Getting inventory management just right is essential for keeping your small business competitive. Having enough items in stock to satisfy demand helps you boost sales, but inventory can also take up a lot of space. It can also get lost, stolen, or even spoil, depending on the product in question, so it’s essential to keep track of your inventory properly. Here are a few tips for striking the right balance.
Use Counting Cycles
A counting cycle is indispensable for efficient inventory management. Ask yourself how many counts your team can realistically perform every year, and decide whether inventory will be divided between items, categories, values or locations. You also need to select a trustworthy individual to be in charge of the process.
Emphasize Quality Control
Even if your business is on the smaller size, you’ll need to implement a system for making sure your products have a high quality if you want satisfied customers and repeat business. Set up a checklist of guidelines your workers must adhere to when entering products as they receive them. For example, you might instruct them to look for signs of damage like broken seals or tears. You might also tell them to check the product specifications to make sure the sizes and styles match the purchase order. Ensure your workers know when and how they should return any items that don’t meet the requirements. In addition, you need to ensure your warehouse isn’t compromising products due to inappropriate temperatures, lighting or humidity levels.
Check Your Inventory Levels
The exact inventory levels that are ideal vary from company to company. After all, food-related businesses are going to keep very different amounts and types of products in warehouses than clothing stores. Generally speaking, however, low stock levels are the best way to keep operating costs down and boost cash flow. After you’ve determined which stock levels you need to run your business, you need to make a habit of monitoring sales patterns and historical product turnover to make better decisions moving forward.
Learn more about how to properly manage your inventory.