When you think about inventory control, you consider things like lost sales, overstocks, shrink, etc. These are all important facets of the inventory management process, but what are the underlying reasons for this?
Managing your inventory properly can first and foremost reduce your cost of doing business. If you maintain the proper stocking levels of the items that you actually sell, then you can reduce overhead in the form of excess inventory, or inappropriate inventory, whether it's out of season or simply overstocked for the season. This is a no-brainer and will reduce the bottom line operating costs in your business, making everything else you do more profitable.
Next, you can increase sales. This works two ways.
First, if you have the items that people actually want, and you always have them in stock, then customers will become repeat customers because they KNOW they can't get what they want from you, and not the guy down the street. Pay close attention to item sales trends and pick your stocking and shelving arrangements carefully to highlight popular items so people will come to you first.
Second, keeping your inventory lean and efficient allows you to be flexible. You can use that extra cash flow to invest in new and innovative products, or the latest styles, positioning your store as a trend leader, rather than a commodities broker.
Finally, a careful eye on inventory levels allows you to understand the ebb and flow of your business as it relates to overhead, sales trends, and more. This mastery will help you control your cash flows and make you a more effective business owner, increasing profits and efficiency. More time and more money, who doesn't like that?
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