Inventory management is one of the most important functions in businesses today. That’s why it’s a good idea to get a handle on the best practices available today for effective and secure inventory management. These are a few practices you need to be aware of as you make plans for the upcoming year and beyond.
Technology is your friend, if you allow it to be. There are many sophisticated, yet simple to use, tools on the market today that help businesses track inventory more effectively than ever before. Not only can they track the inventory you have on hand, but they can also be used, along with your sales systems, to track inventory that has been consumed or sold.
Why is this important?
It lets you know when the time has come to reorder inventory, first of all. It can also indicate that something may be wrong within the ranks (if you run out of inventory before the proper time for reordering comes along). Sometimes it points out potential deficiencies in your line if consumption of inventory (more produce or meat is being used, for instance, than should be based on the orders placed) is larger than it should be.
Whether it’s indicating the proper time to reorder based on consumption or sales, identifying employee theft, or recognizing a need for retraining that’s brought to attention by using technology, the bottom line is that technology saves businesses money, when used properly.
Create a System of Checks and Balances
Resist the temptation to give one person too much power within your organization. Have a different person responsible for ordering inventory than for checking it in. This reduces the temptation for theft to a large degree. Knowing that it will be a simple matter for someone else to catch on to what’s going on is a huge deterrent for many would-be thieves. Sadly, employee theft accounts for a large percentage of retail theft and cannot be overlooked in any business.
Install Security Cameras in Strategic Locations
Security cameras do deter theft. It’s wise to have them in retail areas within your store that are often targeted for theft, but also remember that it’s important to have them near cash registers, in stock rooms, and in the loading dock area where inventory is often checked in before being brought into the building.
Invest in Adequate Insurance Coverage
Businesses need all kinds of insurance. It’s easy for the important types of insurance to get lost in the mix. However, general liability insurance needs to be at the top of the list in order to protect inventory even from physical damage such as fire damage. That said, crime insurance doesn’t fall much behind in order to provide protection from potential theft of your inventory.
When you put these practices into play, you should find that your inventory management efforts are more successful than ever before. See what a difference they make for your business by implementing them right away.