When you sell products, you manage your inventory successfully. Failing to focus on inventory management can lead to stock shortages or a lack of storage space and expired products. If your inventory management system is not flowing smoothly, now is the time to make some essential changes. Just because you are a small business does not mean that you cannot afford to invest in inventory management. With inventory control procedures in place, you can keep your management costs down, keep your sales steady, and maximize your profits over time.
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Build Your Relationships with Your Regular Vendors
As a small business, you have options when it comes to choosing where your inventory comes from. Just because you are a small establishment does not mean that you should be given sub-par customer service. Assess your current relationship with your vendor. Are your orders fulfilled quickly? Do you receive the right merchandise? Consider taking time to talk to your account representative and see if there is a way for the two of you to communicate. If you can establish a better relationship with your vendors, you may be able to lower your inventory costs and manage your inventory flow better without spending any money.
Make Sure You Have a Liquidation Process
There will come a time when the demand for a product you sell will fall. Demand can fall when a better product is introduced, when a brand loses market share, and when the item is out of season. You must have a process in place that covers how to liquidate products that are taking up unnecessary room. Decide how much you want to discount the products and come up with a plan to clear your shelves and still earn something back on the money you have invested. Consider utilizing a storage unit to house your excess or liquidated inventory.
Assign Inventory Receivers
Do not let everyone take on the responsibility of signing for and handling inventory. Choose a responsible employee and give them the title of inventory receiver. This person will sign for orders, handle the inventory, and help audit the shelves to ensure products are not missing.
Invest in an Inventory System
Eventually, you will have to make a financial investment into a bar code system that will update the inventory counts whenever items are sold. While the system will cost money to install, the ease and efficiency you will gain from the system will be priceless.
Processes, staff, and software systems are all vital to inventory control. Follow these simple steps to begin organizing and managing your inventory efficiently.