Managing inventory can be a real test at times. How much should I order? How do I keep track of my stock? Am I purchasing unnecessary products? Such a challenge, am I right?! With Christmas around the corner it’s important to stay on top. Better yet, what if there’s a way to be the king of inventory management without even knowing you’re doing it? Here are some tips on inventory management for SMEs that can be implemented over the holiday period.
First thing’s first, keep track of your stock. It may sound like a chore at first but it will save your life in the long run. Nothing is worse than being in the middle of a Christmas Eve rush only to find that you’ve run out of cookies, carrots and milk to serve to jolly old Saint Nick and his convoy of flying reindeer. Keeping track of stock is easy when inventory is frequently updated. So how do we update inventory? Hands up if you go around the room with a clipboard and pen counting each item in the fridges and cupboard one by one! I’ve done it; we all have. Guess what? It’s 2016! Clipboards are a thing of the past! Practi will update your inventory in real time and generate reports. It will save time and money although you’ll need to find a new place to keep all those pens.
Forecast inventory to know how much stock will be needed for those busy periods. This can be achieved by reviewing sales and stock quantities from the previous year. To make life easier, deploy an EPOS system like Practi across multiple branches to do this legwork for you. With Practi, quantity comparisons can be made from previous days, weeks and months. It will also report the top sellers and low sellers. Tools like this make it painless to keep on top of your business trends.
Here’s how this used to go. Clipboard, pen, count stock. Enter stock into the Excel. One…item… at a time. So slow and inefficient. There are myriads of applications that can count inventory as it’s sold, transfer this data into an Excel, and send it straight up to the distributors. Even better, iPad EPOS systems like Practi allow the user to make orders straight from the app. NO EXCEL! Just a click and the order is on its way!
Systems like OrderWise, Stitch Labs and Practi can be used to take in new deliveries. One option is to count the stock and enter it into the iPad application. If this is a cloud-based system, it will update the backoffice over the internet with the new stock quantities. Alternatively, many inventory management systems will automatically receive deliveries and populate the backoffice stock quantities with replenished items. This is another time saver and will make the morning rounds a pleasant experience for all involved.
By implementing a new inventory management system, savings will increase and can be allocated to more critical issues. Hours that are spent correcting human error or older methods are neutralised. Most importantly, the sanity of you and the team will be sustained, resulting in a better work experience for everyone.