Inventory management may sound like a phrase that only big companies use, but the truth is that retail brands of any size need a reliable way to track and manage their inventory or keep an open option for applying for inventory loans. There are a lot of reasons why you should make inventory management a priority. It will minimize your costs and prevent losses. It will improve your shop’s efficiency. It will also ensure that you’re getting the most out of the supplies and products you have on hand.
Ordering Correct Amounts
There are two mistakes you can make when ordering inventory: ordering too much and not being able to sell your stock; and ordering too little and not being able to fulfill orders for popular products. Projecting how much of each product is bought on a monthly basis will help you order the correct quantities moving forward. For a popular item, you may want to always have a backup amount of stock at the ready. For items that aren’t selling or are only selling a little bit, you may not have to order anything new for the time being. Either way, it’s a mistake to always order the same amount of product each month. Track sales trends to figure out how to adjust your orders each time around.
Checking Incoming Shipments
When you receive a new shipment, it’s important to check it over to make sure everything is in good shape and accounted for. The delivery should be complete and un-damaged. You should receive the amount of product you ordered at the quality level you expected. When you check each incoming shipment, you’ll ensure that you’re not paying for something you didn’t receive.
Safely Storing Inventory
You may be keeping your inventory at your brick-and-mortar shop or at a warehouse. Or, you may be storing the product at a fulfillment center. No matter where you choose to keep it, make sure it’s in a place you trust. The last thing you want is to lose inventory because of preventable theft or damage. Additionally, you need to make sure that you can track the inventory as it moves from shipping to storage and then storage to fulfillment.
Using Inventory Management Software
There’s a lot that goes into managing inventory. Often, retail shop owners rely on inventory management software to keep everything updated in real time. Inventory management software will track products and orders; organize customer data, and apply discounts and taxes based on the order. It can also help you manage inventory that’s spread out over a few different locations. Additionally, some software can provide sales data, making it easier to know what to order and which products aren’t selling. Even small businesses will benefit from inventory management software – it’s easy to fall behind on updating a spreadsheet, which can quickly cause confusion when it comes to your inventory. Plus, cloud-based software can work on any Internet-connected device, so you’ll be able to manage your inventory on-the-go.
Harnessing Data You’ve Collected
Inventory management software will collect a ton of useful data. Not only will you be able to track what does and does not sell, but you’ll also be able to see other areas that need improvement. For example, you may realize that some of your suppliers are pricier or less reliable than others. You may also be able to project when you’ll need a small business loan because there’s an upcoming seasonal slow time.
If your small business is in need of a loan, consider Certified Business Loans. When you’re ready to grow your small business, you may not have the capital on hand to get the ball rolling. Certified Business Loans will help you figure out the loan that best meets your needs so that you can move your business forward.