Retail Level Up welcomes our guest blog contributor: ~ Marcus Lansky ~
If your small business is growing rapidly, now is the time to focus on your inventory management needs. Inventory management will ensure your available stock can keep up with customer demand without wasting valuable warehouse space. Most importantly, a good inventory management system will grow with your company, allowing you to expand to new markets and offer new products seamlessly. Whether you run a brick-and-mortar store or an e-commerce business, keep reading to learn how you can perfect your inventory management approach.
Make Sure You Have the Basics Covered
When your business is growing, it’s important to ensure that you have all of your legal paperwork filed and accounted for. For example, if you haven’t registered your business with the state, you have options — one of which is an LLC. By registering as such, you receive certain tax advantages and liability protections, which make it a popular choice. Do some research, and read your state guidelines so you know exactly what is expected of you when you decide to officially register your business.
While handling the basics, don’t forget to think of ways you can make shift scheduling more efficient for yourself and your employees. Shift scheduling software can provide your workers with a schedule that you can update on the fly. And if you need to let employees know about any changes you’ve made, real-time alerts can ensure they receive the message. Last but not least, these software packages can keep your scheduling records safe and secure.
Hire Specialized Help
If you have room in your business budget, consider hiring a professional to oversee your inventory management needs. For example, quality assurance managers often work with inventory to track product information, control stock levels, schedule reorders, input data, and ensure the quality of incoming stock. QA professionals can also help establish in-house quality standards and procedures. Consider hiring a freelance QA manager to fulfill these responsibilities so you can see how they benefit your business. Eventually, you might want to fill this position permanently, especially if your business expands beyond your management capabilities.
Increase Warehousing Efficiency
To increase organization and productivity in your warehouse, you might also want to hire a warehouse manager. These professionals are responsible for the storage and shipping of your inventory, essentially coordinating everything that goes on in your warehouse. In addition, hang customized signs around your warehouse to help your team members work as efficiently as possible. You can even get color-coded signs and signs with scannable barcodes to save time and minimize mistakes when processing orders.
Use a Point-of-Sale System
One of the easiest ways to track and manage your inventory in real-time is to use a point-of-sale (POS) system. Scanning products as they are purchased or ordered is more accurate than inputting product information manually — and much more efficient! Integrating your POS system with your inventory management software will help you analyze sale patterns and flag items for reordering so you can better keep up with product demand. And if you also run an e-commerce store, your POS system can sync with your online orders so you can compare sales information accurately.
Automate as Much as Possible
Unfortunately, human error is a common cause of inventory management issues. Even the most experienced inventory professionals can fall victim to data entry typos or management mistakes. These seemingly small inventory management issues can turn into huge problems as your business grows: running out of stock, holding excess inventory, sending orders to the wrong customers, and more. All of these issues can be avoided with the right inventory management software. CrazyLister recommends looking for a software solution that includes some essential features, such as inventory synchronization capabilities, barcode integration, inventory forecasting, and inventory level alerts.
Audit Your Stock
While inventory management software can save you a lot of time and money, you still need to perform regular stock audits to make sure your numbers add up. An inventory audit will confirm that your inventory records match your actual stock levels. Any discrepancies could indicate errors with your management system and may even be signs of employee theft. Before your business gets too big, develop a solid auditing process to minimize downtime and ensure accurate recording. If you have a lot of inventory, you might want to hire the services of an external company to perform an audit for you.
Inventory management is an essential element of any successful business. Keeping accurate inventory records will help you make informed decisions as you grow your company and pursue new ideas. From hiring professional help to conducting regular audits, make sure you don’t skip any step!
For more foolproof strategies to help your retail business stand out among your competitors, work with Retail Level Up. Contact us today!
About the author: Marcus Lansky was born with a spinal condition so severe that his parents were told he would never walk. He couldn’t have learned to walk without the tremendous support and guidance from his family, friends, and medical team. They weren’t just rehabilitators. They were abilitators. He created his site, Abilitator, as a way to reach out to those who are disabled and show them that becoming an entrepreneur is a goal they too can achieve.