Maximising bathroom inventory trends in 2024

The Bathroom Manufacturers Association revealed their emerging trends for 2024 at KBB Birmingham last week. As the bathroom manufacturing industry gears up to embrace what’s hot for 2024, we explain how to harness the power of inventory optimisation to ensure you don’t miss any opportunities.  

Forecasting precision 

Inventory optimisation software uses sophisticated algorithms and data analysis to provide precise demand forecasts. This functionality is invaluable when managing trends, as it flags shifts in consumer preferences, such as a surge in demand for smart mirrors and eco-friendly fixtures. This means you can adapt your purchasing and replenishment accordingly. Combining this data with qualitative insights, such as the BMA’s report, to understand upcoming demands allows manufacturers to align production schedules with the dynamic nature of trends, avoiding excess inventory or stockouts. 

Strategic ABC classification 

Inventory classification is essential to ensure your stocking policies align with demand. ABC classification orders items by their value to the business. Implementing ABC classification enables businesses to strategically categorise items (A, B, C) based on their importance or value to the business. When managing trends, this classification system helps prioritise and allocate resources efficiently, focusing forecasting, management and replenishment activities for the most profitable or in-demand products, such as sleek faucets and space-saving storage solutions.  

Classifying items is time-consuming and difficult to maintain when you’re managing thousands of stock items. Inventory optimisation software like EazyStock automates ABC classification and provides daily updates to calculations and recalculations. You’ll also receive alerts when products move between categories to ensure you can swiftly respond to the evolving demands of the market. 

Adaptive replenishment 

Inventory optimisation software automates replenishment processes, ensuring businesses maintain optimal stock levels. This adaptability is crucial when managing trends where demand can fluctuate rapidly. Companies can minimise stockouts and excess inventory by automating replenishment based on near real-time data and demand patterns, contributing to enhanced efficiency and profitability. 

Picture a sudden demand surge for vintage-inspired clawfoot bathtubs. Adaptive replenishment ensures manufacturers can meet this trend without excess inventory, adapting to changing consumer preferences. 

Lifecycles and demand variability 

Effective trend management involves understanding product lifecycles and considering demand variability. Inventory optimisation software monitors items as they move through each stage of their lifecycle and adjusts the forecasting algorithm accordingly. This insight helps businesses adjust demand forecasts and maintain high service levels for each item.  

For example, as trends shift towards sustainable materials, eco-friendly bathroom products will likely be in the growth stage of their lifecycle. Understanding this means manufacturers can use the appropriate forecasting algorithm to ensure they can meet demand while minimising waste. 

Real-time data and decision-making 

The ability to make data-driven decisions in near real-time is crucial when navigating trends. Inventory optimisation software empowers businesses with near real-time data insights. Visualising key performance indicators (KPIs) and tracking metrics ensure transparency across all levels of the organisation. This near real-time visibility aids strategic decision-making, allowing businesses to respond promptly to changing market dynamics should there be a sudden surge in interest in touchless faucets, for example. 

Scenario planning and risk mitigation 

Trends bring a degree of uncertainty, and inventory optimisation software helps businesses mitigate risks through scenario planning. Running potential scenarios, such as an unexpected shift towards smart water-saving technologies, allows businesses to analyse risks and opportunities without real-time financial consequences. This proactive approach ensures manufacturers can swiftly adjust production strategies, enhances cost efficiency, protects margins, and boosts overall supply chain performance. 

Collaborative supply chain management 

Inventory optimisation software fosters collaboration within the supply chain. It enables businesses to share near real-time data with suppliers and partners, creating a collaborative ecosystem. This collaborative approach is instrumental when managing trends, as it facilitates seamless communication and alignment of strategies across the entire supply chain. 

Collaborative supply chain management ensures that all stakeholders are aligned when introducing a new trend, such as spa-like bathroom experiences, that requires coordination between manufacturers and suppliers. 

Embracing inventory optimisation software 

Overall, inventory optimisation software is a powerful ally in managing trends effectively. From precise forecasting and strategic ABC classification to adaptive replenishment and collaborative supply chain management, the capabilities of this technology align seamlessly with the dynamic nature of consumer trends. By embracing advanced inventory optimisation solutions, businesses can not only navigate trends successfully but also position themselves as leaders in their respective industries. 

If you want to learn more, contact one of our experts, who will explain how EazyStock can transform your inventory management.