5 Pro Tips for Taking Inventory Effectively

Nobody likes completing inventory. But for any business that sells physical items, taking inventory regularly is crucial for managing your businesses and ensuring stable profits.

Having a fully stocked store or restaurant at all times is key to providing a great customer experience. When inventory is neglected, businesses run out of important products, which leads to disappointed customers who will not come back. 

And if they don’t come back, they’ll head straight to your competitors. 

Lucky for you, this is easy to avoid. Managing inventory isn’t as hard as it used to be. Getting organized and staying on top of your products and materials is about to become a lot easier.

Wondering how? Then keep reading below to discover five important tips for taking inventory so your business can operate much smoother than ever before.

1. Create an Inventory Schedule 

One of the foundational inventory tips to implement is to create a schedule for taking inventory. Taking inventory won’t help you if it isn’t done on a regular basis.

For most businesses, taking inventory once per week might be sufficient. Completing it twice per week is probably a better option, though high volume companies may need to do it more often than this.

Inventory should be completed on the same days every single week, without fail. This will give you the most accurate picture of how your business is doing, how much money you are making, and when to order more supplies.

Many businesses will set an inventory schedule by completing the task on Tuesdays and Fridays, for example. However, you should do it whenever you order more products and materials from your suppliers.

Since inventory shows you what products you have and what products you are low on, it tells you what to order. Complete this task in conjunction with your ordering schedule for seamless product and store management. 

2. Delegate Taking Inventory

If you run a small business, it can be tempting to complete inventory as the owner or manager. After all, you wouldn’t want this task to get screwed up, would you?

But inventory is a time-consuming yet simple task. Business owners and managers have more important things to spend their time on. While you might not want to delegate this task to brand new hires, it should be delegated to any experienced employees that you have who are capable of taking on additional responsibility.

This might be shift leads, assistant managers, or team leaders. While all employees should be trained on how to complete this task, if the delegated employee is unable to do so, choose a few employees who can complete this task on your behalf.

Then, build it into their weekly schedule to ensure they have enough time each week to properly complete it. 

3. Organize Your Store and Storage

The easiest way to skew your inventory management system is to have an unorganized store, restaurant, or warehouse. A messy facility will lead to messed up numbers and poor ordering leading to lost money and unhappy customers. 

Before investing any time and money into your inventory management system, make sure to reorganize your storage to make it much easier to store and count materials. 

You may need to rework your floorplan. Sometimes, hiring a professional to help you complete this task is worth the money.

Invest in floor and wall shelving units. If the shelves are tall, be sure to have step stools and ladders for shorter employees. 

Then, make sure to label all of your storage locations. You want products and materials to be stored in the same place every single time. Employees should never need to waste time looking for products, as it should have a single home.

4. Use the Right Software

One of the worst ways to manage your inventory is to do so on paper. This method is outdated. Cheap, efficient inventory management software is widely available. And it may even be built into some of your existing pieces of software, such as your point of sale (POS) system. 

The benefit of using the inventory system tied to your POS is that items can automatically be deducted from your inventory list, making your job easier. 

If you are in the auto industry, for example, Tire Storage Solutions is the best tire inventory software available in the market.

Though there are times when you need industry-specific software, for example, if you run a lab, a medical facility, or a research center, you may need to manage inventories of chemicals, which can be a bit more complicated.

The software that is available on www.online-msds.com can make this much easier for this specific task since it would be difficult using a standard inventory system. 

5. Keep Items Bundled Together

Another simple inventory tip is to keep bundled items together as much as possible. This will make counting much faster for whoever is completing inventory.

For example, say you run a coffee shop. There’s a good chance you’ll need to buy multiple boxes of cups at a time since you go through them quickly. Rather than removing all of the sleeves of cups from every box, only open one box at a time.

Then, when taking inventory, you can count the number of boxes you have on hand since you know how many cups are in each box. Then you can count the number of cups in the open box.

Also, don’t open all of the cup sleeves right away, either. When cups come in a big box, they will be separated into individual sleeves of 50 to 100 cups. Rather than opening these all, keep them in the sleeve so you can count much faster. 

Every business will handle this a little bit differently, depending on the products and materials they source and how they are packaged. But these little tips and tricks make it much easier to track products later on.

Whatever tips work for your business, be sure to write them down into your standard operating procedures (SOPs) so that all team members do things the exact same way. 

Grow Your Business With Inventory Management

Taking inventory is a boring and redundant task. But so is much of the day-to-day operations in a business. Doing so is crucial to ensuring you have enough products to serve your customers and make the most profit.

And honestly, that sounds pretty exciting.

Looking for more tips like this? Head over to our blog to find other ways to improve your business. 

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