboard in SKUtrak was commented on by a supplier as they like to use it to look at 8 weeks of data versus the last 8 weeks to see what impact there was “is it pricing / sales volume, is there any reason to why the decline or the increase?”

During the conversation a supplier shared an example of how they use SKUtrak and the data download to help prompt a retailer to place orders in good time ahead of promotions.

One supplier shared “[My] retailer is much more responsive and has seen more manual orders coming through than before.

A further supplier then added “I often send screenshots of the optimise availability graphics because it is visual, they respond well to that.”

Promotional Analysis

Picking up on the conversation around using the data to analyse promotions, one supplier commented “I can compare periods of time, see what worked well, what cannibalised sales.”

Another supplier added “We have specific SKUs that run on the same promotional activity quite frequently throughout the year. I often [set the time parameter] to a yearly view. I can see the same product on the same mechanic and how the spikes go up / down to pick out any seasonality or trends.”

Reviewing data regularly

It is great having all this information at your fingertips but if you don’t review it regularly, you aren’t able to take proactive action to prevent low availability and lost sales.

One supplier commented that they use SKUtrak as a “quick glance tool once a day to check depot to store and a more in-depth look once a week.”

With a complete view of the Flow-of-Goods you can identify how to improve every element of the supply chain. You can ensure you protect and grow your most important products, when their stocks are threatening to run low in depots and store warehouses, all before this becomes an issue on shelf. Most importantly you are taking action to identify and remedy the real causes of out of stocks, rather than dealing with the symptom of their lost sales.

One supplier provided a quote that arguably sums up SKUtrakwe find there is more weight behind our argument ….we haven’t compiled the data to suit us, we are using their data.”

If you want to find out more about how SKUtrak can help you improve product availability, please contact us at


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