If you are running a small business, you probably don’t have much room for inventory before it gets shipped out to your customers. However, at the same time, not having the items you need can cause delays and reduce the quality of the service you provide. That is why it is so important to have the most effective inventory management system possible.
Appoint an inventory manager
Often in small businesses, employees are required to be flexible and divide their time between different roles. However, appointing a dedicated inventory manager is usually well worth the investment.
This is because when you have someone whose only job is to make sure that your warehouse is stocked, organized, and contains all your most popular products, the time it takes you to ship them out to the customer dramatically reduces. Of course, this is critical because today’s customers aren’t keen on waiting. So to stay competitive with retail giants like Amazon, you have to offer the fastest shipping possible.
Make sure you have options for excessive inventory
Unless you are working with a fully automated system, the risk of ordering too much of a certain kind of stock is an ever-present specter. Indeed, it can be challenging to accurately predict the items that customers will buy in large quantities in the future.
However, you can successfully manage this type of issue by having a plan B which you can implement when you notice stock levels of certain items rising above acceptable levels. One part of such a plan is to put the things in question on sale, facilitating more purchases and taking your inventory level back to normal.
Alternatively, you may wish to transfer your excess stock to storage units in the short term, retrieving it once your current levels have reduced. The great thing about using this option is that you can get mobile storage units that come directly to your site to be loaded, saving you time and money.
Track stock levels with software (and automate)
Tracking stock levels is also another critical way to ensure your inventory management works as effectively as possible in your small business. After all, when you know precisely what you have, you can decide what you will need in the future.
Probably the very best way to track stock levels is to use automation software that relies on RFID chips. Then at any part of your process, you will be able to see how much of every item you have and where each one is in the system (i.e., warehouse, packing, in transit).
You can even set up such a system to automatically order more stock when needed and show inventory numbers to customers via your website. The latter is something that helps them to make an informed decision about their purchase and also manage their expectations concerning delivery times.