The day-to-day operations of a business can be extremely time consuming. With everything that occurs in each and every 24-hour period, inventory management sometimes takes a backseat. Should you invest the time to do an inventory clean up or continue your current modus operandi? Take a look at these key areas of your inventory process to determine your organization’s needs.
Do you prioritize your best sellers?
Your fastest-moving stock MUST be the easiest to access. Place it between shoulder to waist level so your workers have the shortest reach to the products they’ll go for most often. Move hot stock closest to your shipping and receiving area(s) so you can restock efficiently. You will shave precious seconds (that add up quickly) off fulfillment times.
When was your last inventory audit?
If you’re only keeping track of account payables and receivables, you could be missing the big picture of what you have in inventory. Inventory loss or “shrinkage” can happen to any business. Inventory shrinkage may be due to: employee theft, damaged goods, shipping errors, product expiration, supplier fraud, miscounted items, and other similar issues. Schedule regular inventory audits depending on the frequency of your inventory turnover. Ensuring that you have an accurate accounting of the inventory on hand will help keep you from running out of stock unexpectedly and being short for an order.
Is everything clearly signed and organized?
If you fell ill and had to take an extended leave of absence how hard would it be for someone to take charge of your inventory? Are your procedures clearly mapped out and posted for all employees to see or do you rely on training and memory? Take the time now to create signage for your facility with visual indicators of where everything is and what inventory procedures are required to keep your business running smoothly.
Do you process damages daily?
No matter how careful your employees are, you will have to process damages.
Do you have a designated area for damages or do you handle them on the fly? Smooth processing of damages will ensure that you don’t lose valuable time and money on costly returns. Create a designated area where damages will be processed daily and you will get the most benefit.
How secure is your inventory?
Are you putting your valuable inventory in the hands of a padlock? How many people have access to the keys to your stock room? How long has it been since your locks were changed? Protect your precious products by examining your security hardware, software, and personnel. Security cameras are more affordable than ever and you’ll want to make sure you cover any blind areas where theft can occur. You may even earn an insurance premium benefit by upgrading your security systems.
Is your inventory software up to date?
Are you operating your systems on old software? If so, you could be missing important updates to tax codes, shipping fees and times, and customer communications. In fact, old software could be slowing down your entire operation! Keep your inventory management and accounting systems up to date and you will keep your business running without any unnecessary technology hiccups.
While it may be tempting to continue managing your inventory as you always have, you could be losing time and money on ineffective inventory management. Taking a hard look at your procedures can garner enormous benefits. By improving the efficiency of your business, you will ensure its success for the foreseeable future.