Why You Should Update Your Inventory Process

June 20, 2017 at 9:37 AMChad Moulder

As more and more companies march towards in-store and online sales integration, it has become clear that there's more than just shipping costs digging into profits.


Why You Should Update Your Inventory Process

Modernizing your inventory management process could be just the change your business needs to stay successful. 


There can be no doubt that as a whole, retail operations have become vastly more complicated within just the past decade. As more and more businesses and companies look to reconcile in-person (in-store) transactions with online sales, the importance of managing that business with an efficient inventory management tool becomes all the more apparent. Poor or inadequate inventory management can open the door to production and order delays, unhappy customers and unexpected expenditures, so it is not difficult to understand the importance of getting it “right”.

The problem seems to stem from the slow adoption of processes and technologies that have been proven to save time and money for businesses in all sectors. For example, according to a recent study 43% of small businesses operating in the United States do not track their inventory or do so through a manual process. In the same study, it was also discovered that 55% of those same small businesses don’t currently track their assets or do so manually. This has resulted in overstocks, out-of-stocks and returns costing the U.S economy more than $1.75 trillion dollars in lost revenue annually, a number that has been steadily increasing. In fact, if you sell a product within the U.S., on average it is costing you $1.43 in inventory costs for every dollar made in sales.

To the business planner looking to forecast costs and sales, numbers like these must seem especially egregious. With nearly $14 billion in industrial assets changing hands and an increase of 15% in eCommerce over the same period last year, many companies may find themselves wondering why their gross margins may not be experiencing the same growth. For some, increasing the number of skus to meet long-tail customer demands has been the solution, but a much more efficient solution is to integrate better processes that remove contributing factors like human error from the equation.

This may be changing, however. As more and more companies look to shore up holes in their budgets, more and more are looking towards taming their inventory as one of the more rewarding opportunities. According to a study by Motorola, 66% of warehouse IT and operations decision makers plan to expand technology investments by 2018, citing automation efficiency and worker productivity as the driving forces behind those decisions.

The benefits of improving tracking and inventory management are numerous, but there are some considerations for businesses still on the fence as to whether to embrace digital solutions (such as All Orders by NumberCruncher) or not. One key consideration that may not be so obvious is that whether you like it or not, customer satisfaction is absolutely an external factor that can affect your ability to forecast inventory or production. Agitating your hard-won customers with low or out of stock items will almost certainly lead your customers to question if their patronage is worth the hassle to get the product and just as a recall can damage a business’ reputation, failure to recognize the value and importance of managing your inventory is a nightmare waiting to happen.

Additionally, for businesses that operate with regulatory or government oversight, proper inventory management can not only improve efficiencies within your business, it can also help to keep your customers safe. In a study by the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers observed that the use of barcode tracking led to a reduction of administrative errors by 41.4% at an academic medical center. In other industries, this might translate into an avoided recall or unexpected costly expenditures so there are other benefits a company can expect to receive by integrating and updating their inventory processes.

If your company is one of the estimated 69% of small to medium-sized businesses expecting revenue growth this fiscal year, it certainly seems worth investing the time and resources to implement an efficient inventory control strategy.

Give your company accurate insights into stock and inventory conditions and see a positive impact on your business’ profitability. Connect with one of our industry inventory specialists today for a free demo or to start your free trial of All Orders from NumberCruncher.

Posted in: AllOrder | Features | General | News | Production | Tracking | training


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