Planning your inventory is one of the most important things that you will do when first starting out in business. It is a tricky science due to the fact that you never want to have too little inventory to meet the demand for your product, but you also do not want to be left with inventory that will never sell.
There are several ways to track your inventory, including:
1. Visual Control
This is the simplest way to manage inventory and is most effective if you only need to have a very few items on hand at all times. It is also the most sensible for a small business that has not yet grown to the level where it needs more official documentation.
2. Tickler Control
With this method, you want to count a small section of your inventory physically each day. By the end of the week or another specific time frame you should have done a complete count of your entire inventory.
3. Check Sheets
For this process you and your employees need to record every item you sell, distribute, or remove from your inventory. It is best to keep the sheet nearby your inventory in a designated spot so that everyone has access to it.
4. Stub Control
This method has you retain a piece of the price ticket whenever an item is sold. Then, at the end of the day you record that the item was sold and keep track of your inventory that way.
This is a more sophisticated inventory control method. This means that a cash register or computer is keeping count of your inventory based on your sales each day. It allows you to also run reports during a specific time frame, which is very useful for forecasting inventory and keeping track of overall sales.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind when mastering inventory planning:
- Prepare inventory in advance based on holidays and the time of year.
- Consider having a backup stock of inventory in case of weather events or other unexpected rushes on merchandise or delays in delivery.
- If you use a computer system to keep track of your inventory be sure to backup that data so that if something were to happen to your computer, you wouldn’t find yourself with a real problem.
Mastering your inventory planning and management can be very valuable to your company to ensure that you do not over order product and end up losing money due to old inventory that just won’t sell. It is also useful when it comes to providing quality customer service by always having the right items in stock and ready for quick delivery.