SupportBiz lists tips for good inventory management.
Use of technology
Today, several online applications are available to help SMEs keep track of their inventory levels. Use technology to record the inflow, outflow and balance of stock with you, so that you always have a clear picture of the current level of stock that you possess.
Current level of stock
Always keep yourself updated about the current level of inventory in your storehouse. At any point of time, you should know the present level of stock you possess, excluding receivables and deliverables.
New techniques and systems emerge every day to help firms keep track of their inventory levels. It is advisable to keep yourself updated about these new technologies, so that you can zero in on the one that works best for you.
Maintain fresh stock
Resist the temptation to over-buy stock, except if you can clearly see a rapid increase in demand in the near future. Do not maintain outdated, old stock in your storehouse, but always make an attempt to keep fresh stock. Ensure that you buy only that level of stock which you are sure of selling in the immediate future. In case you are saddled with old stock, due to circumstances, consider disposing of it through discount offers and schemes.
It is always a good idea to get your stock insured, irrespective of whether you are a small firm or a large one. Insuring your inventory against loss due to theft or natural calamities will help protect your business from unwarranted financial stress.
In most businesses, there are a few items of inventory that move the fastest, while the movement of the other items is limited. Fix your priorities according to the levels of movement of your stock items. For instance, if 30% of your stock brings about 80% of your total demand, you should focus your attention more on these items.
Take the time to periodically forecast the demand and supply of your products over the next few months. This will help you predict conditions like a rapid increase in demand or short supply well in advance, and take measures to protect yourself against them in time.
Study alternative suppliers
It is a good idea to keep track of suppliers who offer the products you stock, other than the ones you regularly order from. This will help you be prepared in case you face a short supply of products at any point in time.