Because there are so many factors that are out of your control when you own a business, you need to have a good handle on the parts that are in your control. Your inventory system is one such factor – you can and should monitor it very closely. A good inventory management system versus a bad one will be a factor in what “makes or breaks” your bottom line.
There are many different industries, and each industry faces different challenges, but these four mistakes can happen to any company, as it relates to an approach to inventory.
Having an Out of Date Inventory Catalog
How do you share your merchandise options with your customers? In a printed catalog? On a website? Some other way? No matter how you choose to do this, it is crucial that it be updated frequently or your customers won’t know which products are still available and which products are not. If you use a printed catalog only, we suggest getting a website, because it’s too cost prohibitive to print a new catalog when your inventory changes. Websites, however, can be updated on a daily basis if necessary.
Having Uninformed Employees
When your inventory changes, your employees need to know. No matter what department they work in, they should never have to spend time searching for inventory to determine which products are still available to customers and which aren’t. Unless you’re looking for the best way to frustrate your customers and waste your employees' time, always maintain an up to date inventory list that your employees always have access to.
Using Too Much Manual Labor
As good as the current business software is, it’s impossible to control inventory without human intervention. Big ticket items often require employee attention, and it is employees who will do either your yearend inventory count or keep up with your cycle counts. When your approach is too reliant on people, you’re wasting time, energy, and money because managing inventory can be a labor intensive process. Automated inventory software uses scanners and bar codes, speeding up the process and freeing up employees for more important tasks, such as customer service.
Ignoring Rising Inventory Costs
If your inventory costs are increasing and you don’t know why, you should start investigating. There are a number of reasons that could make this occur. One being that you have too much inventory because you aren’t turning over as much product as before; another being that the market price of your merchandise is climbing. Whether it’s one of these reasons or a different reason, you need to know, because increasing inventory costs could be a warning sign that your inventory management system is failing.
If you regularly monitor and continuously improve your inventory system, you can save substantial amounts of money.
Inventory is not only something you can control in your business, it’s something that is absolutely vital that you do control.
If you feel like your inventory management could use improvement, contact Southeast Computer Solutions today and we’ll show you how improving your inventory management can take your business to the next level of efficiency.
About Southeast Computer Solutions
Southeast Computer Solutions is based in Miami, Florida, and has additional operations in Mexico. For over 30 years, we have positively impacted the success of small and mid-sized businesses with effective business management implementations that improve our clients’ operations. We listen, we are accessible, and we care. Learn more by visiting our website or calling 305-556-4697.