Inventory is the lifeline of any commerce, be it online or offline. With the boom in the eCommerce industry, the need and significance of efficient inventory management have increased exponentially making space for a lot of technological solutions. Effective inventory management can help your business grow by giving both monetary and non-monetary benefits. It enables you to cater to every possible sale, helps you hit the delivery deadlines and make the best use of available inventory.
Let’s discuss some inventory management hacks every seller must know:
Reduce Human dependency
Human errors are inevitable and the key to overcoming this is to design your solution around this fact. The more human intervention the more are the chances of mistakes to happen to result in reduced profit margins and poor brand ratings.
Understand the sales trend
Though you can never achieve XYZ accuracy in forecasting, understanding the sales trend is very important. Know your fast-moving products and classifying them on different criteria by season, sale, or time of the year. This can actually help a lot in order to maintain safe inventory levels. The purchase of inventory on the basis of the sales trend is the first step to an effective inventory management policy.
Keep the inventory centralized
Selling on multiple online and offline channels? Maintaining multiple warehouses at different locations? If you are one of these and still maintaining the inventory in spreadsheets, the good news is you’re doing it all wrong. This not only results in poor utilization of inventory but also hits your profit margins significantly. Always keep the inventory centralized this enables you to cater a number of orders, save on the shipping costs, and also ensures on-time delivery. Having a technological solution for centralized inventory management can prevent situations like getting extra orders or fewer orders due to updated inventory.
Move towards automation
Automation is the new cool and it’s just everywhere. Due to its numerous benefits automation is now the solution to almost every problem. Use an automated inventory management system, you can maintain a centralized inventory. This will helps you win the game by a real-time update of sale and purchase across your multi-channel ecosystem. It also guides you to have the most optimal space utilization, avoid potential thefts and alarming you about anything wrong happening across any of your sale locations. With automation, you can keep a watch on everything without actually being there.
Have buffer inventory
Irrespective of how good your inventory management there is situations that just can’t be avoided. To deal with them having a buffer/safety stock is very important. It is very important to consider the key metrics while you come up with buffer inventory against each SKU. Too much of buffer inventory can have a negative impact on your capital.
Define a cycle count
Cycle count is nothing but an inventory auditing procedure with numerous benefits. In cycle counting, a small subset of inventory on a specific location is counted on a specific day. This data is checked versus the inventory data in records. By doing this, sellers can uncover any thefts happening in the warehouse, check the stock available and decide its selling priority. In the case of mismatches, take necessary actions to ensure systems are in line with the stock physically available with the seller. Cycle counting does not hamper the operational processes and can be done parallel to the regular operational activities.
So choose the best inventory management technique and implement it right away!
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