Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted on Nov 20, 2015 in Business Tips

Inventory management: Tips to prepare for customer purchasing

Running a small business doesn’t mean you can’t think big or dream big for that matter. Your business may be small in terms of manpower or even turnover, but you still can reach a huge pool of customers or clients, especially through e-commerce platforms and web marketing efforts. However, once you do that, you need to prepare for customer purchasing, because having products available when people actually want to make a purchase is essential in supporting the growth of your business. Although it may seem like a pretty basic and straightforward process, making sure that there is product when a customer wants and is ready to purchase is not as easy as it may look. It takes a highly coordinated effort and it goes all the way back to how efficiently you physically handle products, which also includes storage solutions. If you’re storing your goods in a warehouse or stockroom off-site, then the first tip for your business is invest in warehouse shelving units that allow you to efficiently handle goods.


Tip #1: Don’t underestimate storage


Indeed, while inventory management is all about forecasting demand and ordering sufficient goods without overstocking, preparing for customer purchasing goes beyond effective stock ordering. Once you’ve got everything you ordered, you need a good storage system to make sure that all products are loaded fast and safely and retrieved the same way once an order is placed. Picking errors and slow product movement result in long lead times and customers today are comparing your services against those of e-tail giants such as Amazon or eBay that get the products into their hands incredibly fast. Investing in the right type of warehouse shelving units or racking system for your stockroom can help with the speed of product handling operations, which improve inventory management processes.


Tip #2: Facilitate order entry


There’s nothing a potential buyer hates more than not being able to place an order quickly and easily. You need an order entry and processing system that’s not only user friendly, but also meets the needs of the customer. The more you reduce the number of clicks a customer needs to make to place an order, the better your conversion rate. In addition, you might want to contemplate the possibility of implementing an automated system that triggers an electronic order to the manufacturer, because that way, every time a customer places an order with you, you place an order with the manufacturer, which means your stock levels won’t ever go below a certain level you can set up.


Tip #3: Improve product handling


Many businesses often overlook the importance of physical product handling, just as they overlook the important of the right storage systems. This process refers to the activities of actually picking a product from shelf, packaging it and loading it for shipping. Some products may require stronger packaging as not to be damaged during shipment and this means an extra cost for your business, which obviously needs to be evaluated against the revenue potential of the products through trade-off analysis, but that’s a different area. What’s important here is to improve product loading, storage and retrieval process as much as possible as to reduce any risk of damage to a minimum.