Put Your Management Hat On: How to Do Inventory

management tips

Are you a new manager? If so, you are probably dreading inventory management. If you don’t know how to do inventory, read this guide and know how.

Did you know that the retail industry in the U.S. loses $45 billion each year in inventory shrinkage?

With the numbers being what they are, there is a chance your business is also losing money. Performing inventory is an important managerial responsibility every business owner should master.

If you want tips for how to do inventory with fewer losses, check out this article.

1. Identify Your Products Early On

Many businesses sell products at different price points. You need to especially keep track of the highly-priced products, because losing them will present a major financial setback. Before you do inventory, identify your products’ price points.

Make sure all of your products have a specific identifier. This will help employees sort them out when it’s time to take the inventory. 

You can either use the name or code from the manufacturer or come up with your own identification strategy. Utilizing a small business inventory management system is the obvious solution to help maximize accuracy.

2. Always Keep Your Warehouse Organized

If your warehouse is not organized, taking the inventory will be a nightmare.

A messy and unorganized warehouse will only delay your inventory process and chances are you will end up with incorrect figures.

Always keep your warehouse organized for optimal results. However, leading up to inventory, get rid of any accumulated clutter.

3. Try to Avoid Spreadsheets

Creating a spreadsheet to keep track of your inventory is usually an easy task. However, there can be many glitches with spreadsheets, such as accidentally deleting a cell or a column.

Instead of using a spreadsheet, use an inventory management software to help you keep track during the whole process.

4. Use Purchase Orders (PO)

It doesn’t matter what type of products you sell, you always want to make sure you create a paper trail. Never order inventory without using a purchase order.

Once you have the paper trail, you can enter it into an inventory management software.

5. Compare Your PO During Delivery

After you place an inventory order using a PO, compare it during delivery.

Ensure you leave a responsible team member in charge of comparing the delivery with the order sheet. This way, you will easily catch discrepancies on the spot.

6. Try Setting Minimum Stock Levels

Setting minimum stock levels ensures you never run out of the most popular items, but it can also help you during inventories.

Using this strategy can help you get a basic idea of how much inventory you actually own. This is a smart entrepreneurial decision.

7. Perform Regular Checks

The last thing you want to do is wait until you have a formal inventory to see your stock levels.

Make sure you perform regular inventory walk-throughs to ensure discrepancies don’t take you by surprise. Randomly compare your physical stock to what your system indicates.

How to Do Inventory: The Bottom Line

Now that you know these tips for how to do inventory, it is time to apply them in real life.

If you want to read tips on how to jazz up your store for the holiday season, check out this article.