As a small or medium-sized business (SMB) owner, thinking about inventory can cause some premature grey hairs. As a fulfillment services company that specializes in inventory management, APS Fulfillment, Inc. understands the stress SMBs go through in trying to properly coordinate and ship product orders.
As stressful as inventory can be, it plays a significant role both in customer service and in actual cash flow. Slow processing, packing, and shipment of products negatively impacts how efficiently money comes in and out of your account. Not to mention, the impact on customer service can be profound.
For all of these reasons, we’ve decided to share some inventory control tips that will get your warehouse operations moving smoothly so you meet customer expectations and refrain from keeping cash tied up in poor or slow order fulfillment practices.
Balance Your Inventory
Overspending on inventory is something some SMB owners may think is the answer to not disappointing customers with out-of-stock products. But that also takes away from your cash flow and raises warehouse storage costs until those items can be sold. The key is to do the work beforehand so you can make educated predictions on how much inventory you’ll be shipping during any given period of time. You should also be assessing previous sales during parallel time periods before considering spending too much on inventory.
Keep Track of Inventory
Whether you have a lot of inventory or a little bit, you’ll need a precise system of tracking all products coming into and leaving the warehouse. The ideal situation is to have an electronic inventory system that is linked to your point of sale (POS) software. Otherwise, there are just too many opportunities to miscount inventory. It’s also important to consider broken or damaged products and how those are to be managed. Having access to real-time inventory numbers can help in this aspect, as it’s important to know exactly how much product you have at any given moment.
Know Inventory Times
A good tip to increasing efficiency is to know how long inventory takes to be shipped from the supplier to the warehouse. This becomes key when resupplying shipments.
Have a Plan B
All the planning and electronic systems in the world may reduce the instances of something going wrong, but it can’t and won’t prevent any problems from ever occurring. That means you need to always have a plan B; a contingency strategy in case one or multiple parts of your system aren’t functioning. Your customers don’t care that the inventory they ordered isn’t in the warehouse, or that the online shopping cart is sending orders to the wrong system. All they know is that they ordered a product and want to receive that product within the timeframe they paid for.
With all the tedious work and attention to detail that goes into inventory management, it’s no wonder so many SMBs turn to APS Fulfillment, Inc. for all of their inventory control services. We go over the top to make sure each one of our customers get the best service and to let them know that we understand the process for supporting their customers.
Our website has more information on why APS Fulfillment, Inc. is the right fit for your business. There are also plenty of informative blog posts that act as resources to help you through the fulfillment process.