Inventory Management Series
Inventory management is vital to any e-commerce business. Establishing an effective inventory management approach keeps you organized, which prevents you from over or underselling, frustrating customers, and losing vital sales. It also equips you with the data you need to make smart investments on the products you sell.
Our Inventory Management articles will help you navigate this crucial part of your business. The series covers all aspects of inventory management so you can establish a strong foundation to increase your sales and profit.
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Chapter 1: What is Inventory Management? - For many businesses, inventory management brings on a feeling of exasperation. But it is a crucial aspect of your business and if there isn’t a good system in place, you can find yourself constantly counting and recounting stock to reconcile incorrect inventory data. Inventory management isn’t just about the stuff you sell. It’s also about taking stock of your cash, labor, and your company’s assets. This makes it massively important because it ensures your business has exactly what it needs when it needs it. Unfortunately, 43% of small businesses don’t track their inventory, or they use a manual, outdated process. Inventory management doesn’t have to be frustrating at all. We go back to basics and define inventory management so it’s easier to understand, implement, and master.
Chapter 2: Common Inventory Management Costs and Myths - If you understand what inventory management is, you know there are many aspects to establishing an effective system. Unfortunately, there are many myths about inventory management that can lead you to neglect it, which can severely affect your company’s bottom line. On the other hand, taking the wrong approach to inventory management can land a business in hot water. If you don’t know what the common inventory costs and myths are, you could be at risk of mismanaging your inventory or losing track of your costs. In this article, we give you the low-down on which costs to monitor and debunk some common myths so you can effectively manage your inventory.
Chapter 3: Create an Inventory Management Strategy - Without a solid inventory management strategy in place, many things can go wrong. Efficiency and productivity slows down which makes it increasingly difficult for a business to meet the demands of their customers. Retailers commonly treat their inventory management strategy as an afterthought. They only get around to building one once their business is up and running. By this point, costs have started to pile up, orders have been delayed, or they might be overstocked with items that aren’t selling. Costs spiral and cash-flow issues set in. It's the perfect storm for causing a business to fail. In this chapter, we walk through the consequences of a poor inventory management strategy and the steps you need to take to build a strong system.
Chapter 4: How to Choose the Best Inventory Management System - While some small businesses can manage their inventory using spreadsheets, there is a point of growth a company reaches where more sophisticated tools are needed to keep track of all of your products. As the company expands, product portfolios diversify, and multiple warehouses are added, manually tracking inventory quickly becomes a daunting, time-consuming task. If you don’t have the right inventory management tools to help you properly manage your time and resources, you might find yourself too stretched to focus on what really matters — nurturing and growing your business. If this sounds like your current situation, then that might mean it’s time to adopt an inventory management system. We walk you through the features to look for and other aspects to consider when evaluating which system to use.
Chapter 5: Avoiding Inventory Management Mistakes And Improving Your System - Managing inventory can be a complex process. It is more than just securing products and generating sales, you also need to focus on tracking the costs for purchasing, transporting, and housing your inventory. If you don’t keep a careful eye on these costs, it can quickly cut into your profits. A key reason many businesses fail when managing their inventory is they haven’t thought about the costs that come with it. Why might these costs go up? Often it is because of basic errors in how data is captured and calculated. Forecasts might be figured inaccurately, staff might enter data incorrectly, or your warehouse might report incorrect inventory levels. In this chapter, we cover the common inventory management mistakes to avoid and what to do to improve your system.
Chapter 6: How To Choose and Operate an Amazon Inventory Management System - Selling on Amazon is a great way to build your business, expand your customer base, and boost your profits. Amazon is the world's biggest ecommerce retailer – reporting a total net revenue of $122.99 billion in online sales – so why wouldn't you want a slice of the action? It isn't all that simple. Selling on Amazon is different than selling on most marketplaces and you have to make sure you're prepared. The backbone of success on Amazon is effective inventory management, especially if you are using Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA). Amazon offers a broad audience for you to sell to, but it is easy to stumble and fall if you are not using the right tools. This is where an inventory management software with specialized features for selling on Amazon can come in handy. We dig into the basics of choosing and operating an Amazon inventory management software.
We also wrote a guide featuring 10 industry leaders discussing what makes the best inventory management software.