If you’re running an e-commerce business, nothing has the potential to cause more problems than mistakes in inventory management.
The following tips will help you make sure that your business manages inventory effortlessly, even as your business grows in size.
1. Make a Plan and Stay Organized
You can make your life a lot easier by designing and maintaining an intuitive system of organization for your inventory. The most basic rule to make sure your system works is to prioritize keeping your warehouse space — no matter what the size — organized and clean.
If you let each part of your business stand on its own, you’re more likely to suffer from confusion and inventory mixups. Create a plan that standardizes the system of organization across all departments, as well as the system of reporting.
2. Create Strong Relationships with Vendors
Another critical part of making inventory effortless is to always keep good relationships with your vendors. If you’ve attended a business management school, you probably know that strong relationships are at the center of any successful company.
Keep open communication with your vendors and resolve any conflicts that arise with grace and kindness. Trust that the vendor knows what they’re doing and work to achieve flexibility on both sides. That way when you have to put it a special order or simply restock, you’re more likely to get what you need without delay. If you outsource any of your order fulfillment, a vendor will be the face of your business to some extent.
3. Understand Data and Monitor Stock
Collecting data on your sales, trends, and customer purchases helps you know how much inventory goes in and how much goes out. Keeping excellent data on your sales and inventory will allow you to do accurate forecasting. This will help you immensely in planning ahead for future months and even years. It will also help prevent running out of a product or having excess stock. If you’re struggling, it may be worth it to take a class in business management or economics.
4. Use Inventory Management Software
For an e-commerce that needs to be scaled somewhere along the line, inventory management software can be a huge help. Top-rated softwares for 2017 include:
- Asset Panda
- Finale Inventory
Whichever you use, a good inventory management software can help you to prevent overselling or underselling and centralize your inventory control. Software will help you keep track of your inventory easily and automatically, and for larger amounts of sales beats using an excel spreadsheet by a long shot.
While it can be easy enough to manage a few orders here and there when you first start out in e-commerce, once your business grows you’ll be happy you started automating some of your processes. If you create a plan and follow the steps, you may just be surprised at how easy inventory management becomes.