Selling product of any kind comes with the need to keep inventory. And with that comes the need to track that inventory. Chances are good that you had an easy time of tracking your product in the early stages because you didn’t have a lot of it. But now your business has grown, and you’ve outgrown your inventory tracking along with it. You find you’re spending more time looking for a product to pack and ship instead of finding it quickly. It’s time to rethink your inventory management. Here are some tips to help you get the job done.
Use a Labeling System
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Start by taking a look at how you label your inventory storage bins or boxes. Are you alphabetizing or using a numbering system to keep track of things? Or are you simply putting them in boxes to keep them aside and figuring you’ll be able to find the product later? Any one of these systems only work for so long, especially when you have subcategories of products.
It’s time to go back to the drawing board for your labels. Create categories for each product, then work on subcategories like sizes or variations on the original theme. You or an employee will find the item faster when it’s easier to zero in on the product itself. You could also upgrade to a bar code system.
Use a Bar Code System
This is the most efficient way to store and track inventory. It’s used in warehouses big and small around the world due to its ease of use. It’s also viable for small businesses with just a few products. All you need to do is enter the inventory into the system, create a barcode, print it out, then put the barcode onto the bin or tub that holds the matching inventory.
A bar code scanning system that’s paired with responsive inventory lets you get at-a-glance information on what your stock levels are of any given item in real time. Get ahead of the reorder game by setting the software to alert you when inventory levels are low and you need to order more stock. Additionally, you’ll always know when an item isn’t selling quickly because it’s been sitting around for too long.
Always Enter Your Inventory Into a Spreadsheet
Never bypass your inventory tracking spreadsheet. Slow down and take the time to do the paperwork, even if you dislike it. You need to keep an accurate tally of your inventory for tax purposes and to avoid running out of a product at the wrong moment. It’s simply good practice to make it part of the routine because you can stay ahead of your orders because you know what’s on hand at any given time.
You have the freedom to design any inventory tracking system you like, but don’t ignore the fundamentals. They exist because they work, and they’ll save you the effort from trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to knowing what stock you have on hand.