Let’s start with the key changes the organization must embrace. If the channels are used to running ‘their business’ independently, this mindset will need to be addressed. A common global inventory pool means that inventory in a DC needs to be ‘owned’ by the entire organization (or region) as a whole—not an individual channel. This will impact things like open-to-buy for retail as well as pricing structures across all channels.
Further, rules need to be put in place to accommodate for inventory shortages. Shortages can occur for multiple reasons, such as the vendor failed to ship what was ordered or additional demand orders were entered after procurement was completed. In this latter case, more product often cannot be bought, and in the rare circumstances when it can, product would likely arrive too late to satisfy the demand requirement. In any of these cases, the organization must evaluate the criteria it will use to determine which channel will end up getting shorted by the supply problem.
Fundamentally, the move to global inventory means the following: