In the U.S. alone, there are 30,748,033 small businesses. 99.9% of businesses in the U.S. are small.
You might be wondering about effective solutions for tracking inventory for your business. While managing your inventory might seem tough, there’s hope.
This article will explore the top tips for tracking your inventory. Read on to explore these tips to stay organized and efficient in your business.
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Whether you use inventory management services or not, setting par levels for each product is vital. This is the minimum amount of a product that you have available at all times. If your inventory goes below this, then you’ll need to order more of this product.
Tracking products requires you to be able to adapt fast. Whether that means removing an item that doesn’t sell or restocking with quick selling items, you’ll want to stay on top of your inventory.
To have a strong inventory, it’s important to maintain a relationship with your suppliers. You can ask them for a lower minimum to decrease the amount of inventory you hold onto.
Keep them updated on when you expect more purchases or an increase in sales. Have them update you on when a product is delayed for production.
Your store inventory needs to have a process whether that’s each employee having a different processing system, or a standard process everyone follows. If there’s no consistency, it can lead to confusion about numbers that don’t match your purchase orders.
All stock needs to be handled the same way, and all boxes need to be verified as well. All products need to check for accuracy when they arrive and are unpacked together.
It’s not just about adding up your sales at the end of the day. Each day, you need to understand how many items you sell and update your inventory to reflect this.
Keep track of when items increase in sales, and when they decrease. This can be seasonal, a day of the week, etc. Think about whether items sell together as well.
Use Barcode Scanning
Large amounts of inventory do best with barcode scanning. Excel is a good option when it’s only a couple of workers editing and inputting data for a small amount of inventory.
You’ll want to have inventory software when you have a large number of products. This is because you’ll be able to integrate it with POS systems and scanners to track your stock.
Without barcode scanning, a large number of products and employees can lead to an increase in human error. Barcode systems can be used with inventory management software to scan items and have them placed in a program.
If you use automated software, you can automatically generate inventory tracking reports. The user will decide whether they want reports weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, or daily.
You’ll be able to create charts that have different inventory levels. This can help you manage your warehouse inventory, and determine what orders are necessary.
Use Best Practices
Take a look at what others in your industry are using, and follow their management formulas. Ask your frontline employee when they see inefficiencies in their tracking. Use this information to come up with the best practices for your inventory.
Use Lifecycle Management
Use lifestyle management to know when you need to get rid of raw goods or products. This will help you trigger alerts, and flag old inventory for when there are any supply chain delays.
Keep track of how your suppliers are doing to avoid those that can cause you problems later. Do you have a supplier who is often late with deliveries?
Speak with your supplier about different issues you’re facing, and how these problems can be fixed. Be ready to either deal with unknown stock levels, or switch partners.
The Cons of Inventory Loss
Missing inventory can lead to an increase in inventory costs, and a loss in profits. It can cause supplier errors, internal/external theft, expired goods, misplaced stock, and damaged products.
Many businesses who don’t track their inventory wind up shipping products late because they don’t realize that there’s a decrease in the product. Use inventory management systems to save capital, resources, and time.
Why Have Proper Storage?
When you have proper storage, you’ll be able to prevent spoilage. This is vital for businesses that are cafes and restaurants. The lack of proper management can lead to a loss in profit due to perishable food loss.
Take a look at how your items are stored, and let your staff know about any problems with how they’re being stored. This can include storage units, freezers, fridges, shelves, etc.
Monitor Sales Volume
An effective tracking method analyzes customer demand and sales forecast. This information can then be used to sort inventory based on sales, especially during peak season, by placing popular items at the top of the list and making them easier to see when replenishing inventory.
The software makes this very easy with its ability to track inventory in real-time and generate various reports. Automated inventory tools can display inventory levels and variances, making calculations of sales, profits, taxes, fees, and inventory levels instantly.
Use barcode scans
Larger amounts of inventory call for a more comprehensive inventory management solution. Excel can only be used when only one or two workers are entering and editing data for a small amount of inventory. However, register software is necessary when handling a large number of products, as the integration with scanners and POS systems for continuous tracking of inventory levels is incomparable to manual tracking.
If large amounts of inventory have to be taken into account and multiple employees enter data, this can lead to confusion and increased human error. To prevent this, barcode systems can be integrated into the inventory management software so that scanned items are automatically entered into the program.
Reports One of the most useful features related to automated software is the automatic generation of Inventory Tracker reports. The user simply decides whether they want a story on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis.
These reports enable organizations to create comprehensive charts that show various inventory levels. Data like this make it easy for warehouse managers to decide which jobs are necessary.
Monitor running breakdown totals
The individual inventory page can sometimes meet all of the needs of small businesses handling small amounts of inventory by evaluating, organizing, and tracking inventory on a single spreadsheet. Larger companies with larger volumes, however, would find the running inventory totals more helpful.
Running totals on software is simple and can be programmed to display profits, sales, and product inventory, updated either by shift or daily.