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How To Improve Inventory Management: A Guide to Smarter Inventory

The painstaking days of checking spreadsheets and staying overnight to do laborious one-by-one stock counts are over. With modern software, the process of doing real-time inventory management counts is made incredibly easy and streamlined. By using the right applications and metrics for your retail company you can analyze and predict inventory needs with great accuracy and ease.

Better yet, your inventory management software can – and should! – be built into your POS system. Your counts and orders can be automatically updated and tracked with a smart and powerful point of sale system, like COMBASE. But how exactly does the most robust POS system on the market improve your inventory management? Read on to learn more.

  1. Inventory management software
  2. Inventory control techniques
  3. Avoid stockouts
  4. Product reporting
  5. Supply chain management
  6. Perpetual inventory
  7. Remote cloud access

1. Better Inventory Management With Modern Technology

Improving inventory management starts with having the right software at your disposal. COMBASE cloud-based POS system offers all-in-one sales and inventory data analysis that does the hard work for you. Free up your precious time by implementing software that provides insights and predicts inventory levels to ensure you have the right amount of stock for the right items.

Use stock-keeping units (SKUs) to easily scan products into your system and count stock levels. SKUs enable the user to account for items much more quickly, tracking sales and inventory counts across multiple locations. Smart POS software and logistics will equip you with detailed information to track items from your supplier all the way through your shipment delivery through eCommerce sales or in-person transactions.

2. Maintain Inventory Control: Use Past Data To Predict Future Needs

Utilize your POS sales data to assist your company in forecasting demand. Ordering for many retailers will require some seasonal fluctuation. By analyzing data from previous quarters, holidays, and seasons, your POS system can guide you towards predicting and implementing a plan for maintaining necessary inventory levels for future periods. This automated functionality will save you valuable time, money, and aggravation.

3. How To Manage Stock: Avoid Those Costly Stockouts

Not being able to fulfill purchases because of a lack of stock can be hugely detrimental to your cash flow. Using predictive software will not only aid you in accessing information showing previous sales data for particular periods but will also notify you when you are potentially running low on items. Avoid running out of goods by letting COMBASE take the reins and automatically reorder stock when you need it.

4. How To Improve Inventory Management With Product Reporting

COMBASE comes with preloaded inventory management software that offers key performance indicator measurements and automated ABC analysis to manage your inventory effectively. Learn more in-depth information about your products to help push slow-moving items out or bolster your top performers.

Retail KPIs

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are a series of evaluation tools to fully understand the profitability of your inventory and eliminate product blind spots. These include inventory turnover ratio, inventory write-offs, gross margin return on investment (GMROI), stockout rate, and more.

ABC Analysis 

ABC analysis is a tool to categorize your inventory into three different levels (A, B, and C) based on their profitability. The A category generally refers to items with the most value. These need to be monitored closely and protected. The B category refers to items in the middle range of productivity and revenue. Finally, class C are the items that are less vital to your business and offer lower profit margins and sales volume.

For the sake of inventory, ABC analytics enables your business to fully understand what items to emphasize and prioritize. It’s a highly useful tool in making sense of the value and importance of specific stock items. Powerful POS technology offers built-in, ready-to-use ABC analytics.

5. Understanding Your Supply Chain

The ability to predict and foresee the time it takes for the supply chain to deliver your inventory is crucial. In the business world, this is referred to as “lead time.” This refers to the total life cycle of the entire process of ordering your product from your factory or supplier until it arrives at your warehouse to be sold.

It is necessary to have a full understanding and record of lead reports to show how long the supply chain replenishment will take for each individual product. Predictability, this area can make or break your capacity to restock items that your customers want. Keep your cash flowing by always having the right stock available.

6. Consider Perpetual Inventory

With the current capabilities available in modern POS systems, companies now have the ability to seamlessly implement ongoing omnichannel counts for all of their inventory. In the retail space, this type of management is called “perpetual inventory.”

Every time an item is scanned into your stock, put on a shelf, purchased on eCommerce, or returned to a brick and mortar store, it updates the inventory count instantaneously.

This type of inventory management centralizes your stock counts into a single system with omnichannel sales across many different locations and avenues. This proactive approach allows you to know everything about your inventory in real-time, preventing theft, avoiding overcompensation for storage space, and providing immediate feedback.

7. Monitor Remotely With Cloud

Cloud-based POS solutions offer the best way to track inventory counts remotely from any device with internet access. Log into your account to view your sales figures or monitor your inventory from the comfort of your home, while traveling, or from any of your brick and mortar locations. Check out all of the amazing features that COMBASE has to offer with a product demo today!

FAQ on Improving Retail Inventory Management

1. How do I fix poor inventory management?

Running ineffective inventory management is extraordinarily costly for businesses. To fix poor inventory management, start by getting the a modern software that automates many of your inventory operations. Next, look at your product and sales reports to identify any major trends. Such an audit will help identify problems areas that need fixing. Finally, implement changes to your inventory operations to streamline processes, increase efficiency, reduce errors, and keep sales consistent.

2. What is inventory control?

Inventory control is the process of optimizing your inventory management procedures in order to maintain healthy levels of stock on your shelves and in your storage/warehouse. Inventory control helps businesses prevent both overstocks, that use precious storage space and stall cash flow, as well as stockouts, that harm overall sales and alienate customers.

3. What are inventory management techniques?

There are dozens of different inventory management strategies, but the most common include, just-in-time (JIT), FIFO, LIFO, custom par levels, minimum order quantity (MOQ) perpetual counts, and safety stock ordering.

4. What is greatest challenge of managing inventory?

The biggest challenge for most retailers is figuring out how to optimize their ordering processes.  It’s important to use inventory reporting and sales analysis of your POS software in conjunction with industry trends to identify the ideal levels of inventory to order.