As a business, you’re constantly looking for ways to streamline all departments that play a role in your business model.
Bettering the habits of these departments can be the difference between growing in the next fiscal year, and not.
It ensures that you aren’t wasting any resources. The time and money you place into each is being used as efficiently as possible. Can you say that confidently about how you manage inventory?
If not, your warehousing practices may be burning through cash without you even realizing it.
Here’s how to flip the script on your inventory management and set yourself up for success in the future!
1. Install Tiers of Priority
Every business has different layers within the products they store in their warehousing.
Whether it be a price, demand, circumstance, etc., each company can capitalize on the differences between the items they sell.
For example, you may have a product that costs significantly more than the rest of your product line. That product doesn’t get sold as often so you won’t need as many of it at one time.
On the other side, there’s a product of yours that flies off the shells which you’ll obviously need a higher amount stored in preparation for.
Odds are that you have other products, not just one, that fall into each of these descriptions, and maybe even a few that fall somewhere in the middle. That’s why it’s important to prioritize your inventory.
Create groups for your inventory so that you have a more organized system. Start by sectioning of group names such as group A, group B, group C, etc.
If you’re looking for ways to cut down your warehousing costs (who isn’t?), then keeping only the necessary inventory at a particular time will help you do so.
2. Technology Is Your Friend
As you very well know, technology is streamlining the way companies do business across the board. Every department can thrive off of the new technology that’s out there, and your inventory management is no different.
You can use a Point of Sale (POS) System, mobile scanners, and inventory control systems to create a system you can monitor from start to finish.
Pair that with a professional courier service and you’ll find a beautiful mixture between your inventory and distribution that all businesses long for.
The main thing to keep an eye out for here is to make sure all the technology you purchase is compatible together. You wouldn’t want to drop thousands of dollars on a POS system that doesn’t connect to your inventory management database.
3. Everything That Can Be Tracked, Should Be Tracked
Some of you out there reading this article would be the first to admit that your current inventory management set up can be labeled as “lazy”.
There’s one key factor in your inventory management tactics that is the difference between saving hundreds/thousands of dollars and wasting them: organization.
Each item you have in your inventory has several details on it to help you stay up to date with your warehousings such as SKUs, lot numbers, and barcodes.
It’s not enough to use one of these features and ignore the rest. Keep track of every piece of information so that you can track and find the exact item you need in your inventory at all times.
You can then organize your entire warehouse by the previously-mentioned priority groups and then, within those groups, you can organize by inventory details.
4. Keep Your Hand on the “Restock” Steering Wheel
Sometimes the vendors that you order your items from will extend an offer to do your restocking for you.
That may seem like a convenient and great idea, and it’s nice of them to offer, but they have a very different agenda than you do.
Some vendors may take advantage of that benefit and restock you prematurely which would heighten the risk for you having excess stock down the line. Others won’t restock your inventory as quickly as you need to.
For those reasons, it’s essential that you do the restocking in-house. Have someone on your team, or yourself do the monitoring and order restock whenever it’s needed.
5. Perform a Self Audit
Ah, yes… the word that every business fears most when it comes to their inventory and warehousing department: the word “audit”.
However, this can be a very valuable tool for your initiative of reorganizing your inventory management process. It can get you back to square one, where you can then build momentum.
To get started, compile an internal audit task force from in-house personnel that you feel are best qualified to do so. Then set a few dates each year for you to do weekly, monthly, or yearly audits.
No longer will you stay up at night wondering if your inventory sheets line up with the actual amount of inventory in your warehouse. Doesn’t that sound amazing?
Manage Inventory and Distribution Best Practices
Now that you’ve seen the best practices for how to manage inventory, it’s time to consider your methods for distribution. These two departments go hand-in-hand with each other.
Hiring a courier service is the best thing you can do for your distribution. Get your shipping into the hands of professionals.
Be sure to read this article on the 8 questions to ask before hiring a business courier service for more information on what to look for.
For more inquiries, please reach out via our contact us page and we’ll be happy to discuss it with you further.