If you’re looking to build a sound, successful retail business, you need to think about how you can improve Inventory Management. Like any other aspect of your business, there are things that could go wrong with inventory management as well. Particularly when we talk about a warehouse full of supplies, there are so many ways it can go wrong.
Your operations can get affected by records of inaccurate quantities, poor production identification, usage of multiple databases, and human error. Operations can get stalled, processes halted- thus affecting your business in a very bad way.
It makes sense, then, to spend some quality time on coming up with ways to improve inventory management methods.
Having a reliable inventory management software would be of great help to any businessman who wants to gain a competitive edge.
9 Best Practices To Improve Inventory Management
Use a Cloud-based Software for Stock Level Tracking
A Cloud-based inventory software like Primaseller allows you to track information as it is processed, and can give you a grasp of your current inventory capacity. This will help you gauge if your business can handle the number of orders you are expecting to fulfill. It also allows you to make decisions on reordering products and whether you have the financial bandwidth to expand.
Rethink the layout of your warehouse
Just because your warehouse is neat doesn’t mean your supplies are placed in the most strategic places. Plus, if you have goods that need specific storage conditions, now is a good time to think about moving them elsewhere. Also, look for issues like leakage and infestation in your warehouse.
You can place products that move a lot within reach and those that don’t can be stored at the back. High-volume items should be placed near the shipping area, making sure they are accessible, eliminating unnecessary labor time.
Label your products better
With labels, you make it easy for your staff to find whichever items they need by pointing them to the right section. Detailed labeling isn’t just about names. You can mark items with other information indicating expiration date and packaging requirements. This way, your employees can use the first-in-first-out method of inventory more accurately and you also avoid having too many expired goods.
You also get to identify hazardous material by labeling them appropriately. Please refer to the standards of labeling in your country of operation- US guidelines are available here.
Have regular cycle counts
Apart from doing the usual annual physical inventory, you should do regular inventory audits. Through checking, you’ll be able to find discrepancies, giving you time to make important adjustments. Stock reconciliation is also a great way to improve inventory management by ensuring that you have a few stock losses as possible. When you do have them, you can write them off more effectively because you know just what went wrong.
Radio Frequency Identification or RFID technology lets businesses track and identify their products through a small tag containing information about the item being tracked. RFID uses radio waves to establish communication between the reading device and the tag on the product. To maximize the use of RFID technology, you need industrial-grade printers that can print large volumes of RFID labels fast.
Use Barcode Systems and Scanners
If you want to reduce errors in tracking and inventory management, barcode systems and scanners will greatly help. A barcode system helps eliminate errors on the front-end of the supply chain. By cycling more orders faster, it aids in the operational capacity. Barcodes also make it easy to track stolen items, helping you eliminate shrinkage.
Monitor and limit warehouse access
One of the safest measures to protect your inventory from theft is to limit security access to your warehouse. It’s a no-brainer that only those who actually need to go through your supplies should be granted the right of entry. It is also worth considering ways to minimize stock theft using systems big and small.
Maximize the use of mobile technology
Having mobile technology equipment makes sure your warehouse is consistently moving through every stage of the supply chain. Operations are no longer affected by the need for manual navigation. Mobile technology can be anything from small scanners that can identify products, to mobile printers and phones that have a wireless connection to whatever cloud-based inventory tracking software you’re using to get updates in real-time.
Be strict with Quality Control
Prevention is definitely better than a cure. Quality Control helps make sure that your clients are given products that were verified and standardized. Check the item against its SKU and quantity, while also making sure that there are no damages.
John Lee is a freelance writer and business enthusiast who loves reading and writing about business trends. He currently works for Quickbooks Online, a business solution software company in the Philippines.