Originally Posted On: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/inventory/tips-to-streamline-inventory-management/
Inventory management may seem like something you can put on the back burner as a small business owner, but poorly managed inventory may hurt your business. In this post, we’re walking you through streamlined inventory management tips that can improve your retailer relations.
For example, e-commerce retailers enjoy fast-paced sales, but customers may buy only one or two items in every order. On the other hand, business owners considering expanding into wholesale have a new pool of customers who are purchasing hundreds of products in every order. While that’s great for business, you’re now dealing with an even greater amount of inventory to keep track of.
So how do you scale up inventory management and fulfillment to move all that stock sitting in your warehouse? Read on for the QuickBooks guide.
- Offer drop shipping to reach a wider market
- Optimize warehouse layout to boost efficiency
- Implement QuickBooks Commerce inventory management software
- Final thoughts
If your business centers around wholesaling, there are plenty of ways to get your brand out there. For example, you could join a public B2B marketplace or take part in a trade show to get retailers to place a wholesale order with you. This way they can carry your products in their stores, boosting your bottom line.
For business owners who are currently selling on e-commerce platforms like Shopify or Amazon, you may want to consider offering dropshipping as a means to garner increased exposure and cash flow for your brand. In this scenario, your retailer would not keep any of your products in stock. When orders come in, your retailer can push these to you, and then you can ship these goods directly to the consumer.
Note: Read our full guide to wholesale inventory management here.
No matter your business model, it’s important to ensure that your warehouse is optimized to keep up with consumer demand. That also includes retailer demand (if you operate in the wholesale sector) and your own stocking needs.Optimize warehouse layout to boost efficiency
Another way to streamline inventory management is to optimize your warehouse layout. Once you begin expanding your operation to service more clients—especially retail clients and other business-to-business transactions—you may find that having a consistent system better serves your brand.
For example, grouping products that sell often—high-velocity products—is a great efficiency-maximizing strategy. Plenty of time in the warehouse is spent traveling rather than moving products. Finding ways to optimize the travel distances and travel times between portions of your inventory is another great way to cut down on waste.
Furthermore, having a barcode inventory management system in place can help you electronically keep tabs on stock levels, keep your supply chain fluid, and automate business processes. Automated warehousing tools with intuitive inventory classifications can also help to prevent overstocking, human error, and delayed reordering on critical inventory.
Implement QuickBooks Commerce inventory management software
With dedicated inventory management software like QuickBooks Commerce, your retailers and their customers will be able to enjoy real-time status updates on their orders. You can also:
- Track and manage all inventory for better inventory control.
- List and update products across all sales channels at once.
- Track orders and fulfillment across multiple sales channels and locations.
- Keep real-time data on how quickly or slowly certain products are selling.
- Receive notifications when an order is placed, or when it’s time to reorder important inventory.
- Generate purchase orders when you hit your reorder points, so you don’t run out of stock and miss out on sales.
To get started, you need to have a QuickBooks Online subscription. QuickBooks Online has been specifically built to help business owners manage day-to-day business tasks—everything from accounting and bookkeeping to payroll automation and streamlined inventory management. QuickBooks provides you with a suite of business tools that are designed to help you succeed.
Looking for more tips? Check out our guide to inventory management strategies.Final thoughts
In addition to improving enterprise resource planning and maintaining inventory levels, QuickBooks Commerce enables you to build your own custom B2B commerce platform. Plus, it seamlessly integrates with various popular distribution platforms, including Shopify and Amazon. Furthermore, since it’s integrated with QuickBooks Online, you can easily update your payment terms and customize invoices for your B2B customers. Overall, this will make the online payment process more effective.