Even the smallest enterprise manages its share of stocks and supplies. They place great attention on how they’ll manage their inventory to accommodate their everyday demand. They also find ways to organize them efficiently without wasting their capital or lacking in quantity to cover their daily operations. The best inventory management tool can make all of that possible. Learn more about this below.
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What Is an Inventory?
In the most basic sense, inventory refers to all goods, products, and materials that a business sells to its customers. They are either sold to consumers directly or combined with other materials to generate a new product. It’s a significant component of your transactions as its the supply you hand out to your customers. Your inventory will also determine your expenditure budget and revenue.
Top 5 Practices on Managing Your Inventory Better
According to Chron, inventory management is crucial because it has a direct impact on your sales. It consists of the constant struggle of keeping things balances because too much inventory means wasted costs while the lack of inventory also results in the loss of potential profits. Unfortunately, small businesses are way behind their inventory strategies. A 2017 survey featured in American Express showed that 43% of them don’t track their inventory or merely use a manual system to do so.
If you haven’t started on tracking your inventory, here are five tips how:
1. Monitor suppliers. Suppliers have a great contribution to maintaining your inventory management system. You’ll rely on them daily for your material delivery schedule. You’ll also entrust on them the quality of their packages and if they honor your vendor agreement, bring you only the best products right on time. Assess their performance and determine if you’re still benefitting from them or not.
2. Keep track of what you have. When it comes to working on your inventory list, it’s highly necessary that you continually check what you have and what you lack to avoid the dangers of unnecessary spending and running out of supplies on peak customer hours.
3. Oversee your inventory’s conditions. You want to ensure that you’re serving your products to your customers without damage, tampering, or any spoil as that would greatly affect your image in the business. Keep a record of your inventory’s expiry date and the number of days in the storage. Do a weekly update for possible breakage and other unfortunate conditions you would never dream of giving to your customers.
4. Determine which stocks have low sales. You can’t keep buying the same amount of stock when some items on your list have low returns. Identify which of those sell out at minimum quantities or slow and reduce its number. On the other hand, you can raise your stocks on those in demand among your customers.
How to Create an Inventory Sheet
If you think making an inventory sheet is complicated, well, it doesn’t have to be. Here some easy steps on how to create an inventory sheet:
1. Know Your Headings
Your inventory sheet’s structure will depend on the number of headings you will include in making your layout. These headings are the details you will fill in when you manage your inventory’s stocks. They often include the item’s name, identity number, cost, quantity, name of the supplier, bundle details, and the selling price. It is how you’ll format the table that you can use to check on your supplies as they come. You can save this as a document that you can use as your inventory report for the past months.
2. Indicate Item Description
It’s not enough to have the name of the item. You also need to emphasize its description, so it’s easy to identify what variants of the products are still in stock when customers request them. It is also helpful to you when you sort out your products. Specify each item’s product description if it varies in color, material, texture, and other characteristics. For convenience, provide ample space on your inventory spreadsheet for products that have choices.
3. Specify the Condition
Checking your items’ condition is important when manning your inventory’s quality control. You want to make sure that everything’s in prime condition and that there aren’t any missing parts or portions of a single order when you bring them to your customers. You can allocate a weekly schedule or a monthly schedule dedicated to determining your products’ quality.
4. Make Use of Technology
Why go the hard way when you can make your task easier? Instead of using the classic pen and paper inventory check, invest in having a reliable technology that you can use to work on your inventory efficiently. You can use a bar code scanner to record your stock easily. If that’s too much for your small business, then use an inventory Excel sheet to list your stocks and other necessary information. When you input the right formula, it will be easy to get your inventory’s stock and cost total.
What are the different types of inventory?
The different types of inventory are work-in-process, raw materials, and finished goods.
Is supply an inventory?
Not necessarily. Supply can only be inventory when involved in customer transactions rather than the materials used in the workplace (e.g., office supplies).
What is ERP inventory management?
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) inventory management refers to a business planning approach that manages operations, inventory, and financial plans together.
Accounting your supplies and checking to see if you’ve got the rest of your weekly or monthly operations covered is essential in managing your business. It also helps you ensure that your customers receive quality goods from your storage and allows you to keep track of your vendors’ performance. Take a look at our inventory templates and choose the best that suits your needs.
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