While it is expected, every once in a while, that you will lose your keys, it is still a stressful aggravation as the person is typically needing to go somewhere, such as work, school, or somewhere else they do not want to be late for. Searching for keys takes time and slows down productivity and efficiency. The same can be applied to inventory management for your small business.
What is inventory management?
The management of stock and inventory is called inventory management, which includes storage of inventory, ordering inventory, and controlling how much of the inventory is for sale and what price. Inventory management is a part of supply chain management, which is the flow of goods and services. These days, there is software to help keep track of everything from your merchant services account, such as for those who run nail salons, barbershops, hair salons, restaurants, grocery stores or pretty much any business that needs to reorder and / or stock their goods.
What should good inventory management software do?
- Reduce costs, improve cash flow, and boost your business’s bottom line
- Keep track of your inventory in real time
- Help you forecast demand
- Prevent product and production shortages
- Prevent excess stock and too many raw materials
- Allow for easy inventory analysis on any device
- Be accessible right from your retail point-of-sale
- Optimize warehouse organization and precious employee time
- Offer quick and painless bar code scanning to speed up intake
- Allow for multilocation management, tracking inventory across several locations or warehouses
Keeping track of your inventory in real-time helps to prevent product shortages, or at least lets you know how much is left and when to order more so the incoming stock will arrive in time. Using the first in, first out approach, (FIFO) is especially important for products which are perishable, such as makeup, food, sweets, flowers, medication, etc.
When it comes to saving time, space, and money, drop shipping might be a good idea. One way to keep track of your stock is to not have any. With drop shipping, the seller does not keep products in stock, but the orders and details of each purchase are sent to the warehouse, which sends the product to the customer. There are cons to drop shipping, but it is up to the seller to determine if drop shipping is for them.
Other ways to keep track
For any business, keeping track of stock is actually easiest with a Smart POS system, like the Clover Station. In this instance, a spreadsheet might be handy until such a time it is outgrown. There are also a number of apps for keeping track of inventory, depending upon the needs of the business.
You can use the Inventory app to manage your inventory of merchandise or menu items:
- For retail merchants, the Inventory app manages the flow of merchandise you keep in stock.
- For restaurants, the Inventory app manages your menu and automates kitchen ordering.
- For professional service businesses, the Inventory app helps you manage the services you offer.
Do you want an employee to help you manage your inventory? You can do this in the Employees app. Learn more about what you can do with the Employees app. Initially, when you discover you have too many inventory items to keep track of, or you are starting out and want to keep track of your inventory from the start, it can be daunting when trying to determine where to start. Whether your stock is kept in a garage or in a large warehouse, there is an inventory system out there for what you need.
We hope you, the small – mid-sized business owner, got some creative and more efficient ways of managing your inventory. For other blogs you may enjoy on this topic, you can read about “The Benefits of an Inventory Management System.” You can learn more about what the Clover can do for your business and see the choices in selections. Additionally, you can call VMS at (888) 902-6227 and talk to one of our Clover Specialists.