The Word

  • Posted : 31/08/2006
  • Name: Chris Hill
  • Subject: Stock allocation issues


" I ordered several items that were all in stock when I placed the order. By the time my order was picked, one of the items was out of stock. When I phoned to cancel that item, I was assured everything else was in stock. However, by the time the rest of the order was picked, something else had gone out of stock. Very frustrating! Why can't you allocate 'in stock' items as soon as the order is placed? It seems to me that 'my' ordered items can be used to fulfil someone else's order, placed after mine, while mine is waiting for items to come back into stock. If I order too many items, I might NEVER get everything in stock at the same time!

This is not the first time this has happened to me. Helpful and polite customer services staff as ever, but the only way out of the loop this time was to get one of the customer services staff to actually pick my order there and then! A better link between the ordering process and stock levels seems to be needed, so that things I've ordered from available stock cannot be used to satisfy someone else's order. I've learned my lesson about ordering too much at one time from Scan, even from 'Today Only' products that seem to 'promise' stock availability. It has cost me more to buy the missing items from elsewhere, but at least they deliver on items they claim are in stock.

------------Scan Employee Ref--------
Neesha (spelling?). Very helpful and apologetic, and got me out of this infinite loop by picking the items for me. "

Scan's Action

" We're conscious that over the years as we've grown massively, stock issues of this nature have increased in line. Whilst they only represent a tiny minority against the number of parcels successfully shipped on time and without stock issues, it's still a problem we want to solve. Even if we are only able to increase our success rate from 97% to 98% we appreciate that 1% can still represent a large number of customers, especially when you're shipping so many 1000's of parcels every day! :)

In light of this sentiment, over the past few months we have taken all the customer feedback including Mr Hill's and examined the root of these problems very carefully. The solution we have implemented involves a considerable expansion of our warehouse, new systems and procedures and retraining of our picking dept, but we now feel that we are able to efficiently address this issue once and for all. It is quite a considerable change in the way in which we pick orders and so it may well cause some disruptions along the way, but we are very confident that in the long run this investment will make our service that much better for everyone, and certainly resolve the vast majority of these isolated issues.

We sincerely hope that we haven't lost Chris' custom and that he can come back to us in the future and give us another chance. He can most certainly rest assured that his feedback has been read, understood and acted upon! :)

Roxane Wilkinson.
Customer Service Manager. "