Inventory Management

Inventory control basics: a quick checklist to get started

BY Crystal Gilliam 4 Aug, "16

How’s your inventory doing? Have you checked in with it lately, made sure it's all under control? Ensuring all aspects of your inventory are organized and well-controlled will help you save money and run your business more effectively. 

Whether you're a wholesaler or a retailer, whether you're selling on Shopify and using all the latest cloud software, or managing your formulas on Excel, you still need to keep your inventory in great shape.

Here are 3 things to look at to get a start at making sure your inventory is controlled. 

Are you keeping the right levels of stock?

When we talk about inventory management, we always say it’s about getting everything right: amount, price and at the right time. But what exactly does that mean for you? It’s all about finding out that ideal level that is low enough to keep your costs down, but high enough so that when you get that amazingly large order, you can fill it quickly, keeping your customers happy. 

Keeping control of your stock so that you're able to hold the lowest amount of inventory in your warehouses makes for easier organization, lower holding costs, better cash flow, and more space within your warehouses. Lower is definitely better.

Figure out how low you can go by calculating the economic order quantity and re-order points. Check out these articles for more: Economic Order Quantity and Re-order point.

Once you do have your optimal stock levels figured out, make sure that your inventory doesn't go too low by keeping an eye on stock movements and tracking orders as they come and go. One tool that may be useful for you to keep an eye on your stock is a low inventory stock alert that lets you know automatically when quantities get low in a specific product. Let us know in the comments if you think a tool like this would help you run your business better!  papers-262731_1920.jpg

Is your inventory organized?

It may seem like a simple concept, but it really does make a difference to have your stock meticulously organized. This includes labeling all your stock with SKUs that are easily understandable and simple to read (find out more about this here!). Bottom line: SKUs need to be easily understandable by anyone who might need to understand them.  

Also to get organized, start with an initial stock take and then use the right inventory management technique to keep track of stock movements and general stock levels. 

Are you keeping an eye on quality control?

Quality control is another essential part of inventory control: quality is really important to your reputation as a retailer. Choose a supplier that has the same quality standards as you do and get plenty of samples before you develop a long term relationship. Once you have your suppliers, batch tracking ensures your stock consistently meets your highest quality standards. Read this article for more tips on quality control and getting the best from your suppliers. 

The basics, sorted

Inventory control is really a combination of best practices. It's all about maintaining the right levels of stock, keeping it organized and making sure that what you do have is quality.

Let us know in the comments or contact us, if you’d like to hear more about free inventory control tools like a low inventory stock indicator to help you along! 

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See Also: 

What is inventory management?

Reorder point calculator - know when to reorder

15 inventory management techniques that will transform your business

 

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