We always say “Don’t let your business manage you”. But what exactly does that mean?
A significant factor that is often underestimated in the quest to achieve sustainable growth as an Amazon merchant is warehouse and inventory management. Your inventory is your greatest asset, but it can easily become one of your biggest liabilities if not managed effectively.
Managing inventory begins with tracking it. Barcode scanning can help you achieve accurate inventory in your warehouse in real-time. Understanding key metrics like sales velocity, sell-through rate, and inventory turnover is critical to making decisions that allow retailers to have the right SKU in the right place at the right time.
The more online channels you sell through, new products you launch, or new markets you enter, the harder it becomes to manage your warehouse and fulfill orders from different channels. Managing your inventory effectively means making smart business decisions based on proactively anticipating and taking actions against future demand. We've got three easy ways to do just that below. Here are some ways to achieve simpler inventory management:
The first step in effective inventory management is having an accurate inventory and establishing order fulfillment across all your warehouses and sales channels. However, the more channels you sell through and the more items that you are selling, the more challenging it will be to manage all business data. Most of the retailers have separate e-commerce sites or marketplaces and a brick-and-mortar store. This makes it a highly challenging environment to gather all the data you need for 100% accuracy.
The best way to do this is through centralization. Centralization helps achieve inventory and historical demand visibility, and gathers data from all available sales channels into an umbrella inventory management system and order fulfillment system. Once all this data is gathered in a single, central location, you’ll be able to run comprehensive reports to quickly determine which channels and SKUs are performing best, which products might sell faster on different channels, and much more. If you make this your top priority, you will be able to make smarter, faster and targeted decisions.
Tracking inventory is a manual process that often leads to a lot of number crunching and endless excel files. This laborious process has been proven to cause time-consuming redundancies as well as costly productivity losses and errors. Based on an industry survey, 62% of errors are caused by manual processes in inventory management.
You can reduce redundancy and increase productivity by automating manual processes. This streamlines multi-channel sales, purchasing, inventory, fulfillment, and warehousing processes. Automated operations ensures that you can easily receive purchase orders and fulfill customer orders. Plus, you can make decisions immediately without depending on someone else to finish their job. In inventory management and order fulfillment, the most cost-effective and common technology is barcode scanning. Barcode scanning and transactions on mobile devices can also help achieve this goal.
Retailers lose $1.75 trillion every year due to overstocks, out-of-stocks, and preventable returns. The root cause of all these problems lies in inventory mismanagement. With centralized data and automation, retailers gain a holistic and clear picture of all their inventory and order fulfillment operations and make smarter and faster decisions.
Stockouts, overstocking and preventable returns are the 3 most costly problems for a retailer. An inventory management software like Logiwa offers the capability to sort out most of these problems. When you add operational savings such as making your warehouse management team more productive, the gain out of an inventory management system is more than significant.
Written by Cagdas Yildiz
Cagdas Yildiz is the Chief Customer Success Officer and Co-Founder of Logiwa.