When it comes to managing inventory, every entrepreneur needs a plan. This will allow the business owner to more efficiently move the inventory from the manufacturer or wholesaler to the customer. Below are four of the best-proven tips to help manage inventory on a day to day basis.
Coordinate Inventory with Marketing Plans
When you organize your inventory, you should have a good idea which of your products are going to be in the most demand. Look at your customer’s past behaviors to predict their future buying patterns. Fast moving inventory should be stored in an area that is easy to access.
Also, consider how fast your inventory is moving when it comes to re-orders. The last thing you want to do is run out of inventory when demand is high. Project next month’s sales of your top selling inventory and make arrangements to re-stock before you run out of goods.
Use a Barcode Inventory System
As you grow, you will expand your inventory. That means it will be more difficult to know where your inventory is from time to time. The most efficient way to stay on top of your inventory is to use a barcode inventory system. With a barcode inventory system, every product is marked with a barcode. You can scan the product when it comes in and when it goes out. All the information is automatically entered into a database for easy tracking.
It is a good idea to implement a barcode inventory system early in your business. This will make it easier for you to scale as your business begins to grow. This will also give you ample time to get your staff up to speed on how to efficiently operate the system.
In business, the 80/20 rule states that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customer base. Therefore, you should carefully examine to see what that 20% is buying. This will better prepare you to have inventory ready for your most loyal and profitable customers.
You should keep a careful database of your top 20% of customers. Examine their buying patterns and anticipate when they will need more products. By having inventory ready for your best customers, you will have a great customer base to build your business.
Factor in Inventory Costs
Finally, it is important to factor in the cost of your inventory space. You do not want your inventory cost to eat into your bottom line. Check your business and inventory cycles to see how much space you will actually need over time. This will better allow you to control your inventory cost and maximize your profit.
You should know how much stock you need to service your existing customers and ensure you do not overload your inventory. Study your customer’s buying patterns and stock your business appropriately.
Emma is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2