The must-dos when wanting to improve inventory management

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Inventory management doesn’t have to be arduous. Yes, it’s something that you need to be aware of and you need to be thinking about for sure, but painful inventory should be a thing of the past.

Taking a look at the different ways to improve inventory management, there is one common theme that seems to be popping up again and again – technology. The technology available to businesses now is so far advanced compared to even a few years ago that there’s no excuse not to adopt it. It’s not something to be scared of, and more than likely a little change will make a big difference. There’s simply no reason to bust out the pen and paper or crunch numbers for hours in a spreadsheet anymore.

So with that in mind, we’ve taken a look at some of the strategies you can implement into your business to help improve your inventory management.

Customize your approach

Just like with your customers, one size doesn’t fit all. You need to treat your products and your SKUs the same way. By evaluating which products have high turnover, which bring in the highest profits, which are sitting around for too long (and everything in between), you can customize your approach to your inventory and supply. Looking at your ordering for example, you can’t reorder inventory at the same times and in the same quantities across the board, demand simply doesn’t warrant it. Take a more considered approach and you’ll be able to maximize your efforts.

With certain software systems, you are able to analyze the rates at which individual ranges and products are selling, the times that they are selling best and adapt your ordering and resupply as a result. Be smart about how and when you are stocking your shelves and the amount you have in reserve as well.

Real-time analytics

Unleashed empowers your business with real-time data and analytics and gives you an up-to-date view of everything that is going on. This means that you can adapt and modify processes or stock levels based on true information, not information that is days or even weeks old. You can also start to plan in advance and track everything as and when it happens. And you don’t have to just look at your inventory data, like supply and demand information, but you can also integrate financial records as well for a full singular view.

One view of everything

To get the best out of your data, it pays to house everything together and to have everything interlinked.

Having one view of all your inventory means that all your staff across all your business divisions knows what’s going on. For many businesses, with orders coming in through multiple channels, like ecommerce and brick-and-mortar stores for example, staff need to know in real-time their actual stock levels, and what is really available to be sold.

A singular view also means there’s no fighting to get into shared documents, there’s no working on different systems and having errors and miscommunication as a result, and there’s certainly no need for double ups in data entry. It streamlines the process, enhances communication and most importantly frees up your staff’s time.

Overall, as a business owner you’ll know that things are constantly moving and ever changing. You can’t sit still using the same methods and doing the same thing for years on end. New technologies, including software and mobile solutions, can give you and your staff back the time you desperately need and save more than a few dollars as well. It’s all about using the data to your advantage.

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Melanie - Unleashed Software

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.

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