How to Successfully Manage Inventory in your e-Commerce Store

Inventory management has been described as one of the most challenging elements in an e-commerce business.  in their businesses. Statistics have shown that 75% of all supply chain professionals think that their inventory management processes can be improved upon. Furthermore, 48% of all companies actually say that they would like to re-evaluate where their warehouse is located. 

The fact of the matter is that in most cases, supply chain and inventory management is simply outdated. So, what can you do to start improving your inventory management and how can you streamline it to make it more effective going forward? We took a look at some of the top ways that you can create a seamless inventory management system in your company. 

Automate as Much as Possible 

The trick to running your e-commerce company is getting your processes right and then automating them. Luckily, there are tons of tools and platforms out there for you to choose from to help you out with this. Plus, because there are so many options, you can choose something that works with your budget, as well as with your very specific requirements and needs. 

If, for example, running a fashion retailer, there are some great options when it comes to apparel inventory management. You are able to ensure seamless fulfillment of orders with software developed specifically for apparel and accessories. From there, you can consolidate your products, inventory, and multi-channel sales in one centralized place. This will naturally assist you with accurate forecasting based on past data. 

Audit Your Inventory 

As much as this should be a regular occurrence in most companies, the fact of the matter is that not enough companies do conduct audits. However, they are a vital part of a company’s day-to-day running and are critical in checking your company’s actual inventory levels against your financial records. Audits can either be done in-house, or you can hire a third party to assist you with it. 

Not only do you need to have accurate numbers in your business when it comes to inventory, but it also acts as an early warning system. If there are any faults, flaws or problems in your inventory management system, or accounting methods, this will be the way to figure it out early and get it sorted out! Once again, like automation tools, there are a variety of different tools on the market to choose from. Create a list of considerations you need to make for your company, and make the decision based on that. 

Overhaul Your Inventory Receiving Methods

The receiving of goods and products in your business needs to be as seamless as possible. From receiving, checking in, shelving, and displaying your stock, the whole process needs to be carefully controlled. 

For example, your stock check-in, when was the last time you audited and adjusted this process. You will want it to be as accurate as possible as this has been nodded as the phase where the most errors occur in the inventory management stage.  These errors directly impact the rest of your product line and can lead to over-ordering, false backorders, and unsold stock. Which will naturally impact your bottom line. 

Although it might seem basic, what often goes overlooked is the checking of your stock coming in against the purchase order. Many companies overlook opening and checking all of the cases and containers as soon as you receive them to make sure they are all correct. They rather rely on labels and supplier packaging, which can be problematic, as they can actually be negatively affected by human error. 

The Bottom Line 

There are a ton of options for you to automate your inventory management in your business, and this will not only save you time and money, but it will help you focus your attention on further growth and expansion in the business. However, in saying that, the human touch is still absolutely needed in inventory management. So, keep doing those checks, audits and tracks to make sure you are matching products with your records!