Three Essential Tips for Small Business Inventory Management

Three Essential Tips for Small Business Inventory Management

Inventory management is one of those aspects of business where mistakes can really hurt the bottom line. Whether it’s missing orders or lost customers, it is worth spending the time to get inventory management right. Here are three tips for ensuring everything runs smoothly.

1. Have barcodes, specs, and SKU numbers

Every product you have needs its own unique identification number, or SKU. When a certain product needs to be tracked down quickly, the SKU will prove extremely useful. It’s also helpful from the point of view of resellers who deal with multiple vendors to set apart different products from different vendors that might have the same name.

UPC barcodes are even better as they are simple to scan, although it’s important to keep in mind that UPC numbers should only come from GSI or valid resellers.

In your system, you should keep track not only of the SKUs and UPCs, but also the product’s name, color, description, size, weight, dimensions and price.

2. Audit your inventory on a monthly basis

The best technology can take you quite far, but manual counts are still important for confirming your shelves match what your system shows. Inventory is prone to getting tossed out, stolen, misplaced and damaged, so monthly audits can help spot trouble before it grows.

The best way to go about this is to print a paper with each product’s name and SKU, along with the inventory number that shows up in your system. Write the number you count manually next to it and then take action where there are discrepancies.

3. Audit new and existing orders daily

Orders need to be audited daily, particularly if you find yourself suddenly attracting a lot of orders every day. Check the status of each one and make sure there are no delays to ensure maximum customer satisfaction and repeat business.

Following best practices when it comes to inventory management can help save a lot of heartache down the line, so be sure to start implementing these tips right away.

Learn more about inventory management.

This blog post was based off of an article from SmallBiz Resources. View the original here.