Seeing your business grow quickly feels great, but this can also create a stressful situation if you haven’t got a hold on your inventory management.
All of your success can easily be undermined by a poor system for storing and locating inventory. Fortunately, there are many ways to manage your inventory better so your business can keep growing without getting bogged down. Below, find out what you can do to revamp your current system for managing inventory.
Try new software
Countless types of software can help your business keep up with sales and stay organized. First, you’ll want to make sure you have accounting software that can be updated in real time to reflect changes as they happen. If you use programs like Quickbooks, you might want to consider trying Quickbooks hosting from Cloudwalks. With hosted Quickbooks, you don’t need to keep the program on your local server. Instead, the program is hosted and backed up off-site, which provides multiple user access, real time updates and more flexibility than you’d ever get from the desktop version of Quickbooks alone.
Other cloud-based programs can also help your business. For example, there are a variety of cloud-based inventory management systems to consider. Although each program differs slightly, an inventory management system is essentially a type of software that helps you fulfill orders more effectively while also keeping your inventory organized and accounted for.
Revamp your organization methods
As your business grows, available space in your stockroom or warehouse will inevitably shrink. While that’s a sign of success, it’s also a cause for concern if you can no longer find the items you need to fulfill orders quickly. Getting inventory management software will help you keep track of what you have on stock and what you need to order more of, but it won’t necessarily help you locate items on your floor if your organization has gotten out of hand.
There are many organizational methods that can help businesses control their inventory better. For example, you might want to consider utilizing the first-in, first-out method -- more commonly called FIFO. This is exactly what it sounds like: the first items you receive in stock should be the first ones you sell to customers.
Fulfillment and Distribution explains that implementing the FIFO system can reduce the incidence of spoiled, while also helping you keep products priced appropriately based on the current market value. It’s a must for companies that sell items with expiration dates, but it can be beneficial even if your products can’t go bad.
Prioritize quality control
Getting organized will enable you to fulfill orders and avoid dead stock, but it also makes it easier to stay on top of quality control. If you don’t already have a quality assurance or QA system in place, consider implementing one now while you’re in the process of growing your business.
Hiring a QA manager is a great way to get started. A QA manager can set quality standards while also ensuring that your business processes and operations are working as they should. Hiring a freelancer -- such as one of these professionals -- is a good way to start if you can’t justify hiring a full-time employee right off the bat. As your company’s growth continues, you can always add a full-time position later.
Even after getting organized and setting up an inventory management system, mistakes can still happen. To make sure everything remains accounted for, it’s important to actually count your inventory on hand so that your balance sheets match what’s actually on the floor.
There are a few different ways to keep track of your inventory numbers. A physical inventory count involves counting every item you have in stock and recording it either with a pen and paper or a POS terminal. The process can be tedious, but that’s why most businesses only perform physical inventory checks once or twice per year.
By contrast, cycle counting your items can save time. With this method, you only count one area or one type of inventory at a time. Eventually, you work your way through all of your inventory, but rather than counting it all at once, it gets tallied up in batches.
Improve your forecasting abilities
All of the tips mentioned above will help you stay on top of your inventory management better. However, as you gain more customers, you might not be able to rely on past trends. That’s why you might need to rethink how you forecast your business needs.
By getting better at forecasting, you can anticipate when to order more stock so you don’t run out of items that are suddenly in higher demand than you expected. At the same time, it will help you decide what to purchase less frequently to avoid having too much product on hand.
Seeing your business grow is incredibly rewarding, but when your business rapidly increases, you have to be able to keep up with your customers’ demands. Trying inventory management software, performing audits, improving your forecasting skills and paying more attention to quality control will help you sustain your growth without struggling to keep up.