Here are the top 10 ways to make inventory management easier.
1. Use inventory tracking software. Inventory tracking software is an automated system for instantly updating inventory levels as products are received, moved and sold. Even with inventory tracking software, inventory management can’t really be described as “easy.” Keeping your inventory at a healthy level is a complicated process that is made simpler with the aid of inventory tracking software’s tools. But you still need to put effort into it.
2. Integrate with an accounting system, like QuickBooks. Your inventory tracking software should integrate seamlessly with your accounting software. When you make a sale or order a new product, your accounting software should be automatically updated to show the resulting change in available capital. This is much more efficient than having to make the same change in multiple systems.
3. Use inventory barcode software. Barcodes speed up the process of receiving new products. They are more accurate than entering data by hand. Inventory barcode software can be updated instantly to give companies an up-to-the-minute look at their inventory situation.
4. Delegate responsibilities to your employees. Inventory management software allows business owners to let as many employees as they want order new products and organize current stock using barcode scanners and software. Managers can also restrict employees’ user rights so that they can only gain access to information related to their tasks.
5. Optimize your warehouse organization. Inventory management software should also help you get a better understanding of how your different parts and products interact. For example, if customers usually order two products together, you can reorganize your warehouse to move those products closer together. This makes the picking and packing process more efficient.
6. Set up automatic reorders. You can use inventory management software to automatically reorder products when they reach a certain low level.
7. Don’t cut inventory levels without good reasons. Some business owners tend to have a knee-jerk reaction to a drop in their revenue of slashing costs across the board. Changing economic conditions do necessitate changing business strategies, but before you cut your inventory levels to save money, consider the effect your decision might have on customer service. In your inventory management decisions, be sure to weigh all the pros and cons before making a sweeping decision.
8. Don’t stock up on inventory without good reasons. The reverse is also true. Even if you can get a discount by buying products in bulk, that doesn’t mean it’s always a good idea.
9. Choose the right criteria to track your inventory. Good inventory tracking software allows you to use a variety of criteria to track parts and products. These include lot numbers, serial numbers, revision numbers and custom criteria. Decide how you want to track inventory and consistently use that in your warehouse.
10. Use Fishbowl. Fishbowl is the #1-requested QuickBooks inventory management software. It helps small businesses use all of the inventory management tools and principles mentioned above.