Inventory management can be overwhelming. There can be an incredibly large amount of tangible inventory, which can translate to a huge amount of responsibility and pressure to manage this inventory properly.
Unfortunately, mistakes are inevitable in any business and especially with inventory control. Luckily, by addressing a variety of factors that affect inventory management, it’s easy to identify common mistakes and work towards improving your inventory control.
The days of using clipboards, handwritten notes and antiquated spreadsheets to track inventory should be over. Today, tracking inventory has never been easier. With the ease and accessibility of cloud-based inventory services, these processes can be automated. You can download inventory software that helps you track stock in real-time, alerting you when stocks are low. It can track trends that can help forecasting or it can simply alert you on changing levels.
For example, if someone came in before their camping trip and cleared your shelves of all the available bug spray, your inventory system would know immediately and prompt you to re-order more. This real-time data can send you automated notifications to make sure you know what is on your shelves, at all times. With data tracking software, it should help streamline the stock taking procedure.
Overselling is common with inventory management, but it can be avoided. A common overselling scenario is when someone buys something off your online store, just after someone purchased the last of that item from your physical store. Again, this points towards a lack of automation. With inventory software, as soon as the item in the physical store is scanned, it updates the stock on the online store, making that item unavailable. This can lead to better shopping experiences for customers, as it can eliminate frustration that they would experience if they tried to buy an unavailable item. Additionally, you won’t oversell items that you don’t have, since you’re up to date with your stock levels.
Inventory Management Failing To Forecast
The busy tasks of day-to-day work can mean big picture issues, like forecasting, get ignored or sit on the back burner. They loom in the background and nothing is done, because there are too many things that require immediate attention. However, if you are always reacting to problems with items being out of stock or coping with expired inventory, then it’s time to solve the root of the problem through forecasting.
Rather than being reactive about inventory problems, be proactive in planning and forecasting, with online inventory management. With these tools, you can identify the trends in daily, weekly, monthly and yearly sales. This data can provide you with vital information about certain items selling patterns and consumer behaviour. It can show you what items are popular and at what time of year. It can provide you with reasons for holding inventory, purchasing new items and helping you better identify items that just are not selling.
By downloading inventory software, it can automate inventory and streamline the process of a stock take. It lets you get rid of antiquated inventory control techniques and you can move forward with big picture issues such as forecasting. Inventory mistakes are common, but they don’t have to be. By letting inventory software be a part of your business, you will have a holistic approach to managing your inventory successfully!
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.