No matter the size of your company, keeping your inventory intact is an essential element of business success.
Poor inventory management not only wastes time and money but leads to poor customer experiences which can have detrimental consequences for the entire company.
That’s why small businesses must try and implement the best practices of inventory management into their workflow – this allows to provide a better service to the customers and can help streamline many manual processes, reducing expenses in the process.
But how can you improve your inventory management process?
Well, here are three things you should consider that can make a big difference.
Perform Quarterly Audits of Your Inventory
Taking a physical count of your inventory may be time-consuming, but there are a number of reasons why it’s essential for small businesses.
Even larger companies are often completely unaware of how much of their inventory is missing or damaged. Only with the help of regular audits can you discover the recurring problems in your warehouse such as item misplacement or even irresponsible inventory handling.
A thorough audit can provide enough information to come up with effective improvements for organizing your stockroom and managing your employees.
If performing quarterly audits seems too tricky, you can adopt a cycle counting system. Instead of counting your whole inventory every few months, select a different part of your warehouse every week and review your inventory only in the selected area. It will not only make the counting process less frustrating but will also give you confidence that every item is in the right place at all times.
Keep the Warehouse Organized
It might seem obvious, but a well-organized warehouse is crucial to keeping your business thriving and your customers happy.
To achieve that, you must first make sure that you make use of all the space in your stockroom. Make a detailed plan of your stockroom and develop a specific plan for how you can use it to maximize the space that is available. Remember that vertical space, if used effectively, can help to double or even triple your storage potential.
Another way to increase the capacity of your warehouse is to implement a clear and easy to follow labeling system for different parts of the warehouse, its sections, and the products themselves. This will ensure that your employees don’t have to waste time trying to locate products and help to reduce the number of misplaced items to a minimum.
Finally, try to implement good organizational practices throughout the company, not just in the warehouse. If you don’t keep your entire office tidy and organized, it will be tough to maintain order in the warehouse as well. Developing a system for a smooth workflow in all areas helps to maximize the potential of a well-organized inventory management process.
Invest In the Right Inventory Management System
If you want to take your inventory management to the next level, it’s a good idea to invest into a comprehensive inventory management software system that can help you streamline and automate a lot of processes.
In fact, in today’s world, if you’re not using an inventory management solution, chances are that you are already falling behind the competition. Leading software vendors offer advanced features such as real-time tracking of inventory and stock levels, fast and reliable order processing, sorting and product identification tools, and much more.
Small businesses are always hesitant about investing in software, but having an inventory management system is one expense that simply cannot be overlooked. While the initial price may seem daunting, the long-term benefits of optimizing inventory management processes will bring benefits for many years to come.