Taking control of one’s product inventory is an essential component of managing a business. Any in-demand item without consistent stock could potentially lead to profit loss. Bigger corporations usually have the resources and manpower to take care of this aspect. Luckily, smaller businesses with resource constraints can tap into technology to take care of inventory management.
Importance of Inventory Control
A business involved in commercial product retail usually has an inventory of goods on stock in a warehouse or facility. As part of a supply network, the products could be stored in different warehouses or storage facilities. For businesses with a larger network of customers, this facilitates timely distribution.
Inventory control deals with different processes within the supply chain but it mainly facilitates a well-planned and timely restocking and distribution of goods within the network. Managing one’s inventory means retail outlets have the desired product range and services at all times. Plus, there is also a schedule followed for restocking one’s inventory.
Having control over one’s inventory has several benefits. The overall goal of inventory control is to prevent unnecessary additional costs due to unplanned delivery schedules. It also prevents profit loss by ensuring the shelves are stocked and customers have the product that they want and need. This ensures sales opportunities are captured by having a consistent supply of the products that customers want. Customers usually appreciate retailers that are consistent with their product supply and who delivers without any delays.
Using an Inventory Management Software
Before technology, inventory control was very much a paper-based process. Personnel in-charge with inventory fill up records that monitor the flow of products. The information taken down include serial numbers, brands, number of products in stock, among other things.
But with the introduction of inventory management software, the process has changed from paper-based to digital. These computer-based programs are used to monitor supply levels and delivery or restocking schedules. They also allow business owners to check sales numbers as compared to inventory trends and other variables.
Some of these programs have warranty tracking software open source which allows the business owner to customize its features. Warranty tracking is an important aspect of inventory control. It allows the business to trace and monitor product warranties within its term. Information can be cross-checked immediately since it has a digital file.
There are benefits to shifting one’s inventory management from paper-based to digital. The program can be used to project product movement trends. This allows the owner to see which products are in demand, which prevents them from over or understocking the product inventory. At the end of the year, business owners can easily collate the inventory management data gathered during the past months. This comes in handy when planning the product lineup in the coming year.
For a small entrepreneur, every cent counts when running a business. Keeping costs low involves looking at what is available out there. Fortunately, these resources include tech inventory management tools that can be customized to fit the needs of the small business person.