For all business types, inventory control and inventory management are key to the smooth operation of the business. This is no different for e-commerce. Inventory is reallyÂ important toÂ any business owner because it allows them to have what they need, when they need it and allows business to continue as usual. With advances in technology with regards to selling, new difficulties emerge in relation to inventory control for e-commerce. In particular, the task of managing different customers over different channels while maintaining a professional level of service and maintaining a fully functional website 24 hours a day.
A few ways that inventory control can be applied for e-commerce purposes are as follows:
Just in Time — This is an inventory management strategy that increases the efficiency of your inventory. It operates on the principal of receiving products into your inventory only as they are in need in the sales/production process. For just in time inventory management, the business must forecast their sales based on their existing sales data. In order for this strategy to work effectively, a reorder point inventory management and control software is suggested.
Never Run Out of Stock — This is crucial for the customers’ impression of your business. Your reputation could be irreparably damaged should they see an “out of stock” notice on a particular product that they want. While ensuring that you aren’t over stock, it’s always recommended to allow a small margin (10-15%) on your stock levels of high-selling products. This is to ensure that you’re covered should there be a delay in delivery of new stock.
Distinguish Between Products — Often a business has certain products that sell significantly better than others. Because these products contribute more to your bottom line, it is important that these products garner more attention than the others. These high-selling products can never run out of stock under any circumstances. If your business will be out of stock on certain products, ensure it is of products that are not of the ‘high-selling’ variety.
Ultimately, life will be a lot easier if you choose a reorder point inventory management software that can collate inventory data, financial data and sales data across multiple channels. This will save a lot of time for the business owner and will ultimately optimize the efficiency of the business. E-commerce is the perfect platform to implement inventory management software as they are both immerging technologies that coincide with each other.