How Do I Maintain Control Over My Inventory?

Construction & Contractors Articles

If you're a small, brick-and-mortar business owner who keeps a stockroom full of inventory, it's vital that you keep accurate bays. Otherwise, you'll have no idea which products you actually have in stock and which ones need to be re-ordered. Few things alienate a loyal customer more than a business owner who never has the one item they need in stock. You only get one opportunity to impress the guests who frequent your doors, and being consistently out of inventory is not the way to do it. Maintaining accurate inventory bays can be tricky, especially if you have multiple employees pulling from the racking, but there are several things you can do to help keep your stockroom neat and true:

Begin With a Legible Labeling System

Divide your racking into individual bays by placing legible labels on each. Your labels should run in a sequential order that makes sense even to someone who's unfamiliar with them. It's much easier to train new employees on your inventory system if it's developed with common sense in mind. Make sure your labels are easy to read and firmly attached to the racking in a way that prevents them from being pulled off throughout regular wear and tear. 

Invest in a Computerized Inventory System

This type of system can be costly to purchase initially, but the money it will save you in misplaced merchandise is well worth the price of start-up. Most come with a mobile scanner, a bar code printer, labels, and software that installs on your office computer. Using this type of system, you'll print bar codes for each of your bays. As you add or subtract a single piece of merchandise to or from the bay, you'll scan the bar code on the bay and then the bar code of the individual item. This effectively scans the item in or out of the bay. The scans you make are automatically adjusted in your inventory and searchable on your office computer. When you have a material handling equipment system like this in place, it's much easier to maintain control of your stockroom. 

Train Employees Well

Once you have your inventory-control system in place, you must train your employees upon its roll-out. The system only works if people use it properly. This means scanning every single item every single time. The first time a piece of merchandise enters or leaves a bay without being properly scanned in or out, your bays are no longer accurate, and you won't be able to safely assure your customer that you do, indeed, have their particular item in stock in the back.

Limit Access to the Bays

Once you have everyone trained on your new inventory system, you need to decide who will have access. Your bays will remain more accurate if you limit the amount of people pulling from them. Trust only your most trustworthy and conscientious employees to access your bays. 

Perform Bay Audits Regularly

Bay audits are your back-up plan should your inventory become skewed. During a bay audit, you'll empty individual bays in the computer, then re-scan every item, effectively putting it back into the bay. You should perform bay audits regularly, on a rotating basis, to maintain the most accurate bays.

If you adhere to this type of system religiously, there's little chance you'll ever disappoint a customer by telling them you have an item in stock that you don't really have. You'll also have a much easier time re-ordering items because you'll know when they're becoming a low-inventory item. This type of inventory monitoring also helps you see which merchandise sells the best in your store. Running a profitable business means keeping an accurate inventory. Do everything you can to keep your bays in check.

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11 March 2015

New Trends In The Construction Industry

My name is Brandon McCauley and this blog is about new trends in the construction industry. In this blog you'll learn about new types of materials that are long-lasting and durable. You'll also find out how new homes and businesses are being built to be more energy efficient. I continually study new trends and the latest developments in construction because this is an interest of mine. I'm always amazed when I see new building and home designs that are out of the ordinary. If you also like learning about new construction trends, I think you'll find my blog very interesting and informative.