Maintaining inventory requires careful planning and a considerable investment of time and money. That’s why many companies are using inventory control software to help them implement just-in-time inventory management practices.
The premise behind just-in-time inventory is sound enough. The goal is to have enough product or materials on hand to meet the demands of your customer base, without having too much. The benefits of such a management practice are readily apparent:
- Prevents capital from being tied up in product
- Reduces the amount of space required to store inventory
- Easier to adapt to consumer buying trends
However, just-in-time inventory is like balancing on a fine line. There are some risks involved with this method of inventory control. These are some of the factors you’ll want to consider…
Like any important business decision, your customers should be foremost in your mind if you plan to use inventory management software to operate just-in-time inventory. This approach gives companies the ability to minimize inventory costs, which is certainly appealing. However, it shouldn’t come at the cost of stock-outs.
Your inventory control software should be configured to respond quickly to reduced inventory levels to keep stock-outs from happening. If it basic need can’t be met, you risk losing your hard-earned customers.
On the other hand, one of the benefits of just-in-time inventory is that it gives companies greater flexibility to adjust to the ever-changing needs of clients. As their demands shift from one product to another, you won’t be left with inventory that:
- Is outdated or obsolete
- Requires a markdown
- Ties up valuable warehouse space
Before you consider using just-in-time inventory, you first need to assess how reliable your suppliers are. For a supply chain to run effectively, you need to know that the people delivering your product can do it on a consistent basis. Again, the goal here is to ensure you have the products your customers need at all times.
Inventory control software is indispensible in this regard because it allows for constant coordination and monitoring of inventory levels between suppliers and retailers.
Another important ingredient of just-in-time inventory is the ability to identify consumer buying trends and react quickly to them. Your buyers need to have their fingers on the pulse of what consumers desire and stock these products while they’re still popular. If your buyers are a step behind, you’re missing out on potential sales.
Fortunately, inventory management software can help with this through its advanced reporting features to identify trends.
To learn more about inventory control strategies, read our post: Inventory Management Software: 3 Practices Successful Companies Use.
If you’re looking to increase control of your product inventory, call Windward Software. Our inventory control software will help you reduce stock-outs while optimizing product levels for maximum profitability.