In an industry where disorganized inventory greatly affects customer satisfaction directly, extra effort is required when managing said inventory. This is because things are moving so fast and there are various products and multiple locations to manage. Having accurate data can greatly aid in efficient decision-making. Streamlined inventory management captures enough information to minimize expenses from overstocks and stockouts.
From the acquisition of products, to their distribution and retail, inventory management is one of the toughest tasks to handle. It requires a lot of time, and is also prone to human error.
Below are the most common problems a general store usually faces and their solutions:
This sounds really costly and upsetting. When your business suffers from stock-outs frequently, especially with household items, there is a big chance you will lose customers and decrease sales.
Solution: Getting alerts or indications that the inventory in a certain location on your map has reached a certain threshold will help you be aware of the items you should include on your next replenishment.
Overstocking often results in expired items, but it can also be a consequence of inefficient inventory monitoring. This is very crucial, and a keen eye is needed to monitor expiration dates, not only with the existing items in your inventory but also for the incoming products. For General Stores, the First-in First-out (FIFO) process is common in inventory management. Failing to follow this may cause the expiration of old products.
Solution: Similar to the solution for stock-outs, getting alerts for expired items, or items that are about to expire is a great way of knowing the order in which items should be sold, disposed, or replaced. This will help you avoid selling expired items and the costs of spoiled goods.
Data Inaccessibility and Miscommunication
Everyone involved in the business should have access to data that is important to their roles. Information should be available whenever they need it. Lack of access may affect their productivity.
Miscommunication causes chaos in business data and can result in bad decision-making. There are updates that are not being extended to every member of an organization. There are also mistakes that are not accounted for due to a lack of activity records in the store. This can cause misunderstanding and confusion.
Solution: A centralized inventory monitoring can be achieved by having a system that increases the accuracy of operations. With the help of a centralized system and employees having access to it, everyone in the business will know every update in the business. It also holds enough information for employees to identify products and other information about changes made within the business.
When there are numerous products as well as multiple locations, keeping track of every item and location becomes really challenging. Ineffective inventory management could lead to missing/lost products, low visibility, and poor inventory replenishment decisions.
Solution: Investing in a good inventory management system that does not offer random features but meets your actual needs will be a great help. Barcoding, product information optimization, centralized inventory management, and inventory visibility are great features you’ll get in exchange for a small price compared to the possible losses you may encounter due to poor inventory management.
All the problems above are common and mostly encountered when doing manual inventory management. An inventory management system can ease the trouble of managing a store’s inventory. The system that best fits your needs can simplify your day-to-day operation.