Creating processes and coming up with fresh solutions is crucial when striving to grow a business. We’re here to help you get started on some new ideas!
Taking simple steps to improve inventory management will make your business more profitable. Many of the steps we talk about today are going to be tasks that require persistence and dedication. Efficiently managing inventory is not for the faint of heart.
Let’s dive in and go over 5 simple inventory management solutions that you can try today.
Are You Using Inventory Management Correctly?
Inventory management is simply the organization and management of the inventory within warehouses. Some rely on systems; others rely on software. Solutions within inventory management refer to different ideas and strategies to grow profit and become more efficient.
1 Optimize the Space You Have: Organization
If you’re an inventory manager, it definitely pays to have good organization skills. If you’re still looking to get better, we’re here to help! One of the easiest ways to improve inventory organization is with a cloud-based system. TopShelf from Scout inc is one such system. With an inventory management system, tracking inventory is easier than ever before! You’ll be able to track your inventory from the day it arrives in your warehouse to when you create a shipping label to send it out.
Another system you can use is cycle counting. By cycle counting your inventory, you’re able to keep track of what you have, monitor how fast it moves, and make sure it’s clean and tidy every time you count it. The biggest downside of cycle counting is that it consumes a large amount of time and can really cut into a workweek. Cycle counting is a good practice for smaller warehouses that aren’t ready to automate their processes or that don’t have any large amounts of inventory. Inventory checklists are also a great tool to use along with cycle counting.
2 Liquidate Slow-Moving Inventory
Slow-moving inventory can really hurt your business. It makes it difficult to stock more of the items that are selling. By liquidating slow-moving items, you’ll be able to free up space. When you count and keep track of the items that aren’t selling, you’ll be able to know which items to liquidate. So, in many ways, both counting, organizing, and liquidating work together.
3 Take Theft and Loss Prevention Seriously
At times some warehouses can be unaware of what products and items they have within their warehouses. Because of this, theft can happen right under your nose without ever knowing it happened. Theft can take a toll on your revenue, and over time, you could lose a significant amount of money. A good inventory management system can help facilitate theft and loss prevention.
If you consider using drop shipping it’s essential that you get regular product counts. Dropshipping is an industry niche that makes it easy to make money quickly but also to lose money. It’s crucial to keep a close eye on the prices and inventory counts in order to stay profitable.
4 Manage Relationships with Suppliers
From expediting restocks to returning slow-moving inventory, having a high-quality relationship with your supplier can help ensure you’ll be able to do just that. Simple communication can help maintain and improve upon supplier relationships that, in turn, can help your business operations. Phone calls and warm, friendly emails go a long way to help maintain relationships.
Additionally, when working with distributors or if you are the supplier in some situations, relationships are crucial. Be the person that you want to work with. Work hard to keep your customers happy and serve them in the best ways possible.
5 Consider Dropshipping as an Efficient Solution
Dropshipping has been growing in popularity as an easy way to make a quick buck. But, when done in the appropriate ways, it is an efficient solution to holding warehouse space. By making sales and having other warehouses ship those items, you can save time, money, and resources. It’s common for larger wholesale companies to offer these services. At times individual orders may cost more than bulk orders, but you’re alleviating the need to store items, pack them, and ship them.
Depending on your industry, you might find that dropshipping is right for you. Do some research, understand the pros and cons, and be sure to look into software solutions that can help you automate shipments and shipment management.
Create contingency plans for different market changes. It’s plain to see that markets are often changing, and it can be difficult to foresee what the market is going to do in the future. By creating a contingency plan for different market changes, you’ll be prepared for whatever might happen. Here are some of the different situations that you should create contingency plans for:
- Your sales spike unexpectedly and you oversell your stock
- You run into a cash-flow shortfall and can’t pay for the product you desperately need
- Your warehouse doesn’t have enough room to accommodate your seasonal spike in sales
- A miscalculation in inventory means you have less product than you thought
- A slow-moving product takes up all your storage space
- Your manufacturer runs out of your product and you have orders to fill
- Your manufacturer discontinues your product without warning
Make plans for what you might do if any of these things are to happen. You’ll need to be prepared so that you aren’t left paddling upstream.
We hope that each of these solutions helps you to create a more fluid plan and strategy for your warehouse. If you’re in need of inventory management software or software integrations for your sales solutions, contact Scout today. We’re working hard to create the right solutions for you!