A superior inventory system for small retail businesses is paramount in maintaining productivity and efficiency. For small retail business owners, sustaining a steady flow of and tracking incoming and outgoing inventory is a practical necessity. That is why you need to identify the absolute best inventory management system to keep operations running smoothly. At a quick glance, explore these 5 Practices for an Efficient Inventory System for Small Retail Businesses.
The FIFO (first in, first out) approach is a time-tested strategy to assist in maintaining inventory for businesses by prioritizing the sale of older products. In a warehouse setting, the best application of this practice is to add new items from the back so that older products are the first to get grabbed. This ensures you move out old inventory, and allows your stock to replenish itself with the newest items. It also has the added benefit of improving waste management processes at an organization. FIFO inventory management is a straightforward process to implement. And, it is a simple step towards fostering a more efficient inventory system for your small retail business.
Avoid Dead Stock
A constant struggle in retail is discerning whether an item is “in” or “out” and identifying when that item becomes dead stock. Dead stock is excess inventory that has difficulty selling, or fails to sell altogether. A non-selling product that occupies shelf space is keeping a potentially hot product out-of-sight. Therefore, it makes sense to phase out items that fail to sell at a reasonable rate in favor of other items. With this inventory management strategy, you ensure items on display are always moving rather than sitting. That keeps your inventory moving and replenishing naturally.
Set Automatic Alerts
Automatic low-stock alerts are essential to keep products in high demand available. If a particular product is flying off the shelves as fast as it can be stocked, a lull in availability means a missed opportunity for additional sales. A majority of POS systems offer low-stock alerts. Enabling automatic low-stock alerts is a great practice to keep your retail inventory well-stocked and well-managed regularly.
Find Cross-Software Integration
If your system supports cross-software integration, it can be a universally helpful tool for all parts of mobile supply chains. Being able to switch seamlessly from inventory to accounting, online marketplaces, third-party logistic reports, and shipping channels coordinates all facets of your business seamlessly. This readiness will save time, and streamline every step in managing your retail inventory on a day-to-day basis.
Conduct Manual Inventory Counts
Even with POS systems and a rock-solid inventory management system, manual inventory counts are an important function in small retail businesses. Mis-typed errors are more common than you think. Quarterly or even monthly manual inventory counts can uncover flaws in reporting, or more serious issues like employee theft. These manual inventory management practices are more time-costly. However, manual inventory counts are critical to ensure inventory accuracy. They are a necessary element of evaluating small business inventory practices currently in place.
These practices are crucial to ensure your small retail business’s inventory system is up-to-date and efficient beyond your existing warehouse fulfillment processes. The FIFO approach guarantees you sell old inventory first. If you avoid dead stock, you assure your shelved products will sell, rather than sit. For items that go fast, automatic low-stock alerts ensure that your inventory should never run out before a potential sale. Cross-software integration organizes everything under one roof, making a wealth of information easily accessible. Lastly, the manual inventory count is a surefire check into your inventory system’s and your employee’s accountability. Integrate these inventory management practices with your small retail business today to further efficiency and productivity tomorrow, and never look back.