Best wholesale inventory management practices
The total cost of storage real estate increased an average of 8.4% in the 12 months leading up to June 2022. This figure doesn’t even consider the expenses associated with a disorganized warehouse, which inevitably leads to errors, inefficiencies, workplace accidents, and returns. The goal of warehouse or storage room optimization is to create more space by reducing your inventory and maintaining control and safety for your workers and your inventory.
- Improve inventory forecasting
Accurate inventory forecasting is the cornerstone of wholesale inventory management. As a wholesaler, you are not just selling to end consumers who can tolerate minor delays in their personal orders. You sell to companies that have direct contact with customers. Therefore, you are required to meet their demand. Using a tool focused on inventory forecasting, you can interpret historical sales data, current events, and a host of other variables to analyze future demand.
You can opt for demand forecasting software that allows for intelligent forecast adjustments for best results. There are several wholesale inventory management software programs available. So do some research to choose the one that is right for you.
- Training and equipment for warehouse workers
By training your warehouse staff, you strengthen your wholesale inventory management. You can only empower your employees if they are properly trained and equipped to handle their responsibilities. How can you minimize product damage by training your team? Is there a team of highly experienced people who can facilitate inventory training for their colleagues? While your employees may perform well, they can still benefit from additional knowledge and skills.
Best practices in retail inventory management
- Invest in an inventory management system
While it’s possible to manage your inventory manually, it’s tedious, time-consuming, and can be fraught with error. Use a unique, high-quality inventory management software and point of sale (POS) system. You’ll be able to automate many of your processes, understand how your inventory’s performance, and more easily scale your business.
With advanced inventory management software, retailers can view real-time balances to avoid shortages and overages. The tool can also handle repetitive and labor-intensive tasks, such as manually updating inventory levels for thousands of SKUs. However, not all inventory management software is designed to produce the same results. Nor are they all suited to the retail business. Decide on a budget and find a service provider that can perform the key functions you need to manage your inventory better.
- Develop a strategy for recording stock receipts
Suppose you don’t have a proven process for verifying and recording products received and detecting errors and damage. You’ll likely run into problems, such as unrecorded inventory, unexpected stock-outs, and payments for items you never ordered. To ensure the accuracy of your inventory receipts, count products against purchase orders, follow up with suppliers for errors, shortages, or damages, completely unpack shipments and update inventory counts in your inventory management system.
- Build strong relationships with wholesalers
Without the supplier or wholesaler, it’s difficult to produce or sell products and make money. One way to help them improve their offering is to let them know what happens to their items after you unpack them. By building solid relationships with them, you may be able to lock in discounts, reduce the risk of delays and quality issues, and simplify your inventory management. Don’t be afraid to drop non-performing or problematic suppliers and find new ones.
See related: Finding the Right eCommerce Product Suppliers for Your Store
ABC analysis is a method of ranking your inventory in order of most essential items to least important items. While A items are considered the highest priority inventory and require frequent replenishment, B items have value but are medium priority and are ordered more infrequently. C items are low-priority inventory items that do not need to be reordered very often because they are typically carried in large quantities.
By using ABC analysis to organize your inventory, you can optimize your storage space and streamline order processing. If your business has a large inventory catalog, make sure your point of sale software has this feature.