3 ways to succeed at inventory management

Managing your inventory effectively is essential if you run a small business and you want to improve the accuracy with which you can measure performance.

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If you are struggling to achieve this, here are 3 tips to follow which should make it much easier and provide you with the metrics you need.

Harness software

There are lots of software solutions designed to tackle inventory management, without all of the normal complications involved in manual tracking.

Many of these modern solutions, such as Unleashed and Xero, are powered by the cloud and offer a great deal of flexibility and scalability as a result. This lets you keep tabs on performance while on the move, rather than having to access information on a specific desktop device.

Pinpoint problematic stock

If you have stock which has not shifted for six months or more, this is a good sign that it is not worth keeping on your shelves any longer.

This is obviously less relevant with seasonally-specific products, but for items that should sell year round, a low rate of turnover will signal that the stock should not be replenished.

With sales falling month on month in the retail sector at the moment, this is particularly good advice. Clogging your boltless shelving with products that are failing to engage with customers is a backwards step, even if the boltless shelving itself might be serving you well as a presentation platform.

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Take a structured approach to sales

In general, it makes sense to sell products chronologically, meaning that those which arrived on your premises or were manufactured on-site earliest should also be the first to head out of the door in the hands of customers.

There are obvious benefits to taking this approach if the products you sell have a limited shelf life. Consumable goods and plants are especially susceptible to poor inventory management tactics, which is why immediate action is needed to address any inefficiencies.

Ideally, you should think of your storefront in the same way as you consider your warehouse space. Put freshly procured products to the rear and move older stock to the front, so that it can be picked first, avoiding waste in the process. This will also allow you to better manage your inventory without making some of the most common mistakes.

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