As you, my faithful reader, probably know by now, the business I run is Baby Care. This means I am in charge of ordering inventory for all diapers, wipes, formula and toiletries you see on Target.com. And at the ripe age of 23, I have become an expert at distinguising the different varieties of diaper by brand and where you will get the most bang for your buck when it comes to ordering formula in bulk- can’t say I am not prepared for the (very far) future! With that in mind, one of our biggest events of the year is coming up, the season where my job gets even more exciting; September Baby Sale! While my category has pretty steady sales throughout a normal month without much seasonality (diapers aren’t really something you wait in line for on Black Friday…), this sale allows me the opportunity to put my forecasting skills to the test.
Since inventory management is the core of the Business Analyst role, knowing your items and understanding what drives the sales behind each item is very important. On a normal week we will use historical trends combined with future looking sales forecasts to order into quantities that we believe will drive the most sales, while at the same time not holding too much inventory to put us in an overstocked position. What we order can make or break sales in our category on a week to week basis- talk about responsibility! When it comes to Baby Sale, we look at each Category, Sub-category, and item at a much more in-depth level. Depending on which sales my buyer decides to run, I get the opportunity to predict what we should bring in, and the most exhilarating part of the whole thing is watching the main event occur in real time. To be honest, it is very similar to going to Canterbury Park and betting on the horse races. You study the odds, choose what horse you think is going to do the best and worst, and put your money down to back your bet. In the end, you get the chance to see how well you did utilizing the information at hand to make your money work for you.
While ordering inventory for a sale is not QUITE as risky as betting on horses, there is the same thrill to the job. At the end, the main goal to be instock throughout the whole sale so your guest is satisfied, while also maintaining enough inventory leftover at the end to continue supporting normal sales. Want to see how well I ordered? Check out the Baby Care category after the week of September 3rd. Am I out of stock? Maybe I should have placed my bets a little higher 🙂
Interested in a career in buying, planning and brand management? Search and apply for jobs here.