Inventory management: 3 common problems in 2020
09 Jan 2020
We have many times mentioned that inventory is one of the main aspects of any business. And every time we speak about the importance of inventory management and its benefits but forget about the most important topic: about common inventory management mistakes or problems we usually do.
Whether everything in business can be perfect. It’s impossible.
If we speak about people and their activities no 100% accuracy is possible.
So what are the common mistakes eCommerce business owners do in inventory management?
Keeping too much or too little inventory on-hand
Having the right amount of inventory is important. Both much and little inventory can cause many problems for you.
Inventory managers will confirm that having excess inventory has its pros. Yes, of course, it’s so. You will be able to fill all orders as soon as they come in. Thus you will satisfy any customers with any demand at any time. You will also guarantee the risk of having shortages. You haven’t to worry about if a product is discontinued.
But among these advantages of having excess inventory, there are many risks: risk of slowing down your cash flow, risk of decreasing quality and value of your products, risk of having obsolete or outdated items. For example, if you have perishable goods, you have to sell them as soon as their expiration date ends. Consequently, you will decrease prices to clear them out. As a result, you will lose money. Besides, you will pay more insurance for it.
At the same time having little inventory has its peculiarities.
You can never predict customers’ demands. If you have too little inventory, there is a risk of out-stocking, and as a result, missing a sale. Missing a sale can cause worse consequences. Finally, out-stocking can bring many unsatisfied customers, as they cannot wait too long to get their orders.
So to keep balance in your inventory and have no inventory management problems is a hard task to overcome.
One of the most helpful ways is the Economic Order Quality (EOQ) equation to calculate the perfect amount of inventory on-hand.
The formula is:
D=Demand in units
Keeping non-effective warehouses
Sometimes warehouse managers cannot realize the importance of warehouse management. It’s not a secret that there can be found many large warehouses with a not properly organized inventory. This can be a problem. Companies can waste too much money on managing warehouses without having real changes in it.
For example, one of the simple methods is to put the most sold items next to the shipping dock. The aim is too clear: every time to pick the necessary item without walking too long. This will save both time and effort.
In short, think about efficiency as every single minute will cost you money and customer.
Using manual spreadsheets
If you are a small business with few products without many variants, manual spreadsheets are good for you. For example, Microsoft Excel is the best way for many companies to track inventory. It’s a program with low-cost, easy and interactive. But it is time-consuming and non-effective for large businesses and too much inventory. In such cases, manual activities can lead to irrevocable mistakes.
For these purposes today many eCommerce business owners invest smart technological systems. Yes, now we speak about inventory management software. This is a wonderful method to manage and monitor your inventory. Due to its good features, you will have great opportunities for automatic synchronization and automatic updating functionality. You will be able to control several channels and warehouses at the same time.
Don’t be shocked! It’s a reality. You can try and ensure yourself.
Without any doubts, I will suggest you try eSwap(now you have a 14-day free trial). It’s one of the best solutions in the market with dozens of good features and integrations.
In case of any difficulty or misunderstanding, you are welcome to contact us.
Our support team is ready to answer any question and help you.