QVC, which stands for Quality, Value & Convenience, was founded in 1986. The company sold its first product, a Windsor Shower Companion, during a live TV broadcast with a cable television reach of about 7.6 million homes in the United States. Today, the company has grown into a multi-national corporation selling its diverse products all over the world with a broadcasting reach now of over 235 million households. Aside from its broadcasting efforts, products can be purchased over the QVC website, further adding to the “C” factor in QVC (convenience).
The German market has proven to be especially successful for QVC, where the company launched its operations in 1996. With annual sales exceeding 743 million Euro (just under 1 billion dollars) and 6.7 million customers, QVC Germany has become one of Europe’s top teleshopping companies. Headquartered in Düsseldorf, QVC Germany stores its over 18,000 different products located in more than 110,000 different storage locations at its enormous distribution center in Hückelhoven, Germany:
More than 1,000 employees secure a smooth processing of 40,000 packages on average per day, seven days a week. One could imagine the importance of accurate inventory data in such a dynamic, highly active warehouse. One could also imagine the headaches associated with conducting full physical end-of-period counts in such a fast-paced distribution center. However, ten years ago, after experiencing long standstills and high costs associated with conducting a full physical count, QVC turned to statistical inventory sampling to reduce stocktaking efforts, save costs and ensure counting accuracy.
Using a combination of monthly full recordings of particularly high-valued items as well as quarterly inventory sampling controls using the estimation procedure, QVC has been able to increase its counting efficiency in the manual storage locations. In the automatic storage locations, QVC implements the sequential testing procedure of inventoy sampling on a monthly basis to confirm the accuracy of its inventory records.
I encourage you to request a copy of the QVC statistical inventory sampling success story and read about how the company has been using this counting method successfully for over 10 years.