Inventory management in a business is just as important as any of its other processes. For small businesses in particular, this is actually one of the most fundamental parts. It counts as an important component in the balance sheet, and if improperly handled, can cause blocks in precious limited capital resources. Start-ups especially cannot afford to have this happen as they need to maintain a steady process. It is necessary to ensure that stock counts are accurate all-round, primarily as this determines the need to purchase more stocks which, if calculated wrong can be an unnecessary expense, which may even lead to a loss. So here are a few ways in which you can better manage your inventory in the 21st century.
UPDATE YOUR TECHNOLOGY
Whether you like it or not, technology pretty much dominates everything in our lives now, and that includes businesses. Frankly, there is precious little you can do about it too. So if you feel you may not be as savvy as you should be in this regard, best you polish up your knowledge in some way or another. Up-to-date technology is essential to help you monitor and manage your stock better. Though physical counts are typically taken too, your business should be able to measure it up with an automatic stock count to ensure consistency. Look into the possibility of using an NFC sticker label on each of your products to help with this.
Again this is related to technology, and this one is particularly up there. As opposed to waiting till the end of the day to count and check up on your stocks, you now have the option of receiving alerts in real time to your mobile phone. There are specific mobile applications and softwares that have been developed for real-time inventory tracking, which keeps you in the loop throughout the day. That way, when stock does move out of your stores, you know what is moving when. It certainly reduces a lot of your stress.
FOCUS ON ‘SLOTTING’
Slotting is a term commonly used in inventory management. The activity is exactly as its name implies: being slotted. This is very important when it comes to moving goods out of the premises efficiently. For instance, fast-moving items can be stocked closer to an easily accessible area so staff need not waste time travelling back and forth when they need to tend to a delivery. This also helps free up space at the back areas which are most likely to get clogged up. Of course you will need to label everything quite clearly, since there could always be new workers in the team who will need some direction at least at first, and they cannot always ask. Invest in metal mount RFID tags as they can be very useful in this aspect.
As much as technology is very welcome, you still need to depend on your staff to a certain extent. Make sure you look at training them not just at induction, but periodically. Often, employees tend to get lax especially if they have been working at the same role for a long period of time. This leads to a drop in efficiency and productivity, which is not a good combination for the business. Offer assistance and support whenever possible.
Harold Prado August 29th, 2017
Posted In: Business Services