Whether you’re a small business trying to thrive in a competitive industry, or a start-up wanting to hit the ground running, there are lots of things you’ll need to consider if you want to succeed.
One aspect you’ll need to think about very early on, is the best way to manage your inventory. You’ll want to have an accurate overview of stock levels so that you can make the most of your inventory, without over-selling or letting products go to waste.
From placing orders to shipping and tracking, get inventory management right to help your business succeed.
If you’re struggling with where to start, then take a look at these 7 inventory management tips to help small businesses and start-ups with their inventory management.
1. Choose Your Software Carefully
The first step of inventory management to focus on as a small business or a start-up, is to research into the best software platforms.
With so many recent developments in the cloud computing industry, even if you’re on a limited budget, you’ll still have access to cutting-edge software for a reasonable monthly fee.
Our cloud inventory management software helps small businesses and start-ups alike to check stock levels in real-time, enabling them to see how much stock is available to be sold, and how much more they need to order.
Start off by doing your research early, so you can reap the benefits of a robust inventory management system as soon as possible.
2. Ensure Your Tracking Is Accurate
When managing your inventory, it’s essential that you can track your stock at every part of the journey. How much inventory do you have in stock? How much has been sold? How much is free? How much have you ordered? These should all be questions you can easily find the answer for.
Accurate tracking means you can ensure your inventory management system is as efficient and cost-effective as it can possibly be.
3. Streamline Your Work
As soon as you choose your inventory management software, it’s good to get into the habit of constantly looking at ways to streamline and optimise the work that you do.
Streamlining your work will save you time and revenue. If you’re unsure of where to start, then get in touch as we may be able to advise you.
4. Undergo Manual Stock Counts
Whilst our inventory management software tracks your stock in real-time, it’s still worth undertaking regular manual stock counts, to reconfirm the stock you do have. This is especially important if your products have a shelf life, as you’ll gain an accurate insight into how much stock you need to quickly shift.
Whilst this may seem like a tedious job, it’s worth doing as you’ll also find out about any obsolete, stolen or damaged stock. It also means that in the highly unlikely event of a glitch in your cloud inventory management system, you’ll be able to quickly identify and resolve it.
5. Manage Multiple Sites from One System
If your small business has multiple sites for your inventory, then managing them under one system will make your life a lot easier.
Not only does it mean you’ll have greater visibility of what stock you have where and when, your staff will too, and you’ll be able to move stock around more easily.
6. Create Standardised Processes
Lots of businesses will identify their best practices over time, once they’ve experienced a degree of trial and error. Whilst this isn’t a negative thing, if you can create and put into place a standardised process right from the beginning, then this is even better.
Put some time aside to think through each of your processes – such as placing and receiving orders, and counting stock – so you can understand how to make each one of them as efficient as possible.
Whilst you’ll likely identify additional processes in the future, thinking about the core procedures early on will save you time in the long run.
7. Organise Your Stock Room
Something else you should do early on, is organise your warehouse or stockroom, to help you to operate in a streamlined manner. After all, a disorganised and chaotic warehouse can lead to lost inventory, resulting in less revenue and customers.
By analysing sales, you’ll see if certain products are often bought together, in which case, you can place them next to each in the warehouse, making it quicker and easier to pick orders.
Running a business has many challenges, and you’ll constantly be faced with numerous decisions to make. No matter how competitive your industry may be, effective planning and preparation will help you to become successful in your area.
Getting your inventory management right early on is crucial, as you will then be able to focus your attention elsewhere. If you’re looking for an effective inventory management system, then you can try our software for free, or alternatively, get in touch with us.