Inventories are one of the essential components in retail and wholesale businesses. Poor inventory management generally leads to stock-outs, shipment delays, customer dissatisfaction and eventually financial loss. The U.S. Census Bureau says that manufacturers, retailers and merchant wholesalers carried more than $1.9 trillion in inventory in June 2018 and experts say that 90 percent of the inventory remains stationary and only about 10 percent of a company’s inventory is actually in transit. This is why inventory management is crucial for any business.
Apart from implementing best practices, a few measures can be taken to avoid huge inventory losses. These tips will prove effective in the long run and be useful if implemented in the right way. Therefore, here are seven common mistakes made by retailers and wholesalers regarding order management and how they can be avoided.
Conducting inventory counts once a year
Performing inventory counts once a year isn’t a good practice. Also, having yearly inventory counts can consume a lot of time to check on your stock items. One of the most effective ways to keep a track on your resources is by performing periodic checks on inventories.
This means instead of doing a physical count regularly; you can try ‘cycle counting management’ which requires you to count a small portion of your inventory. You can compare it as you go to what is listed previously within your system database. This can be performed every month until everything is eventually covered and recorded correctly.
Keeping a regular check on the number of recorded items in your database and the available items helps you determine what’s selling and what’s not!
Holding unnecessary inventories
Sometimes holding too much inventory can definitely act as a disadvantage to your business. Small businesses have fluctuations, and when consumer demand recedes, the value of the products reduces consequently. You would also require more staff to manage your inventories, which will burn holes in your pockets.
To maintain the right amount of inventory required for your business, all you need to do is forecast your inventory needs. Find out how many stocks are necessary for your store or warehouse by regular analysis and reviewing the inventory reports subsequently.
Using manual techniques
Inventory tracking can be very time consuming, labor-intensive and costly when done manually. Paper records or excel spreadsheets are very vulnerable to errors and losses. If you keep a large inventory in multiple warehouses and stores, all you need to do is invest in eCommerce Inventory Management software. It will help you track your inventory levels, figure out inventory values. This automated system also generates accurate, in-depth reports to forecast inventory needs and manage your supplier data through one system.
Keeping your storage space unorganized
Storing supplies carelessly will not only prevent your business from achieving higher efficiency but also slows down the process of picking and packing, which can alternatively lead to shipment delays. Therefore, it is vital to tidy up your inventories and warehouses.
To make your item sellable, you need to sell them from an accessible position. One way is to put labels or stickers on each compartment to make it easier for pickers to find the items instantly. Furthermore, you can integrate your inventory management software with the aid of barcode scanners to speed up the picking process.
Not training your staff properly
Even if you have made your inventory management service automated, it will all go in vain if you do not have the right inventory management services required for your business. It is of utmost importance that you train your employee correctly to manage your inventories efficiently.
Conduct regular training and upgrade your inventory management techniques with the latest technologies. Keep your staff updated on the status of your inventory. Ensure the person in charge of the inventory ensures smooth running by implementing the right inventory management solution for your business needs.
No game plan for the future
Being held up with day-to-day operations can sometimes make you lose track of your business growth. This can often make your business become a failure or bring your business growth to a standstill. Therefore, have a set vision of your business and have a team working towards your goal. Set achievable targets, and reward your employees.
When it comes to order management services, you upgrade your infrastructure and the automation system that you use regularly. This will not only help you grow your business but also earn profits at a higher rate.
Not using the right vendors
This may appear to be a no brainer, but it is a commonly facing issue by many. A good vendor is basically a fine balance between someone who is consistent and doesn’t also charge a bomb.
Before looking for a vendor, ensure you review their services thoroughly and look for customer feedback.
If you are selling a niche product, always consider a complete vertical integration to control over manufacturing, demand and therefore your inventory levels.
If you are looking for expert order management services for your business or order management outsourcing companies, Wow customer support is one of the leading organizations providing one of the best inventory management solutions at affordable rates. They provide eCommerce inventory management services to many Fortune 500 companies and top organizations. To know more about their services, click here.
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