9 Tips for Tracking Inventory

In the U.S. alone, there are 30,748,033 small businesses. 99.9% of businesses in the U.S. are small. 

You might be wondering about effective solutions for tracking inventory for your business. While managing your inventory might seem tough, there’s hope. 

This article will explore the top tips for tracking your inventory. Read on to explore these tips in order to stay organized and efficient in your business. 

1. Set Levels

Whether you use inventory management services or not, setting par levels for each product is vital. This is the minimum amount of a product that you have available at all times. If your inventory goes below this, then you’ll need to order more of this product. 

2. Maintain Relationships

Tracking products requires you to be able to adapt fast. Whether that means removing an item that doesn’t sell or restocking with quick selling items, you’ll want to stay on top of your inventory. 

In order to have a strong inventory, it’s important to maintain a relationship with your suppliers. You can ask them for a lower minimum in order to decrease the amount of inventory you hold onto.

Keep them updated on when you expect more purchases or an increase in sales. Have them update you on when a product is delayed for production. 

3. Be Consistent

Your store inventory needs to have a process whether that’s each employee having a different processing system, or a standard process everyone follows. If there’s no consistency, it can lead to confusion about numbers that don’t match your purchase orders. 

All stock needs to be handled the same way, and all boxes need to be verified as well. All products need to checked for accuracy when they arrive and are unpacked together. 

4. Track Sales

It’s not just about adding up your sales at the end of the day. Each day, you need to understand how many items you sell and update your inventory to reflect this.

Keep track of when items increase in sales, and when they decrease. This can be seasonal, a day of the week, etc. Think about whether items sell together as well. 

5. Use Barcode Scanning

Large amounts of inventory do best with barcode scanning. Excel is a good option when it’s only a couple of workers editing and inputting data for a small amount of inventory.

You’ll want to have inventory software when you have a large number of products. This is because you’ll be able to integrate it with POS systems and scanners to track your stock. 

Without barcode scanning, a large number of products and employees can lead to an increase in human error. Barcode systems can be used with inventory management software to scan items and have them placed in a program. 

6. Generate Reports

If you use automated software, you can automatically generate inventory tracking reports. The user will decide whether they want reports weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, or daily.

You’ll be able to create charts that have different inventory levels. This can help you manage your warehouse inventory, and determine what orders are necessary.  

7. Use Best Practices

Take a look at what others in your industry are using, and follow their management formulas. Ask your frontline employee when they see inefficiencies in their tracking. Use this information in order to come up with the best practices for your inventory.

8. Use Lifecycle Management

Use lifestyle management in order to know when you need to get rid of raw goods or products. This will help you trigger alerts, and flag old inventory for when there are any supply chain delays. 

9. Analyze Suppliers

Keep track of how your suppliers are doing in order to avoid those that can cause you problems later. Do you have a supplier who is often late with deliveries?

Speak with your supplier about different issues you’re facing, and how these problems can be fixed. Be ready to either deal with unknown stock levels, or switch partners. 

The Cons of Inventory Loss

Missing inventory can lead to an increase in inventory costs, and a loss in profits. It can cause supplier errors, internal/external theft, expired goods, misplaced stock, and damaged products. 

Many businesses who don’t track their inventory wind up shipping products late because they don’t realize that there’s a decrease in the product. Use inventory management systems in order to save capital, resources, and time. 

Why Have Proper Storage? 

When you have proper storage, you’ll be able to prevent spoilage. This is vital for businesses that are cafes and restaurants. The lack of proper management can lead to a loss in profit due to perishable food loss. 

Take a look at how your items are stored, and let your staff know about any problems with how they’re being stored. This can include storage units, freezers, fridges, shelves, etc. 

Manual Inventory Tracking for Free

If you’re a small business with a smaller store inventory, you can use a manual inventory of your products. Use Excel spreadsheets to save on costs. Keep in mind that if you go the manual route, you’re more likely to experience human error.

This also means that it lacks customer service, isn’t scalable, or keeps your data in silos. There won’t be customization features either. Consider using software for keeping track of your inventory records. This will allow you to track orders, manage storage space, schedule delivery, and manage multiple warehouse locations. 

The Top Tips for Tracking Inventory

Now that you’ve explored these top tips for tracking inventory, you should have a better idea of what to expect. Would you like to read more business content? For all of your lifestyle and business needs, check out our other articles today.