Keeping an accurate inventory is crucial to making sure you know what products are selling and which are not. It also helps you keep track of your assets.
Sometimes, keeping track of all your product can get overwhelming.
We asked eight professionals how they plan, track, and manage their inventory.
Read their tips for ensuring accuracy below.
Organization is key. Having a designated and detailed spreadsheet with all items will help keep track of what is being spent and what is being bought. It also helps to have a designated inventory room so that they are easily accessible when needed. Putting an employee in charge of this will keep things in order and ensure that all other staff are communicating with the same person and that one person has a handle on all inventory.
Megan Chiamos, 365 Cannabis
Find a Digital Program
Finding a digital program to organize and keep track of all of your inventory is a life-saver. This will ease employee fatigue of having to manually keep track of supplies and is a more efficient use of employee time. Also, getting on a productive counting system will help facilitate a smooth system of tracking and keeping data.
Brett Farmiloe, Digital PR Agency
Map Out Inventory
If you’re running a rental equipment business, the first step to an accurate inventory supply count is to map out inventory. Because equipment is consistently being checked out and returned, you’ll need to establish a baseline inventory to keep track of what’s coming and going. Figure out what you have, how much you have, and then establish a way to keep track of it all.
Carey Wilbur, Rental Equipment Financing
Use a Proper Inventory Tool
Inventory management is tricky for any business. But one thing is clear: if you’re still using spreadsheets for inventory tracking, you will die young. Using a proper inventory tool is the key. A good tool will allow for custom inventory object setting and specific rule setting. In our case, we use a highly customizable platform Ontraport. We set up a custom inventory object for each of our SKUs and decrease it by 1 after each order ships; the system then alerts us when inventory is getting low for a SKU and it is ready for re-order.
Michael Kansky, BigMouthSurvey
Ensure Each Product Has a Unique Barcode
The most important requirement is to ensure that every product has a unique barcode and that all shipments from your suppliers come pre-barcoded. In addition, ensure that you are scanning each of the barcoded products into your inventory management system upon receipt. This process ensures that you received the right amount of inventory. In addition, as products are shipped out to customers, the barcodes can be scanned into the system to reflect the sale of that inventory. While it takes time and money to set up this kind of system, it pays dividends by greatly reducing the complications of inventory management and the risks of inaccurate supply counts.
Jessica Rose, Copper H2O
We are planning, tracking, and managing our inventory by using Shopify Plus w/ an ERP behind the scenes to connect our six online e-commerce stores. We use an open-to-buy system for managing inventory, and we are using the purchase order process within our ERP to create purchase orders, to receive, and for accounting purposes.
Brian Lim, INTO THE AM
Integrate Scanning Technology With Smartphones
Today there are no excuses for data gaps in your inventory, and ever more pressure to make processes entirely traceable and trackable. One simple way to make this possible is by integrating scanning technology into your app or website so your workforce can identify packages and stock with their own smartphones. By scanning serial numbers, delivery orders and barcodes on any standard smartphone, you can enable end-to-end visibility from production through to delivery.
Lukas Kinigadner, Anyline
Use Customer Data to Project Upcoming Inventory
Planning for the inventory starts with knowing what customers want. Then know how much to stock for peak and off-peak seasons so you neither have too little nor excess inventory. We use data from previous years to stock what we expect customers to come looking for at a specific time.
James Jason, Mitrade