As your company grows, it can feel like everything goes from manageable to unmanageable nearly overnight. When inventory starts to fall through the cracks, you’ll quickly begin to feel the effects in your bottom line. That’s why it’s important to stay organized with your inventory before it gets too crazy. Here are 5 tips for managing your inventory like a pro.
1. Choose Your Inventory Method, and Stick to It
Before anything else, you need to have a plan when it comes to your inventory. First-In-First-Out Method states that whatever product you purchased first will be the one that you sell or use first. It is that most popular method and is especially important when dealing with perishable in order to minimize waste. Last-In-First-Out method is the opposite; the most recently purchased items will be the ones you utilize first. Whether FIFO or LIFO is right for you, make sure you stay consistent.
2. Regularly Identify Best-Selling items
What products are most popular with your customers? It might not be what you expect. Take a look at the numbers to determine what kind of products your customers are loving. Utilize that information when creating new products to ensure that you’re using your time and resources effectively.
3. Don’t Forget to Consider Low-Selling items
It can be difficult to admit, but sometimes products we love just aren’t received the same way by customers. When a product isn’t selling as well as you’d hope, it’s important to consider why. Sometimes, a small change made to the product or listing can have a big impact. Other times, it might be time to retire a product to make room for items that your customers will love just as much as you do.
4. Prepare for Peak Seasons
It is generally important to maintain a minimum amount of stock product, as product that isn’t being sold is money sitting on a shelf. However, no one wants to have to turn away a customer because they’ve sold out of a certain product. To prevent this from happening, it is important to identify when certain items are more likely to be sold. You can then prepare for these times by temporarily increasing stock in these products to ensure that you’re not missing out on an opportunity for a sale.
5. Use an Inventory System, and Save Time
Manual inventory systems like spreadsheets are popular due to their accessibility and ubiquity. However, these systems invite user error, especially when you’re not a spreadsheet expert. Instead, let the experts do the heavy lifting by using an automated, cloud-based Inventory Management system. The system will automatically update based on your sales and indicate exactly which items need to be repurchased. All you have to do is compare your physical inventory with your virtual inventory on a regular basis to make sure they match.
There is no right way to manage your inventory. It is most important that you choose a system that works best for you and your business. However, just a few small adjustments to your current system can have a big impact on the way you operate and grow.