Inventory Summer School #4: Tackle Supply-Chain Challenges

Brought to you by… VoiceComm

With retailers of all stripes facing huge supply-chain challenges caused by a wide number of factors, many can’t get the products they need into their stores.

According to a November 2021 McKinsey report, the disruptions​“have the potential to decrease earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) for retailers by 20-40% in the near term, with 15-20% of that decrease enduring if these supply-chain shocks go unaddressed.”

This negative impact is even more true of telecom and electronics inventory, which have the added challenge of being affected by the global chip shortage.

You might order 10 phones, but only get allocated five,” said Ryan Ori, a former Project Manager at iQmetrix.​“It becomes very hard to meet customer expectations of getting the phone they want at that moment.”

Supply-chain challenges are also compounded by staff shortages that all retailers are seeing, telecom stores being no exception.

Justin Drage, Vice President of Partner Management at iQmetrix and former Chief Growth Officer at VoiceComm, a vendor-managed inventory supplier and iQmetrix integrated partner, said,​“When the supply chain is fractured the way it is right now and we have shipments that are getting stuck in a port or they’re not arriving on time, carriers in the United States just aren’t getting product they need. Even when they do arrive there’s not enough personnel to be able to handle the inbound receiving or the outbound shipping.”

Smart Inventory Ordering

With the reporting and analytics functions built into advanced inventory management solutions, carriers can make smarter decisions about which items to order, as well as optimal in-stock levels and replenishment schedules. Relying on data such as historical sales and analysis of past promotions’ impact helps carriers avoid the twin perils of overstocking and understocking.

Jared Kennedy, Product Manager at iQmetrix, said,​“The three inventory reports that have proven to be most integral to operations for our clients are the Inventory Listing Report, Product Tracking Report, and Inventory Availability Summary Report.”

Using data that everyone agrees on helps carriers avoid many of the most common inventory challenges. Even the smartest carriers can get caught up in the anticipation generated by a hot new phone launch or product fad, leading to over-ordering of items that only have transient appeal. Conversely, careful analysis of past product launches can help wireless carriers stock enough accessories, such as cases and earbuds, to meet customer demand. Inventory management data allows carriers to order enough for their entire chain, and to allocate more of this inventory to the locations that are likely to sell the most phones and products.

Julie Kline, Vice President and General Manager of VoiceComm, explained, Carriers can leverage powerful analytics from iQmetrix and expert, collaborative planning with a strong distribution partner like VoiceComm to optimize their assortment and inventory levels. Together we can overcome market disruptions.”

Using VMI and dropship solutions can also help with supply-chain challenges, so check out Inventory Summer School editions #2 and #3 for more tips.

This edition of Inventory Summer School was brought to you by…


VoiceComm is the premier mobile accessory distributor for the North American market. Its diverse, high profile product portfolio coupled with its commitment to serve has allowed VoiceComm to quickly become the go-to destination for wireless accessories in the market. With a focus on what’s important for wireless retail and related channels, the distributor aims to inspire through customization, in order to develop the programs and resources businesses need to succeed.

Two of VoiceComm’s most popular programs, Dropship and Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), are integrated services produced in partnership with iQmetrix. VoiceComm has been a premier integrated partner with iQmetrix since 2014 and has developed a suite of customized tools and services to enhance your experience. Each program is designed to significantly impact the health of your business for the better!

For more information, go to the VoiceComm partner page.