Data Analytics Application in Inventory Management

Jan 21, 2019

emlyon business school, Cardiff Business School and the Technical University of Darmstadt are partnering Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) – a trade association of retailers and their manufacturers based in Brussels – in a bid to unravel the truth.


Supported by the AIM institute at emlyon business school, the study is conducted by Professor Yacine Rekik, from emlyon business school, together with Professor Aris Syntetos, Cardiff Business School, and Professor Christoph Glock, TU Darmstadt.

Poor record-keeping could be responsible for retailers missing out on sales or overstocking their shelves. To gain insights into the influence of inventory inaccuracies on sales, the project team is conducting an empirical analysis involving a large number of retail stores that belong to eight retailers associated with ECR. Participating retail stores are assigned either to a ‘test’ or a ‘control’ group, with a stock count being performed in the ‘test’ stores during the project. The project team collected inventory and sales data in the ‘test’ and ‘control’ stores, both prior to and after the stock counts in the “test’ stores, and used statistical methods to analyze how sales differ in both types of stores.

The results of this ongoing project is to provide a strong reference case for the project partners as well as for the research community on the relevance of improving data accuracy. After quantifying trustfully the implication of data quality on the turnover, the natural next step is to investigate what are the strategies to be employed (algorithmic driven, new identification technologies, counting, etc.) to fight the root causes of the problem.