When you hear the words “inventory day,” what do you imagine? If the scene in your head is a hectic day running back and forth from your stockroom and sales floor, you’re not alone. In all of the chaos and urgency that goes into being a business owner, managing inventory can sometimes fall to the bottom of the list.
According to the 2017 State of Small Business Report, 43% of small businesses were either not tracking inventory or using manual processes, such as spreadsheets or pen-and-paper. This method of managing inventory is highly prone to mishandling of stock, mistakes with ordering and shipping, and making it difficult to locate items in storage.
Implementing effective inventory control processes goes beyond even the obvious financial savings. You achieve higher levels of customer service by not running out of your retail products when they are in high demand. It is important to know what best practices that you as a business owner must follow because they have a significant impact on your bottom line. Plus, nobody wants to spend hours in the stockroom frantically scanning merchandise.
Inventory Management Explained: The Basics
The right inventory management system tracks your sales in real-time, automatically deducting as items move through the store. You’re also able to enter in costs to gain insight on your profitability by category, product, and supplier. On top of that, you’re able to check product sales reports to see which items are performing well and which need some additional assistance to move off the shelves. Recently stocked a certain style of sundress that doesn’t seem to have the customers flocking to your shop? Maybe it’s time for a sale!
A recommended option is to use an asset tracking system, preferably one that is a part of a versatile business management solution. Asset tracking gives you accurate product forecasting, which is especially effective when tied in with your registers and payment terminals. Many POS systems on the market today [link to “Modern POS Systems” when live] offer this effective combination of products, giving you real-time information and automation abilities to get items ordered when they decrease below your set inventory thresholds.
Advanced Tips: Reduce Low-Turn Stock and Avoid Low Inventory Levels
Feeling more confident with your inventory management skills? Use your POS to get a little more in-depth. Modern systems have more advanced capabilities, like helping you reduce low-turn stock. For example, if you have stock that has not been moving over the course of the last six months, it is safe to assume that it’s probably not worth carrying any further. Addressing low-turn stock and taking the necessary steps to move it from your shop frees up valuable space on your store shelves while giving you more space in your storage area for products that are selling.
Another advanced tip is to use your POS to customize low inventory alerts and set up automatic reordering. How nice would it be to focus on growing your business without panicking over whether or not you reordered one of your top-sellers?
However, this can be pretty difficult to accomplish without a modern point of sale solution. A system that ties into all aspects of your business’s inventory management processes is crucial. Utilizing a business-wide solution that ties your backroom to your customer-facing items streamlines the entire flow of your business. Such a solution opens the doors to automation techniques that will take you to the next level.
Pro Tools: Automation and the FIFO Method
While adjusting how you track and manage your inventory is critical in the quest to gain efficiency, you can only go so far without investing in some form of automation and integration. Not only does automating inventory processes save you time and money, but you can also fully utilize Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) asset tracking processes. AIDC systems are excellent for capturing information on the health of your inventory without relying on manual data entry. This greatly reduces inventory costs through both stock reduction, increased sales, and an increase in staff performance.
Beyond automation, you’re able to use first in, first out (FIFO) cost-tracking system that makes it that much easier to gain a deeper understanding of your true cost by batch. These are the sorts of pro tools that might take you a while to gain a hang of but the right point of sale provider should be able to provide you with the inventory management tools you need to succeed in taking your business to the next level.
Understanding Inventory Management for Small Businesses
When you understand and apply the basic elements of effectively managing your inventory you gain a number of business advantages. You should have the right products in stock while escaping a financial black hole by having valuable dollars invested in stock that just sits in storage. This gives your customers confidence that you have what they need when they need it while giving you an automated way to manage your supply chain.
When inventory management is fully optimized, the cost of business is reduced. Introducing the right software solution presents you with tools to better manage your inventory and stock levels, whether you’re a brand new business owner or you’re interested in testing some advanced concepts. This is why you need to connect with an experienced software partner.
As a partner, talech brings to you the expertise you need to identify and implement an inventory management solution to bring your business to the top of its game. We take the time to learn the intricacies of your business processes and work with you to apply these changes to your business. With a wide range of hardware and software solutions to choose from, you are ensured that the system implemented gives you the results you desire. Reach out to us today to sign up for a free demo and learn more about how talech can be your valued partner in managing your inventory requirements.