Inventory management is about much more than just tracking down missing items. It’s about increasing your business’s efficiency, keeping shrinkage as low as possible, and ensuring that inventory counts are accurate. With accurate counts, you’ll never over-order, and you’ll always have your customer’s favorite items in stock. A happy customer is a paying customer after all, so why not keep your inventory counts accurate? Here’s how to create smarter inventory management solutions for your business.
Start with Your POS System
If you’re using a bulky, outdated cash register for your POS needs, it’s time to upgrade and move into the future. Modern POS systems are sleek, lightweight, and some are even portable. Besides the wonderful aesthetics of the POS system, it also includes powerful inventory management tools. With real-time inventory counts, you’ll always be up to date on any changes to inventory. Inventory counts will be performed by the software itself, so you won’t have to worry about as many errors as you would with manual counts.
Let’s face it; no one likes to perform manual inventory counts, and they often end up incorrect when someone who is less than enthusiastic ends up completing them. Those errors can be costly in both time and money, so avoiding errors becomes a huge priority. Some POS systems even have a notification system that will let you know when your stock is running low. If you have trouble keeping up with best-selling items, your POS system will warn you when your stock falls close to or below a certain threshold, which you can set in the software itself. Never miss an order again!
Overall, a good POS system is probably the best inventory management tool you can get ahold of. Not only because of the lightweight portability of the hardware itself, but also because POS systems come with dozens of other tools to help with marketing, customer relations, and more. When you use POS software to manage your inventory, you’re taking control of your stock and ensuring accuracy.
Try Cloud-Based Software
The days of saving everything on a single hard drive are just about gone. With cloud-based software, everything is starting to migrate towards digital storage. Digital storage is not only more convenient and accessible, but it’s also secure and reliable. You won’t have to tote a flash drive or external hard drive around the office!
Skuvault is one such cloud-based inventory management platform that can help your business move to the next level. Smart Inventory Management is the solution for those companies that have trouble keeping up with demand in the most efficient way possible. These inefficiencies can cause losses or just a lot of confusion, which leads to frustration and further inefficiency. Fixing your inventory management tools means creating an efficient platform from which orders can be made and received, and stock is always available to your customers.
Stick to a Method
Often, with inventory management, you’ll find little pockets of customization popping up when employees use the software. They’ll want to “do things their own way” or “improve the process” by adding their own touches to it. It’s vital to the competency of your inventory management methods to keep everyone on the same track. While thinking outside the box should certainly be encouraged, with too many different methods operating at once, there are bound to be issues. That’s why it’s a good idea to train your employees on the same method and ensure they stick to it. Let them know you’re willing to hear any suggestions to the system, but that no changes should be made without authorization.
Stay on Top of Expiration Dates
While this only applies to food and other consumables, it’s still a vital part of fixing your broken inventory system. If you’ve got expired consumables on your shelf, it’s not only money that’s been wasted, but also your reputation on the line. Would you buy something off of shelf with spoiled food on it? Rotating stock daily is the best practice here. Always pay close attention to expiration dates when stock arrives, and place your newest items behind the old stock, so your customers will reach for the older stock first.
Have your employees do a daily check on your consumables, ensuring nothing is expired and noting the items that will expire within a few days. While this may seem like common sense, you’d be amazed how many grocery stores and other consumables shops don’t rotate stock properly!
Avoid Dead Stock at All Costs
Dead stock isn’t expired or no good anymore; it’s simply out of style, season, or otherwise not useable by your customers. This can mean things like winter coats out in the summertime, or vice versa. Before the season ends, rotate out your seasonal stock for a smooth transition into the next season. If you find that a certain item isn’t selling any longer, you may want to simply remove it from your inventory altogether to avoid the deadweight. Remember that stock that isn’t moving is costing you money instead of generating it.
Inventory management starts with the right software, a standard of operation, and rotating old or unwanted items. Keeping your inventory fresh and relevant ensures both that customers will continue to be interested in your items, and that old unwanted stock isn’t sitting on the shelves costing you money.