3 quick fixes to improve your inventory management

Sam Phipps

Last updated: April 17, 2023
Sam Phipps

With Brexit, Covid & everthing else going on, the world is plagued by uncertainty. With many businesses in a constant state of limbo, its hard to understand how even small decisions may impact their operations. Therefore, it is difficult to make strategic plans as we simply don’t know how things will pan out. In this article we explore 3 ‘quick’ fixes to dramatically improve inventory management in your business.

Given that virtually every aspect of your business could be hit by disruption, where should you focus your attention? What projects should you prioritise to safeguard your organisation from the challenges that lie ahead?

The only thing that we can expect is change. After all, the business environment will look very different in 12 months times compared to today. Consequently, organisations must now take action to gain greater control of their supply chain in order to minimise risk factors such as excess stock while still maintaining (if not improving), customer satisfaction.

We have outlined three potential projects to improve inventory management in your business. These simple (although not easy) actions will help prepare you for the future – how ever it may look!

Spring clean your inventory

Many organisations provide customers with a huge selection of products in order to satisfy the various needs. However, managing large assortments is hugely time consuming and can come at a great cost to the business.

Given that the level of risk also increases with the size of the assortment, there is no point investing time, effort and money into products that add no value to your business. Thus, given that disruption could impact supplier relationships, or worse, demand from customers, it is vital that steps are taken to minimise your exposure to risk as much as possible.

Which items in your assortment give the most value to the business? Which item only costs you money? Through undertaking a carefully considered ABC-analysis, you can gain valuable insight into your assortment. This in turn will help you make more informed supply chain decisions as well as focus your attention to where it is required most.

We are always thinking ahead to the next season where, no doubt many new items will be introduced. Given that some older items may now be left with decreasing demand, now is the perfect time to conduct an audit of your assortment.

Hint – you can’t improve your approach to inventory management until you understand how the land lies

3 Fixes To Improve Inventory Management

Eliminate obsolete stock

After reviewing your assortment, you will likely find that a number of items no longer sell. While you have invested valuable capital into these items, holding them will only cost you money. So how can you painlessly remove these items from your assortment?

Eliminating waste takes great courage. While there is no question that holding high levels of obsolete stock is bad for business, removing these items from your operation is often easier said than done. To help you make this decisions, we have put together a simple 4 step guide to managing obsolescence.

Collaborate with your suppliers

Minimum order quantities, lead times and even reliability of your suppliers all have a major impact on your inventory. Evolving trade deals could radically change how you work with your suppliers. What can you do to establish stronger relationships with supply partners? Where do you begin?

Even for organisations with the most efficient of internal operations, finding ways to work more effectively with suppliers can unlock hugely lucrative performance improvement opportunities. Through taking steps to monitor supplier performance as well as share information more effectively, you can strengthen your negotiation position, assess and drive down supply chain costs.

The last couple of year’s may have presented you with some big challenges, however, there are plenty of ways businesses can help themselves by reviewing and improving the way that they work. These are just three examples that our network of over 1200 customers have adopted to set the basis for improved inventory management.

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