Your inventory is a constantly changing beast. Every single day, factors ranging from new sales, receipts and returns, right through to damage and theft, have a powerful effect on your stock levels.
Whilst daunting, the ability to keep on top of it all as it happens is the most crucial defining character of a successful business trading online. Stop being a slave to your inventory, and come to terms with the importance of careful inventory tracking, before your competitors do.
Priority One = Your Customer
Call it a cliché but whether you’re in B2B or B2C, your customer is always priority one.
When a customer reports to you that they have not received their order, you’ll need to be able to quickly cross-check with your report to confirm you have extras in stock. Crucially too, if you are on top of your inventory you can identify and address incorrect shipments straight away, before they become a problem.
If your stock and systems are up to date with your purchase orders you will be able to sell with confidence, knowing what and when more stock is set to come in.
It is this strong communication which develops a relationship of trust with your customers, and this above all is key to the successful running of a retail business.
Excessive Storage Costs
Without a well managed inventory, your business is leaking time and money to inefficiency.
Running around looking for the last product or rechecking stock levels before a sale is not a smart way for your warehouse staff to be spending their time. You are slowing processes down, adding manual steps, and opening yourself up to errors as you become a slave to your inventory.
When you have an up-to-date inventory report, you know what you have in stock, and what you don’t. Your pick, pack and ship process will run more smoothly, and you’ll get more fluidity of stock from through your warehouse and out to the customers.
A properly managed inventory enables you to process more orders in the same amount of time with the same staff. Having accurate stock levels and streamlined warehouse processes keeps your business lean, getting you free of the chokehold a mismanaged inventory can have on your business.
The Purchase Order Process
Wherever you are wasting time on manual processes is an area in which you can strengthen your business. Purchase orders are no exception.
Instead of physically checking your shelves to form a purchase order, you should establish an automation of your re-order system. Set up low-stock notifications on your inventory management database, or use a more advanced system to automatically send-off purchase orders to your suppliers when stock hits a certain low-point.
With tidy and well managed inventory processes, re-ordering and receiving stock is as easy as a few clicks, leaving you with more time to focus on other elements of your business. It also gives you a smarter insight into how your product lines are doing, allowing you to really optimise your inventory.
With a more advanced inventory management system, you often have the ability to view any supplier details which could cause complications further along, such as long lead times, or irregular deliveries. This kind of information will transform your re-ordering process, and elevate your business efficiency.
These are just a few of the many ways that you’ve been held back by your inventory management, and some suggestions to help you regain control. For an extensive collection of solutions, check out the industry-leading white paper by Brightpearl: “10 Reasons Accurate Inventory Tracking Matters.”