Eirini Kafourou handles communications for Megaventory the online inventory management system that can help small businesses synchronize stock and manage purchases and sales over multiple stores.
Inventory is the core of every retail and wholesale business. At the same time, if not managed effectively, it can cause loss of customers and revenue. Especially if you are a small retailer or wholesaler, there is no room for inventory mistakes.
Here is a list of five common inventory mistakes and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Order more than you actually need
Getting stuck with more products than you can actually sell can be a headache to even the best-run shops. To keep a good quantity of inventory, data is crucial. At regular intervals check how fast different products move so you can quickly push slow moving inventory with discounts and special deals, before it becomes totally unmovable. However, forecasts are not perfect. A good idea is to map some scenarios with your team before things get to the point where everyone starts feeling demoralized.
2. Keep the same inventory for too long
In a world that constantly changes, where new products pop up every day, a shop that does not move at the same pace can look boring and outdated. When big box stores push new products even on a weekly basis, customers expect the same from all the others as well. For that, you need to rotate your inventory regularly. This can increase your expenses, but forever lost customers can actually cost you a lot more.
3. Order the same product from too many suppliers
While it is good to have many options, having too many suppliers for the same product can actually cost you more. To get better prices from suppliers and stay competitive, it is important to invest in a good long-term relationship with some of your key suppliers. This will help you negotiate better prices and even give you priority against other retailers when highly popular products are low or out of stock.
4. Have no backup suppliers
At the same time, you should not only rely on good relationships when it comes to business. Having backup suppliers can be a life-saver with low-stock items. With so many other options and offers, customers are likely to walk out the door and never return, if what they were looking is available elsewhere.
5. Track your inventory with outdated methods
At the start of your business manually tracking inventory on spreadsheets may seem a good enough solution. But, as soon as your product list grows along with your business, spreadsheets will become a headache for you and your employees, depriving you of quality time, which you could use in other aspects of your business (or personal life).
An inventory management system can help you not only effectively monitor your inventory, but it can also simplify the return process. Moreover, an online inventory management system can help you save up time and money. Cloud computing spares companies the time and money-consuming processes of installation and maintenance, as you just pay for the service. At the same time, the very notion of the workplace is transformed. Employees are able to work remotely and be mobile, and you can monitor all your business operations from one place.
To sum this up, inventory management is essential for a successful business. Doing this in the most efficient way will help your business stand out.