As a small to medium sized business, if you don’t have control of your physical inventory, you’ll likely feel as if your entire business is in chaos. You need to achieve small business stock control through effective inventory management.
What is inventory management?
Inventory management is a crucial part of supply chain management. In simple terms, it aims to have the right products in the right quantity for available for sale, at the right time.
Why strive for small business stock control?
Taking control of your stock with effective inventory management in place, is crucial to the success of your business. Whether you are a hardware store, retailer, wholesaler, in the automotive and parts industry or in the landscape and garden industry. Whatever your business, if you’re dealing in physical inventory you need to have total control.
With effective small business stock control, you can ensure that you have the right products in the right quantity, at the right time. This applies to both your online and physical stores, wherever you need your stock to be to get it to your customers in a timely manner.
Effective inventory management will also mean that you will avoid products being sold out or funds being tied up in excess stock, impacting your businesses cashflow and bottom line. If you deal in products with a shelf-life, you’ll need to ensure that products are sold in time to avoid wastage and write-offs. And finally, storing your products costs money! You don’t want more stock taking up space in your warehouses than is needed.
Taking control of your stock means that your product supply and demand are perfectly in sync.
What should I look for in inventory management software?
The right inventory management software will meet the needs of your business so that you achieve small business stock control. In general terms, here are some of the features and benefits that you should be looking for:
- Seamless integration with your POS and accounting functions
- Real time tracking of every item of inventory in your business
- Reporting that helps you to forecast product demand
- Elimination of production shortages resulting in unhappy customers
- Prevention of excess stock and too many raw materials sitting in your warehouse
- Optimisation of warehouse organisation and management, making better use of your employees’ time
- Integration of the management of operations across multiple site locations and online and offline stores
- Ability to manage your business operations in their entirety, from anywhere that you have internet access.
Small Business Stock Control Methods
There are multiple methods and principles for best practice that you can adopt to help you take control of your inventory. You’ll need to select the right methods to suit your business. They include:
- FIFO – this method ensures that products are sold in the same chronological order as they were purchased or created. This method is best for businesses that deal in products with a limited shelf-life. However, even if you don’t deal with perishable items, FIFO can save you money because the longer products sit in your warehouse, the more likely they are to get damaged.
- Audits – Even with great inventory management software in place, you’ll still need to carry out periodical audits of your stock. This will ensure that the products that you think you have in stock match what you actually have.
- ABCs – Some business find it helpful to categorise products based on their value, that is categories A,B,C where As are your big ticket products and Cs are your lower value items.
We’re here to help
We’re based in Brisbane and we’ve been helping small businesses like yours to take control of their stock for over 35 years.
To get started, simply get in touch with us on 1800 061 670 or use our small and one of or business consultants be in touch.