Your inventory is the heart of your retail business. Whether you are selling online or in a brick-and-mortar store, keeping track of your stock is important. Ensuring that you always have products in stock while not overstocking is one of the goals of proper inventory management. Here are a few tips on how to do that:
Get Proper and Functioning Equipment
Barcode scanners are a great tool in keeping track of things. If you already have one, call a Zebra barcode scanner repair expert to check your device to ensure that it is in good working condition. It’s not just barcode scanning that can help. Computerized inventories can ensure that nothing is missed and that every data point about your inventory is at your fingertips.
Follow the First-in-First-Out Protocol
One of the many mistakes people make when it comes to managing their inventory is focusing on their newest stock. The best way to keep stock moving is following the first-in, first-out (FIFO) process. This means the old stock needs to be moved out first.
This is very important if your business deals with perishable goods. You want your product to be out to your customers before it spoils. Non-perishable goods are also covered by this. You don’t want people to get worn-out products or still have outdated product in your inventory when you are rolling version 2.0 out.
Always Have a Contingency Plan
Bad things happen; there will always be something wrong going on and you need to prepare for that. You need to have contingency plans for a variety of incidents that can affect your warehouse. For example, what will you do if a fire breaks out? What happens if a product is not moving? Come up with a list of things that can go wrong with your inventory and have a contingency plan ready for implementation.
Keep Track of Everything
You need a record of everything that happens in your inventory. What has been sold, what is coming in, and who you are selling to are just a few things you need to record. This is where having tools such as barcode scanners and an inventory management system can help.
These data points are important. For example, keeping track of how much stock is coming in can determine whether a supplier is slacking, while identifying which customers are buying consistently can help identify a potential target for extra marketing efforts.
Audits should be a regular part of your schedule. This can help reconcile your digital inventory with your physical stocks. Remember that inventory in the warehouse can get damaged, stolen, or even thrown away accidentally. Knowing when this happens can help lower their chances of happening in the future. Audits also check your performance, so they can be a useful benchmark.
Inventory management eliminates the uncertainties that many businesses face when trying to answer questions about stock and supplies. Knowing this information can give you a better idea of what to stock and how your sales are going. These can then influence business decisions, which will ensure that your business will be profitable.