Whether you operate in wholesale or retail, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a business owner is managing inventory to meet the ever-changing needs of your company and the clients you serve. Inventory management software is a tool you can use to overcome these obstacles, providing you follow best practices to get the results you desire.
When used as part of an integrated business management system, inventory software will give you a much clearer picture of what’s going on with not only your stock levels, but also your overall performance. When you think about it, many other aspects of your business have an effect on your inventory, including:
There are also other external factors that will influence the way you manage inventory, such as:
- Economic climate
- Seasonal trends
- Changing product technology
That is why it’s a good idea to take a rounded approach to your inventory management system. Here are some techniques that will help bring efficiency to the way you manage your product:
If you sell a range of products, there’s a good chance some are outperforming others. ABC analysis lets you determine which items are your top performers (the high-value goods that account for the bulk of your business), and prioritize them to further maximize productivity.
By acknowledging that not all of your inventory items are equally important, it allows you to:
- Place tighter inventory control on high-value goods
- Optimize warehouse or storage space for these items
- Configure floor plans to promote sales activity
- Ensure your top sellers are always available
Conversely, this approach lets you place less emphasis on lower-value goods, which makes for a more efficient use of your time.
Proactive Management Approach
From time to time, it’s always a good idea to review your inventory management practices to see if they’re addressing all of your needs. Perhaps your inventory management software is outdated, or isn’t scalable to keep up with your growing company.
Or, if your company is growing at a rapid rate, it might have reached a point where you need to appoint a dedicated inventory manager.
If you need extra help getting organized, you could even hire an outside consultant to:
- Review your processes and inventory software
- Identify strengths and weaknesses
- Recommend ways to improve
Getting the various departments of your company involved in your inventory management strategy is a very useful tactic. In particular, you’ll want to have input from:
- Shipping and receiving
Let’s say some of those lower-value items are starting to take over your warehouse space. By coordinating with your marketing and sales teams, you’ll be able to develop an effective marketing plan to begin moving this product.
To learn more about ways you can promote departmental collaboration, read our post: How ERP Software Can Get Your Team on the Same Page.
Is your inventory management software unable to keep up with your growing business? If so, then call Windward Software to learn how our fully integrated System Five software program will help you maintain strict inventory control.