The Simple Guide to Inventory Management for Ecommerce
Businesses that want to remain successful need to make inventory management a priority. Developing a system for effective inventory management is an important way for you to track and balance stock, lower costs, and keep your customers happy. Read on to learn more about how to take your inventory management to the next level.
The Importance of Inventory Management Systems
Without a system in place for managing inventory, companies run the risk of misplacing or miscalculating their stock, increasing their amount of backorders and hindering their ability to fulfill their customers’ orders. There are many problems that can arise if you do not have good inventory management practices for your company.
If you do not have a way to track your inventory, you may put your company in a position where you are unable to fulfill orders. Without a way to keep track of and balance your stock, you might have customers purchase items that you do not have available, or you might have to constantly tell customers that a specific product is out of stock. When this happens, it can negatively impact your reputation and decrease your customers’ trust in your company. Frequent backorders and problems with order fulfillment can cause customers to choose other companies over yours when they are purchasing items.
Without a system to track your inventory, you might find yourself overstocking your warehouses. This can prove costly for your company because you have to store extra inventory and you do not have the demand needed to sell these items. A proper management system will help you track your supply and demand so that you never overstock your products.
Maybe your company does not have any problems with balancing supply and demand and managing stock right now, even without an inventory management system. While this might seem fine for your small business at its current size, it severely limits your company’s growth potential.
With more customers purchasing your items, you will find that it will be increasingly difficult to manage your inventory and fulfill orders. This will only become more problematic if you decide to sell your products using multiple channels. Your methods of manually managing your inventory will prove ineffective as your company begins to grow.
If you want to ensure your inventory management system is as efficient as possible, there are a few practices that you should implement. Here are some the some of the actions you should take in order to optimize your inventory management:.
Track Supply and Demand Trends
In order to prevent overstocking or overselling, it is imperative that you track trends regarding your supply and demand. Look at your sales data for the past year or two. Do you have a specific product that tends to sell well during the summer months? When did the demand for the product start to increase? Does the demand for any of your products seem to fluctuate? These are the types of questions that should be analyzed and considered when you prepare to order your products.
If you track supply and demand trends, you can avoid problems fulfilling orders. For instance, if your company sells notebooks, you might notice a sharp increase around the time students go back to school followed by a steep decline. Make note of when this original increase begins and make sure to have plenty of stock in order to fulfill your demand, and order less stock when you know less people are purchasing your product.
Prepare for the Holidays
Tracking your inventory is especially important around holidays when many companies notice the demand for their products tends to shift. The worst time to find yourself out of stock or unable to fulfill an order is around Black Friday or Christmas. Prepare for these holidays by tracking your supply and demand trends and placing orders accordingly.
Set Minimum Stock Levels
One of the best ways to ensure that your products are never backordered is to set minimum stock levels. Using your data from previous years, come up with a specific, minimum number for each of your products. When your stock for a particular item reaches this number, you should have a system in place to make an order. This number should be high enough that you have enough of your item available while you wait for the next shipment to arrive.
Use Inventory Management Software
If your business wants to keep a positive reputation, increase profitability, and remain scalable, you should consider using inventory management software. Regardless of the methods you choose to track supply and demand trends and balance your inventory, it will be hard to keep up with your orders when your company grows. With inventory management software, all of the heavy lifting regarding order fulfillment and inventory tracking is done for you, so you do not have to worry about overstocking a product or running out of an item that your customers need.
Listing Mirror is the best inventory management software because it allows you to sell your products using multiple channels, like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart, and it helps you manage your stock throughout all of your channels. Listing Mirror will even work with your existing order fulfillment company if you are already using one.
With Listing Mirror, your company can take advantage of inventory sync across platforms and channels, multi-warehouse support, automated tracking updates, and other features that will help your company remain successful as it grows. With this listing software, you will never have to worry about overstocking or overselling again.
For more information about how Listing Mirror can help your company manage its inventory, explore our website.
Sell More. Work Less.
Erin is the Co-Founder of Listing Mirror.