Inventory management is one of the most import elements of doing business. Without products on the shelf, you might as well lock the door and go to a movie. Here are two tips to help you get a better grip on the ebb and flow of the stuff you have for sale.
Keep regular inventory counts so you’ll know what is moving and what isn’t. There’s no such thing as counting your inventory too frequently; counting it too infrequently is where the trouble starts. By analyzing your inventory reports you can get a feel for the typical turnaround rates for the items on your shelves. This will make it easier to stock up in an efficient way. What’s booming today might be a bust tomorrow. The only way to notice such changes quickly and strategically is by running reports as often as possible.
Are you still using the pencil and paper method? Prevent items from going out of stock by moving into the 21st century with a modern point of sale system and integrating a barcode scanner with inventory control software. Use the inventory software to create alerts when an item is getting low. There may be a small investment to get set up, but you’ll save over the long run by increasing efficiency and accuracy.
Reordering before your inventory reaches a critically low level provides a time cushion in case you get a customer rush on popular products or a delay occurs with delivery. A common rule of thumb is to have at least a 30 days oversupply of inventory, so it’s better to order more than you need. As time-consuming as counting inventory can be, reordering can take up just as much of your busy schedule if you’re dealing with many different vendors — that’s why it’s best to consolidate as much as possible.
The HQ MarketZone (shameless plug) gives retailers 24/7 access to the leading wholesalers and distributors and allows them to place multiple orders from one single portal (www.hqmag.com). This new system of order processing speeds up delivery times and helps you to keep a tighter lid on inventory management.