Delivrd: Inventory Management

10 Inventory Management Secrets

The phrase “inventory management” may sound routine and even a bit boring. However, actually it’s a powerful tool that affects not only the profit or loss of your company, but also customer satisfaction. Here are some secrets that may bring your inventory management process to a new level.

1. Name your products clearly. Sounds pretty simple, but helps to avoid confusion when identifying the products and comparing their names in the inventory management system and physical warehouse.
2. Plan your inventory, make forecasts, and have backup plans for each aspect of inventory management. Be proactive and prepared to any possible issues.
3. Have several suppliers for high-sellers. High-sellers are items that have a huge demand, so you may end up with shortage of those items and don’t even notice that. Therefore, an extra supplier sounds like a plan B and will allow you to constantly keep high-selling items in the stock.
4. Establish ongoing “retailer-supplier” relationship. Trusted relationship with your suppliers is half success, so don’t forget to share with them your up-to-date inventory plans.
5. Regularly count your inventory to avoid unexpected stock shortages. Delivrd offers a convenient Inventory Count feature, which is available on the Inventory List page.
6. Carefully check the available stock amount to avoid both out-of-stock and overstock situations. Delivrd has the Reorder Point and Safety Stock features, both of which are available on the product page. Reorder Point means the acceptable minimum of product units in your inventory, after which you should reorder the products from your supplier. Safety Stock means the number of product units in stock after reaching which the products should no longer be issued. As a rule, you first hit the reorder point, and only later, if you failed to manage the stock correctly, you hit the safety stock level. Currently, safety stock is marked with red, whereas the reorder point is marked with yellow for all transactions. Besides, Delivrd displays notifications when the stock falls below the reorder point, and a replenishment order should be created.
7. Manage damaged stock. Sad as it is, but your stock may decrease not only because of sales but also because of the human factor, when warehouse staff may unintentionally damage some items. Besides, the damaged stock can also be shipped from your supplier. Therefore, damaged stock should be properly managed in order to show accurate figures in the reports. In Delivrd, you can activate the damaged stock handling functionality in user settings.
8. Create and maintain inventory documentation. Documenting the standard operating procedures, such as billing instructions, shipping guidelines, product specifications, packaging manuals, and so on, is extremely important for consistency of all processes at the warehouse.
9. Manage inventory at multiple locations. With the growth of your business, it becomes quite tough to manage inventory at one warehouse only. However, you don’t need several inventory management systems for several locations. In user settings of Delivrd, you can turn on the option of handling inventory at multiple locations, making the process easier and more straightforward.
10. Hire a professional to handle your inventory management. Again, as your business grows, you may find it hard to manage the inventory on your own, so it’s always better to entrust this responsibility to a skilled professional.twitteryoutube

Delivrd: Working with Suppliers

9 Tips for Working with Suppliers

For a successful business, it’s crucial not only to find the right supplier but also to establish ongoing relationships with them. Here are some tips and tricks that may help you when working with suppliers.

  1. Note Differences in Time Zones. Remember that if your supplier is located in time zone different than yours, e.g. Europe and the US, it may impact the delivery time and costs.
  2. Pay Attention to Differences in Business Culture. Be prepared that in some countries, attitude is more laid back so adhering to lead times might be limited, whereas other cultures are more accurate. You may also experience issues such as differences in law, quality expectations, language barrier, etc.
  3. Know Differences in Currency. It’s great if your inventory management system supports multiple currencies and exchange rates, as your currency may differ from the supplier’s currency.
  4. Know Differences in VAT Rates. Each country, even each state in the US, has its own VAT rate. Check out the Wikipedia article which has a table of VAT rates for various countries, and be sure to have this table at hand.
  5. Prepare Product Descriptions Beforehand. While you are waiting for new stock to arrive, you can create product descriptions but not publish them until you receive the stock. It may save you lots of time.
  6. Have More Than 1 Supplier for the Same Product. It won’t hurt to have a backup plan for high-selling items in case of issues with a primary supplier.
  7. Regularly Communicate with Your Suppliers. It would be nice to develop the habit of discussing the progress of your business with suppliers.
  8. Use Inventory Management Software to Monitor and Evaluate Your Suppliers. It’s good to keep a database of your suppliers, so that you could store information about them, easily create replenishment orders, and make remarks about the quality of your cooperation.
    Delivrd offers a convenient feature for managing business partners, including the suppliers. Specifically, you can rank the quality of each shipment that you receive from your supplier.
  9. And the most important advice – Pay Your Invoices on Time, according to agreed payment terms.

twitteryoutube

Delivrd: Inventory Manager

Superpowers of an Inventory Manager

An inventory manager is not just a guy lost somewhere between the warehouse racks. Actually, this position requires a unique, “superhero” set of skills, which will streamline a business, if properly applied. Before we dig deeper into those superpower skills, let’s take a look at typical daily activities of an inventory manager.

Superhero Inventory Manager: Daily Routine

 

  • Recording the Inventory. An inventory manager should keep a complete list of company’s SKUs and their characteristics as well as constantly update this list. For smaller companies, an Excel spreadsheet would be enough, but larger companies should use more sophisticated ERP and inventory management tools. Delivrd provides the convenient and easy-to-use Inventory List functionality.
  • Controlling the Stock. Inventory managers are responsible for tracking and controlling the available inventory items. They should always be aware of the number of new items that come from replenishment orders, and they should know which items are either low in stock or overstock. For these purposes, inventory managers can use specialized software such as Delivrd, with which they can count inventory, register issue/receipt, view transaction history, and more.
  • Working with Suppliers. A superhero inventory manager is responsible not only for finding reliable and cost-effective suppliers, but also for maintaining long-term partnerships with them. In smaller companies, an inventory manager can also process replenishment orders for purchase and delivery of new inventory items. Delivrd makes it possible both to keep a list of suppliers and manage replenishment orders with those suppliers.
  • Coordinating the Warehouse Staff. In larger companies, an inventory manager can lead a team of warehouse employees and control how they receive and record new stock. In other words, they should make sure that each item is on its place and there are no shortages.

This is just a rough list of what a superhero inventory manager can do during the day. But it’s not enough just to do it – it’s important how to do it. Let’s see which skills are essential for a true inventory management superhero.

Superhero Inventory Manager: Superpowers

 

  • Strong Math Skills. A superhero in the sphere of inventory management should definitely be a math genius. Unfortunately, inventory management software cannot replace human input by 100%, as the stock amount that is available on warehouse shelves should correspond with the amount in the database. And of course the role of an inventory manager requires more in-depth calculations during the inventory planning and forecasting activities.
  • Brilliant Knowledge of Data Analysis and Forecasting Methods. A good inventory manager should be proactive, not reactive. In other words, they should be able to research the current situation with inventory, make forecasts for the future, and always have a backup plan for emergency cases.
  • Multitasking. A job of an inventory manager is quite versatile, from counting and replenishing the inventory to hiring and managing the warehouse staff. Ability to handle all of those tasks and not to go crazy is for sure a superpower!
  • Organizational and Communication Skills. Ability to negotiate with suppliers, make profitable deals, organize supply and delivery – all of this belongs to organizational and communication skills that an inventory manager should possess.
  • Leadership Skills. As we’ve mentioned earlier in this article, an inventory manager can also be responsible for coordinating other employees and keeping them motivated, so leadership skills are vital here, too.
  • Personal Qualities: Reliability, attention to details, ability to concentrate.

Wow… Seems that being a superhero inventory manager is quite a challenge! But it only seems to be that hard. Actually, if any person, not only an inventory manager, enjoys what they’re doing, they prove to be the most motivated and dedicated employee. Do you agree?

PS: We at Delivrd are doing our best to help our users automate inventory management processes of their companies. Try our free app and see if it can help you become an inventory management superhero!

 twitteryoutube