How Small Business Owners Can Avoid Inventory Mishaps

For businesses that have to manage inventory, it can be tricky to do without mishaps such as sending the wrong item, data entry issues, and overlooking obsolete items. Small businesses stand to lose money with mismanaged inventory, so it’s important to adopt some new strategies to stay profitable and organized. If you need a specialized system for your company, consider hiring a freelancer to help you manage your inventory.

How Small Business Owners Can Avoid Inventory Mishaps

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Common mishaps

Most companies that manage inventory face similar problems, from measuring inventory performance to insufficient data entry to lack of forecasting.

One crucial aspect of managing inventory is knowing the performance of every item. Be sure to set up tracking of fill-rate and inventory turns for every product you stock. Also, consider investing in inventory management software to help your company track these metrics. Another benefit to using software is that it can allow you to create a personalized visual dashboard that provides  automatically updated inventory insights at a glance.

Data entry is another challenge for small businesses that struggle with inventory management. As you set up your systems, consider adopting cloud technology so you and your staff can access data and information from any device. The cloud can help streamline certain aspects of your business such as reducing duplicate documents, allowing real-time remote collaboration on projects and help keep your data secure.

Another inventory mishap that creates issues for small businesses is lack of forecasting. You can manage this by using an automated inventory system which can both reduce human error and provide forecasting based on previous sales. Forecasting will help you know which items need consistent stocking, thus avoiding overstocking obsolete items.

Identifying obsolete stock is a crucial aspect to becoming profitable as a business. Obsolete stock costs you money, from paying for storage to absorbing working capital to minimizing your margins due to low demand. Once again, tracking is of utmost importance: once you identify the stock that isn’t selling, you can start recuperating lost funds.

A common problem that can become a major headache is sending the wrong item to a customer. One way to help deal with this problem is by including detailed customer support information in packing slips and on your website. However, rather than dealing with constant damage control, you’ll want to adopt a system that can prevent this from happening in the first place. Be sure to keep track of instances where it happens, so you can understand what caused the mishap. This way, you can identify a root cause for the error and prevent it from becoming a money-losing issue.

Proactive management

Along with adopting inventory management software and an automated inventory system, there are other steps you can take to help you manage your inventory, such as hiring an expert to develop a system for you.

If you’re having trouble finding a software system that works for you, you can hire a freelancer to help set up an inventory management system that’s tailored to your business. You can also hire e-commerce specialists who are experts at building online dashboards to help you manage your inventory. It’s easy to find freelancers through online job boards, and you can connect with specialists from all industries.

Managing inventory is one of the trickiest aspects for small businesses who deal in retail. Common problems—insufficient forecasting, obsolete stock, and sending wrong items to customers—can all be avoided if you take advantage of technology that manages inventory for you. And if you need help navigating software or systems or want a customized dashboard for your company, hire a freelancer to help you.

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