Proper inventory management is one of the most important parts of running a profitable store. Without it, businesses run the risk of losing revenue due to lost or misplaced items, as well as over and understocking inventory. Businesses like restaurant and grocery stores stand to lose even more money from poor inventory management when perishables start to expire after sitting on the shelves for extended periods of time.
For small businesses, in particular, the biggest obstacle standing in the way of inventory management is technology adoption. In fact, more than 40% of small businesses still track and manage their inventory manually with spreadsheets or pen and paper. Not only is this an inefficient approach to inventory management, it also increases the likelihood of making costly mistakes when stock-taking and reordering supplies.
The good news is that there’s no rocket science involved with rolling out a new inventory management system. In fact, most platforms are quick and easy and will have businesses keeping better records of their supplies in no time.
Let’s look at some reasons why businesses should move away from manually tracking and reordering products, and switch over to a platform that uses inventory management software instead.
Inventory Tracking Becomes Automated
Inventory management software removes the need for manual stock-takes, reducing the likelihood of outages and helping businesses stay on top of their inventory levels. Furthermore, software tracking is a more effective and efficient way to monitor inventory. Instead of requiring employees to spend hours counting in-store products, a computer system is able to come up with supply levels for each product instantaneously.
Replenishing Stock Becomes Automated Too
Good inventory management systems give store managers the opportunity to set reorder points for each individual product. And when the system detects that an item’s quantity is below that point, managers can have the system automatically alert you that it’s time to reorder a product. Setting reorder points up is as simple as determining the number a product has to decrease to in order to trigger this point, as well as the maximum amount of products needed to replenish the stock.
Enabling reorder points is an efficient way to keep inventory at its optimum levels. When setting up, the system ends up doing most of the work, and all the store manager has to do is confirm the reorder points and create a purchase order – making the whole process far quicker and more efficient than doing it manually.
With Erply’s stock replenishment report, you can filter by location, suppliers, and product groups. Then you can capture the information you need to immediately create a purchase order or transfer stock.
Ordering Inventory Becomes Easier
Thanks to the popularity of inventory management systems, placing purchase orders and connecting with distributors has become more convenient than ever. Instead of going through handwritten notes or cumbersome spreadsheets, purchase orders are done from one easy-to-use platform.
With Erply, ordering products are easy and take only a few minutes to do. Simply bring the item up by scanning or typing in the barcode or name of the product. After that, determine the quantity of products you want to order. You can also make other adjustments, including:
- Your delivery/store location.
- Quoted delivery date.
- Tax rate.
- Sales markup.
If you need to make any further changes at a different time, hit the save button and come back to the order form later. Otherwise, confirm your order and then select the Print/Sent button to email the form to your supplier.
Purchase orders can be created out of the stock replenishment report, or you can start a new one in the system on your own.
Requesting Undelivered Items
Every now and then, you may run into an error on the distributor’s end – like not receiving the full shipment of items ordered. While these mistakes are easy to remedy, businesses manually managing their inventory have a harder time noticing these errors and end up paying for items they never received.
Management platforms like Erply make it easy to track incoming inventory, as well as helping businesses keep track of undelivered items. You can then create a purchase order and send it to the distributor, informing them of the missing items and quantity that need to still be delivered.
Inventory Optimization Is a Must for all Businesses in Retail
Without the help of inventory management software, businesses run the risk of having outages between delivery cycles. Not do outages hurt businesses by preventing sales, they can also have a detrimental effect on the reputation of a store, which can cause customers to leave negative reviews online or shop with competitors.
For this reason, it’s absolutely essential for businesses to know the number of a given product they have in the store at any time. Stores are also recommended to come up with a minimum amount of a product that they’re willing to have on hand before replenishing their inventory. Furthermore, businesses selling perishable goods must spend extra time optimizing and tracking their inventory, in addition to adopting a first-in, first-out (FIFO) system so that they don’t order more items than they’re able to sell.
Businesses who struggle with managing their inventory are encouraged to seek the help of a third-party inventory management agency or switch over to an inventory management platform like Erply that makes adding and ordering products easier.
Take Control of Your Inventory with Erply
For people who’re still managing their products manually, inventory optimization can be a daunting, time-consuming task. Fortunately, platforms like Erply make it easier for businesses to better manage their inventory by helping shopkeepers keep track of products as they’re coming and leaving the store. This enables businesses to optimize their stock levels so that they’re always able to keep products on hand, while also adapting to shopping trends and changes in the marketplace.
Ultimately, an optimized inventory does more than just increase sales. It also helps to boost the business’ reputation and ensure that company money isn’t spent ordering products that the store doesn’t actually need.
If you’re looking for a platform that makes adding and ordering inventory quick and easy, as well as gives you more control over your store as a whole, we can help. Call or email us today to learn how you can use Erply to optimize your inventory and boost revenue, regardless of how big or small your store is.
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