3 Common Inventory Management Mistakes You Can Avoid

In a retail business, inventory is arguably one of its most important assets. As any merchant knows, inventory is an investment. And, as an investment, that inventory costs you money until the product is sold—from the initial cost of the item to the money it costs to track, store, and insure it. So, it’s incredibly important to make sure that your inventory moves as fast as possible. Moving products means inventory management is going to have to become a top priority—if it isn’t already. Here are three common inventory management mistakes you can easily avoid with the proper planning.

1. Make sure your employees know how to handle your inventory

Woman employee showing a customer options for ordering pants on a handheld deviceEnsuring your employees are qualified to handle your inventory and/or adequately trained on your inventory management system is crucial to avoiding inventory issues. Hire the right people with the right professional experience to manage your inventory—make sure they have the proper background and the proper schooling and/or certifications. You likely have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in your inventory—doesn’t it make sense to pay a little more for a well-qualified person to manage all of it?

Because many inventory management systems are customized for specific business types, even the most experienced inventory specialists may not know your particular system. Make sure that any inventory personnel you hire are well-trained in your inventory management program. Some inventory and point-of-sale system providers offer periodic webinars and training on their programs that are great opportunities to get a “refresher” on the system.

2. Get automated

If you are using a manual process to track your inventory—whether it’s an Excel spreadsheet or a checklist—you need to get with the 21st century. Even the most detail-oriented data entry specialist will make a mistake here and there…you know, because people are human. But that could cost you a lot of money in the long run. Investing in a comprehensive, customized, real-time management system will save a lot of time, money, and hassle when it comes to properly managing your stock and will make for a much easier time fulfilling orders and coordinating shipments…whether you have a single boutique, or a host of locations and an extensive online site.

3. Manage different inventory items differently

Sporting goods store owner with clipboard checking shoe inventory.Unless you only sell one item, it’s very unlikely that your inventory all moves at the same rate. This means you could be ordering too many doodads and not enough gizmos. Because your inventory is unique, your customers’ needs or wants for those items will be unique. Tracking them the same way isn’t going to work, and you could end up wasting a ton of money on all those doodads that just aren’t ever going to sell. An automated system—with flexible purchasing, receiving, tracking, and reporting functions—is going to help your bottom line.

Hopefully, you’re convinced that a comprehensive inventory management system is necessary when managing your stock. Fortunately, Retail Control Systems is here to help your business operate smoother than you ever thought possible! RCS is available to help you understand how a customized, omnichannel point-of-sale system can help you to manage your retail stores’ operations better. Learn more by giving us a call at 1-800-417-3030 or CONTACT US to get started!