Written by Starshipit
Inventory is a word for some people that conjures up visions of endless aisles of boxes to count for some people. But for others, it is another word for money - because you paid money to purchase it and when you sell your stock, you will get that money back - and then some.
Holding inventory ties up cash. That's why good inventory management is crucial for growing a company. Just like cash flow, it can make or break your business.
In another article, we highlighted the reasons why inventory management is so important to any business. We looked to accounting experts, Xero, for some tips on how you can improve your inventory management processes. Here are some of the key highlights:
Using online, real-time inventory software will give you accurate stock data at the press of a button. Choose software that allocates a unique bar-code to each item in stock. Make sure it:
Choosing which software is right for your business will depend on the following:
Starshipit integrates with DEAR Inventory, Cin7 and Unleashed as well as Shopify, Xero, Magento to name a few, so you can build out the perfect platform for your eCommerce business covering inventory management, order fulfilment and shipping, from store to door.
You can also consider other solutions such as Shoplo's Multichannel software which works with Shopify. Multichannel is basically simple inventory management software that syncs your central inventory over multiple channels - one of them being your Shopify web store.
For example, if someone is selling Shopify and - let's say, eBay, they connect their Shopify store to multichannel, import all their products, and then sync their eBay store with Multichannel. From then, their entire inventory is managed from the multichannel dashboard. Get a sale in your Shopify store and your eBay stock will go down by 1 unit. Customers, orders and products are all handled within Multichannel.
The benefit is that the seller spends less time logging into multiple accounts to update inventory - they save time. Also, as we integrate with smaller, more niche marketplaces like Dawanda and Miinto, sellers are able to expand into new markets and find new customers much easier.
Ideally, you’ll never run out of stock – because every time a product is not in stock, it becomes a lost order and, potentially, a lost customer. If you do run out of stock, be sure to respond quickly.
Managing your inventory can feel like a balancing act at times. On the one hand, you want enough stock to meet demand. On the other, you don’t want too much that it costs you.
The key lies in doing your research and using data to make informed decisions. For well-established small businesses, it’s a good idea to use historic sales figures to guide you. For new businesses, you’ll need to delve into industry trends and data to get a feel for what’s on the horizon.
Download this great checklist by Xero to see how you can improve your eCommerce inventory management.
If you would like to try Starshipit for yourself, sign up for a FREE 30-day trial.