Blog Holistic Wssi

WSSI: what it is and how to get the most out of it

Inventory and sales management is a critical factor for success in the competitive world of retail. In this regard, WSSI (Weekly Sales Stock Intake) is an essential tool for inventory planning and execution, guiding you to have the right amount of stock in the right place at the right time.

If you want to know what WSSI entails, what valuable benefits it brings to retail companies and how you can make the most of this powerful tool to optimize retail management, read on.

What is WSSI (Weekly Sales Stock and Intake).

WSSI is one of the most important processes in retail and plays a crucial role in tactical decision making and operational management. 

The term weekly sales stock and intake (commonly known by the acronym WSSI) refers to the management and monitoring of sales, stock levels and stock arrivals and departures on a weekly basis. It is a process that helps retailers/merchandisers manage central warehouse stock and procurement, which if done efficiently will help maximize sales potential and minimize warehousing costs.

Traditionally, metrics such as forecasted sales, stock levels and future warehouse arrivals have come into play in this process, but it is increasingly important to incorporate data into the analysis to identify patterns, trends or anomalies that help make adjustments and optimize operations to efficiently match demand.

WSSI plays a critical role in retail success by providing a holistic view of effectiveness at a granular level, aligning inventory with demand and thereby reducing the risk of stock-outs, especially during demanding periods such as sales. 

And it doesn’t stop there: WSSI permeates other important aspects of retailing such as assortment planning, promotional strategies and financial planning.

Benefits of WSSI.

No retail business should work without WSSI. If used efficiently and intelligently, it is a key aid that greatly facilitates business management. Its main benefits include:

  • Facilitates decision making, as it allows you to respond very quickly and with more information to strategic questions about purchases, promotions and prices.
  • Inventory optimization, since it allows maintaining optimal inventory levels, avoiding overinvestment in products that do not sell and reducing the possibility of leaving popular items out of stock.
  • Improved profitability, avoiding discounts or liquidations by accurately projecting sales and managing inventory efficiently, resulting in higher margins.
  • Increased operational efficiency by automating much of the inventory management process to save time and resources.
  • Improved customer experience, as you will always have a balanced inventory with no shortage of products.
  • Reduction of losses, either by accumulation of unwanted inventory or lack of demanded products.

How to get the most out of WSSI.

Effective implementation of WSSI involves a deep understanding of its principles and proper integration with data analytics and operational strategy. When all these gears fit together, the full potential of WSSI is realized.

WSSI is based on data (stock, sales, receipts, etc.) that is meticulously analyzed to facilitate decision making. Having a planning solution that includes WSSI and that allows you to access and manage all these data and variables in a comfortable way (something that would be unthinkable with a spreadsheet) makes your work much easier.

This type of solution allows you to plan and simulate in an agile way all the data you need to anticipate your operations, for example:

  • Automatically calculate how much stock and in which week it should be purchased (OTB or Open to Buy calculation).
  • Plan future inward and outward stock movements and see their immediate impact on OTB.
  • Apply changes in the coverage strategy, extending or reducing the minimum weeks of stock coverage and recalculating the whole model immediately.
  • Simulate weeks when no orders can be placed with suppliers, to see the impact on stock and recalculate if more merchandise needs to be purchased in the available buying windows.
  • Plan discounts in the collections with more stock to reduce it without hurting the gross margin too much.
  • Other tasks such as simulating multiple variables, automating calculations, etc., all at different levels of detail (category, subcategory, etc.).

As can be seen, retailers working with robust platforms that combine data collection and analysis with a WSSI planning process will have a great competitive advantage, as they will have greater agility to make more accurate decisions and greater adaptability to the market.

Integration of WSSI with predictive AI.

Going a step further, WSSI can be combined with artificial intelligence (AI)-based sales forecasts, combining the versatility of a retail planning solution with the predictive power of AI.

This allows retailers to more accurately model one of the key inputs in the WSSI model: the expected sale. Using predictive AI models, it is possible to anticipate customer behavior (even in cases of new products or stores for which there is no historical data), market trends or competitor dynamics, and so on. 

All this makes it possible to obtain a more accurate sales forecast which, when combined with the WSSI model, makes it possible to optimize sourcing strategies, improve pricing models and the definition of promotional strategies, and ultimately increase sales and profitability.

Looking to boost your retail business?

As we have seen, WSSI is a cornerstone that provides retailers with the analytical and forecasting capabilities needed to thrive in such a competitive ecosystem. A strategic integration of WSSI can redefine how an organization is able to adapt to change, capitalize on opportunities and move forward on the path to growth.

Combining WSSI with artificial intelligence amplifies the capabilities of this process, providing organizations with agility and intelligence that will put them a step ahead of their competitors.

If you are interested in incorporating these tools or are looking for a platform to help you optimize your planning and inventory to achieve your business goals, at Holistic Data Solutions we can help you. Contact us and we will talk about it.

Other related articles