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There’s the inventory management task that comes around like clockwork — when it’s time to reconcile inventory.
It’s when your inventory management system gets put to the test. And it’s the moment of truth that reveals inventory problems, such as insufficient, slow-moving, excess, obsolete or discontinued stock.
Maybe you feel you have good inventory management, but things have gone wrong in the past, costing you time and money (like the pallet of unusable sugar sitting the warehouse).
With a few tweaks to your inventory management techniques, you’ll be able to keep your stock levels, cash flow and bottom line in top shape.
Keep your inventory audit schedule tight
What’s the best inventory audit schedule? Annually, monthly, weekly…daily? It depends, of course, on you and the size of your business.
Here’s the thing…daily spot checking will help you identify smaller issues (like an A-category raw material getting close to expiration) and take action (such as recycling the item). Leaving too much time between inventory checks can increase the chances for (unpleasant) surprises.
Revisit third-party partnerships
You rely on suppliers to get your goods to you on time. Frequent, late deliveries and inaccurate orders mess with inventory levels (and paralyze production). It might be time to revisit the partnership.
Another partnership to reassess is vendors. Some vendors will set up an auto-restock on your finished goods inventory. This can take the hassle out of reorders and work well for stock with a consistent turnover. But inventory needs can change with the blink of a customer’s eye, leaving you with too much or too little stock. Ultimately, you know and monitor your inventory needs the best.
Upgrade your inventory management software
If you’ve been doing your inventory by hand and your business has grown, it’s probably time to get a software system to help you regulate your inventory levels.
A cloud-based solution (typically purchased by subscription with transition and maintenance support) will track your inventory in real time. This will give you the ability to automate reordering and monitor supply chain management — with a simple click from your tablet or phone.
Ultimately, getting your inventory management to a place where you can work less (by refining your system or automating with software) and increase profits (due to accurate reporting and valued partners) will allow you to do what you do best — grow your business.
What’s your experience with managing inventory: smooth as silk or more on the head-scratching side? Let us know in the comments!
At Ingredient Exchange, we take problem inventory off your hands (including pick up) and turn it into cash. Got expired, off-spec or discontinued ingredients you’d like to move out of the warehouse? Give us a call today: 314-872-8850