Follow us on
Connect
Advertisement
 
Vice President of Sales and Business Development at Direct Tech, Inc.

Return on Inventory

By Joe Palzkill

About Joe

Joe is vice president of sales and business development at Direct Tech, Inc., a company which helps catalog and e-commerce retailers drive profitability, increase demand and optimize inventory investment by providing best-in-class applications and services. Joe is a member of Direct Tech’s seasoned management team, which has more than 150 years experience with demand planning, inventory optimization and merchandise planning in the multichannel retail industry. For more than two decades, Direct Tech’s applications and services have enabled leading multichannel brands to grow their businesses.

Joe is a 28-year veteran of the direct merchandising industry with hands-on experience in marketing, merchandising, inventory management and business development at multichannel retail companies including Lands’ End, LifeSketch.com, Nordstrom.com and Duluth Trading Company. At Direct Tech, Joe uses his experience to help customers and prospects understand how to improve sales and profits through applying industry best practices in merchandise planning and inventory management systems and processes.
 

Retail Rants & Raves

Joe Keenan
Retail Jobs Not so Bad After All?
Oct 15, 2014

The National Retail Federation (NRF) today released a study authored by a University of Georgia economist who found that retail jobs...



Retail Revelations

Melissa Campanelli
When Email Snafus Happen to Good Companies
Nov 12, 2014

Say it ain't so! I was actually sad when I read in MarketWatch this week that Seattle-based online retailer Zulily’s...



Catalog Doctor

Susan J. McIntyre
Reaching for the Omnichannel Brass Ring
Nov 11, 2014

Do you have a 360-degree view of your customers? Can you attribute sales accurately to each channel? Are you creating...



Print-Plus

Stephen Lett
Page Count Does Make a Difference
Nov 7, 2014

There's a favorable relationship between the incremental costs of adding pages vs. the actual return. Pages generate a high return...



Designed to Convert

Tim Ash
If You Must Tweak Your Way to E-Commerce Success, Then Pay Attention to These Two Steps
Oct 27, 2014

Some websites are so broken that tweaks really aren't the best approach. Yes, you can split test your way into...



Shipping Insights

Rob Martinez
UPS Announces 2015 General Rate Increase
Oct 22, 2014

Effective Dec. 29, 2014, the published rates for UPS services will increase. UPS Ground, Air and International rates will increase...



The Art of Delivering Style

Maria Haggerty
Are Drone Deliveries the Future of Online Shipping?
Oct 21, 2014

While the quest for faster shipping is an ongoing struggle for retailers and fulfillment companies, it's unlikely that drones or...



Email Marketing Bites

Liz Ryan
The Email Hierarchy of Needs: Deliverability is the Foundation
Jun 18, 2014

If you're not getting the most of your email messaging, you might not be asking the right questions. How many...



Return on Intelligence

Jim Gilbert
LinkedIn Publishing Platform: User Review, Tips and Some Wishes for its Next Iteration, Part 3
Jul 23, 2014

This week in the third and final part of this series, I offer suggestions for how LinkedIn's publishing platform can...



Email Applied

Reggie  Brady
Subject Lines That Work
Jul 18, 2014

Standing out in the inbox isn't easy. A lot of promotional emails I receive have subject lines that aren't special....



ThinkAbout: Inspirational Verve for Your Product Line!

Andrea Syverson
Springboard From Your Brand Filter
Jun 26, 2014

One of the most important ways I strengthen my clients’ brands and product lines is by collaborating with their leaders...



B-to-B Insights

George Hague
2 Must-Have B-to-B Metrics
Apr 9, 2014

Smart CEOs know two essential B-to-B metrics to successfully grow their businesses: contribution per order (CPO) for new customers and...



Shoot While the Ducks Are in the Air

Bill End, avid outdoorsman and former CEO at L.L.Bean and Lands’ End, would frequently say, "We've got to shoot while the ducks are in the air." He was explaining the importance of aggressively marketing while consumers were naturally shopping, but the same adage applies to inventory planning and decision making. While there are many factors involved with successful holiday inventory planning, most of which would have been executed over the preceding 12 months or more, I want to focus on the

...  Read More >>

Done is Better Than Perfect

I was reading an article about Facebook recently and took note of the social network's motto, "Done is better than perfect." That took me back a few years, specifically to Lands' End in the 90s. One of my boss' favorite sayings was, "Don't let perfect be the enemy of good." Recognizing the shared genealogy in those two phrases, I spent a distracted 15 minutes looking at other variations of the theme.  Read More >>

How Product Profiling Increases Sales and Profits

An accepted best practice in inventory planning is to adhere to the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule. For inventory planners, this is also often referred to as product profiling, or ABC profiling. This makes intuitive sense. It's natural to spend relatively more time in planning, analysis and management of the top-selling items, but what does it mean in financial terms?  Read More >>

Inventory Success Requires Systems, People and Process

 

Often, while working with Direct Tech's current and prospective customers, I'll hear the age-old question: "Can't the system just do that?" If only! On occasion, it really is that easy. Computer software is great for solving consistent, recurring tasks where the rules can be defined to yield repetitive answers. More often, however, the answer is "it depends." Merchandise and inventory planning is a combination of art and science. The science is programmable, but the art is a different

...  Read More >>

The Importance of Seasonal Category Budgets

I recently participated in a strategic planning session with a major multichannel retailer's inventory planning professionals. The attendees represented various sales divisions of the company, and their combined expertise encompassed many years of inventory planning experience. Our top challenge: How to capture accurate sales data and effectively manage its impact on merchandise and inventory planning when providing a quality omnichannel customer experience?

 Read More >>

Good Plans, Great Reactions

An underappreciated component to inventory planning excellence is careful alignment of the planning calendar to the timing of marketing activities. Easy to say, tough to do, and here's why.  Read More >>

Inventory Planning Advice From Mike Tyson

With so many demands on your time, it's tough to break away and attend any function, but the NEMOA Spring Conference is simply one of the best events of the year. More than 500 catalog and internet retail professionals gather to network and learn from each other. It's worth attending.  Read More >>

Don't Become a Flat Squirrel

We were privileged to hear from two outstanding keynote speakers at Direct Tech's annual user conference last week in sunny, warm Orlando. (Please forgive my sigh; I'm back home in Wisconsin, where the current temperature is -10°.) One of them, Elaine Beaubien, an award-winning educator, entrepreneur, and business management and training coach, shared her observations on "innovating to survive" in a rapidly changing environment.  Read More >>

Companies Mentioned:

Sections:

Respect for Data Key to Inventory Planning

Until you have data audit processes in place to assure you have reliable information from which to plan, you can't trust the result. Building assortment plans, creating demand forecasts or making inventory decisions without first validating the accuracy of planning data is like building a house on a faulty foundation. You might get away with it for a short time, but one day it will come crashing down.  Read More >>

Are Your Bathrooms Clean?

While working at Lands’ End some years ago, I joined a tour of the company's facilities with a visiting investment analyst. At tour's end, the analyst said, "You may have wondered why I stopped at every bathroom along the way." Actually, I hadn't even noticed until he brought it up. He continued: "It's part of the analysis. In my experience, you can pretty much judge the quality of a company by the cleanliness of their bathrooms." His point was that well-run companies pay attention to

...  Read More >>

HQ Content, Context and Field Truth in the Realm of Inventory Planning

I attended Learning 2013 earlier this month, hoping to gain insights on how we at Direct Tech can provide top-notch training to our software users. It was an impressive event with more than 170 sessions, a keynote speech by Hillary Clinton, interviews with thought leaders, and unique insights from the likes of Jane Pauley and George Takei. I came away from the conference with many pages of notes, but my most memorable "learning" came from someone who didn't speak a word: U.S. General Colin

...  Read More >>

Companies Mentioned:

Safety Stock vs. Safety Time

Forecasted demand is always wrong, and not every supplier delivers on time.

I was reminded of these widely accepted truths of inventory planning while working with a prospective Direct Tech customer in Long Island a couple weeks ago.  The company's head of logistics was probing the capabilities of our tools, and we got into a 20-minute discussion on Safety Stock versus Safety Time.

 Read More >>

‘If it Barks, it’s a Dog’: A Lesson Learned in Inventory Planning

One of the enduring lessons I learned as a new inventory planner at Lands’ End in the early 1980s was "if it barks, it's a dog." Lands’ End was a smaller company then (less than $50 million in sales), and cash flow and inventory planning were monitored very closely. Most of its products were private label, with at least 12 months of product development invested in them. There was a lot of emotional attachment to the products, from both the merchants and the inventory

...  Read More >>

Inventory Planning in an Omnichannel Environment

Merchandise and inventory planning for catalog retailers used to be a thorough, highly detailed process from start to finish. The goal, of course, was to establish the best possible product assortment and inventory plan to optimize the sales and profits from the catalog mailing. E-commerce has changed all that.  Read More >>

Sections:

5 Tips to Help Your Business Manage System Process Changes

In today's dynamic retail environment, however, the ability to embrace rapid process change is more important than ever. Merchandise and inventory planners must adapt quickly to system upgrades, evolving customer demands and multichannel marketing initiatives almost as they happen. It's exciting, but also quite daunting. Here are a few best practice tips we've identified from our experience at Direct Tech to help your business address these inevitable process changes:

 Read More >>