When it comes to how much inventory you should keep, the general advice is by referring to your purchasing history to determine which designs, colors, and sizes to stock up. Unfortunately, inventory management isn’t always that straightforward, and there isn’t a magic formula that can determine the amount of inventory you should be carrying. However, there are some principles you can easily follow that helps you to plan and manage your inventory better. Here are 5 rules to live by whenever you’re in doubt.
1. Limit the amount of inventory to keep
Keeping inventory at minimal levels allows you to invest your funds into growing your business. To know how much inventory you can keep, consider what an average order looks like for your business, and how much space you can allocate for inventory in your shop. Can you afford to keep more stock at hand, or are you better off ordering when it’s needed? Finding that optimal stock level will help you quickly make purchasing decisions when your stock depletes.
2. Keep your inventory organized
This is an essential element to proper inventory management, yet not every business adheres to this principle. An organized inventory makes for better inventory tracking and keeping the shirts in good condition, which minimizes the risks of losing stocks and reduces stock wastage. You should have an SOP on how to remove inventory and record that transaction. Consider using inventory tools to ease your workflow. Inventory is your money tied-up in those boxes, so you would want to have every shirt accounted for.
3. Count your inventory regularly
It’s best practice to count your inventory regularly to ensure your recorded count matches actual inventory count. Sometimes when things gets busy, we often forget to record the inventory correctly. Come crunch time, sometimes we have to bypass set policies to deliver an order. Periodic counting will rectify these situations. The last thing you need is finding out the inventory count is off right before you start a big order, so take control before that happens.
4. Plan for the future
Inventory forecasting plays into how you plan for the future. If you are expecting a busy season, you would want to stock up more inventory than usual. You would also need a plan to manage the leftover stock by building a price factor into your sales promotions to cover costs.
5. Maintain a good relationship with your suppliers
One of the overlooked aspects of inventory management is supplier relations. Having good, reliable suppliers is crucial to the growth and health of your business. If you’ve proven to be a considerate and loyal customer, you can negotiate financing terms with them, especially if you’re low on cash at the moment to settle debts or when you want to extend terms on your new purchases. All in all, it certainly pays to be on good terms with your suppliers.
Inventory management is all about having a systematic plan to organize your stock. With these 5 principles, you will have a better idea about how to make the most with your inventory.