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Get your inventory under control in five steps

Getting your inventory and stock under control is one of the toughest challenges you’ll continue to face over the lifetime of your business. Judging what your customers want – how much they need and when they need it – without you having too much excess stock or not enough, is a fine balance you have to master. Here are five tips to help you take control…

1. Choose a stock control method that works for your business
There are several efficient ways to control what stock you need, how much and when to order it. You can either identify your minimum stock level and re-order when you reach that threshold; or you can choose to regularly review your stock and replenish or return goods at every review. The ‘just in time’ method can reduce costs by keeping stock to a minimum and only delivering when products are needed. However, you need to have a reliable supplier you can trust to deliver promptly.

2. Create a stock list for each warehouse location
By knowing what needs re-stocking and what doesn’t at all your warehouse locations, you’ll be able to see if you can fulfil customer demand. For example, should you really be maintaining a large quantity of product that only sells twice a year if it negatively impacts on your turnover? It makes sense to stock smaller ticket items that sell all year round.

3. Liquidate
The goal of inventory liquidation is to get rid of any unwanted or dead stock at the best price or least expense. Think about any promotions you can do to shift items to customers or suppliers fast. If you’re struggling to get any interest for the products you’re planning to liquidate, why not donate it to a non-profit organisation that could benefit in some way? It’s better than throwing products away.

4. Be smart in how you organise items to minimise the cost of filling orders
Don’t make the mistake of organising your warehouse by product lines as this will greatly increase the cost of filling orders thanks to higher picking time. The best way to utilise locations is to position your fastest selling items closest to the shipping, staging and receiving area of the warehouse to keep the majority of picking activity in one small space.

5. Automate your inventory management and stock control
Want to eliminate human errors and streamline productivity? Why not control your physical and virtual inventory data across all your sales channels? You can also do this from a single location that stores all your information to automate the management of millions of SKUs and variations Automating this process will help you avoid the damage of overselling by setting minimum stock thresholds that automatically trigger stock replenishment.

Want to put your inventory and stock control on autopilot? Start your ecommerce adventure today.

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