Keeping track of inventory is a challenge at the best of times, but as a business grows and has to spread its product across multiple offices and warehouses — it can become a nightmare. Thankfully, there are tools and resources to help take the stress out of dealing with multi location inventory. With the right system in place, you can streamline your inventory management and take a load off your mind while boosting revenue and making everyone’s job easier. Here are some tips for the smart handling of your business’s complete inventory.
Be meticulous when it comes to tracking inventory
When one mistake makes its way into your business’s inventory counts, it can quickly lead to others. Especially when these little errors are spread across multiple locations, they can accumulate and make for very inaccurate reporting. In order to stay on top of things, it’s a good idea to do a little bit every day and double-check your inventory on an ongoing basis. Remind employees that they need to take their time when counting and that any product which is damaged or lost should immediately be removed from the inventory list. Keeping a close eye on inventory will also help you quickly identify any suspicious inconsistencies or issues.
Go location by location
In addition to having an overall tally, it is important to know exactly how much product is at each location. Whether you’re storing things in warehouses of offices, you should use a cloud-based ERP system to keep track of what is where. This will ensure you don’t order too much or too little and will also save you time locating a product when you need it.
Fully integrate with suppliers
Integrating with your suppliers will make it easier to maintain an appropriate inventory level across multiple locations. Your ordering process will naturally become much more efficient and you’ll easily be able to view information about price, availability, lead times, and backorders. By integrating suppliers within your enterprise resource planning system, they’ll be able to see when your inventory levels drop and be prepared to send you more products. With everyone operating on the same system, regardless of where they are based, your supplier is more likely to have what you need as soon as you make your order.
Don’t underestimate the power of analytics
Every decision you make within your organization should have a strategic element attached to it. Having access to high-quality data will empower you to make smart decisions when it comes to managing your inventory. A good system will allow you to monitor things like turnover rate, or the rate at which stock is turned over throughout the year. This will allow you to make more accurate orders and ensure that you’re making the most of the space and capital you have available.
Backup, backup, backup
When you’ve got multiple locations on the go, it is critical to have your inventory data backed up at all times. If something happens and you’re not protected, the time it takes to recover data could be devastating and result in lost orders and lost business. Going cloud-based will ensure you’re protected even if you’re having computer or server problems at one or more of your locations.