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Inventory Stacking Up?

  • By Lauri Paxton
  • 11 May, 2016
For many companies, part of being successful is having the ability to properly manage their inventory. It is extremely difficult if not impossible to end the year with the perfect amount of inventory. But proper planning throughout the year can help you manage inventory resulting in higher profits.
Having the proper amount of inventory is largely dependent on your ability to preplan for the upcoming seasons by using industry trends and data from previous years. For example, if you are a restaurant, you know Mother’s Day will typically be a busy day. Extra food and special menus will be needed to reap the benefits. Training your employees to help with keeping track of what is currently in your inventory prior to just ordering more of a given item, is vital to your success.
There are a few steps that you can take to help keep your current inventory accurate and help preplan for the upcoming seasons:
  • Pick a time!You need to set a time, preferably when the company is closed, when you can take a current count of your inventory. This should be done at least once a quarter. Having an accurate count of inventory also helps to identify if there is a problem with theft that needs to be addressed, or if there are slow moving items that need to be put on sale.
  • Choose how you will countyour inventory and invest in necessary supplies. While many companies have transitioned to the bar code scanners, there are some businesses that rely on a physical paper and pencil copy. The bar code inventory process is more efficient and gives you an exact count of what you have in stock. If you do intend to switch to a bar code method, be sure to purchase enough hand held devices, and have the proper software for integration to achieve the best results.
  • Communication.Ok, let’s be honest, communication is key to every aspect of being a business owner and running a business. Make sure that your employees are trained on how you intend to have your inventory counted and understand the procedures will help to inventory go as smoothly as possible. Improperly trained staff can lead to inaccurate count and may result in needing to perform a recount.
  • Before and after.You want to make sure that your warehouse or storage area is as organized as possible before you take inventory. This will speed up the inventory process. If you’re utilizing technology, as you start the count, be sure to back up any information. Be sure to take time to back up data during the process and when the inventory is completed. This will save you time and frustration if there is a hiccup somewhere along the way.
By watching the trends of what is selling, what’s new, and what the hot ticket items are, you will better be able to plan ahead and adjust your close out sales accordingly. Being proactive throughout the year will leave your inventory lean at year end and improve your bottom line.
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