Running out of stock is a business owner’s biggest nightmare, because it automatically leads to a loss of sales. Aside from impacting your bottom line, it drags your name through the mud as your reputation ends up taking a hit, too. All in all, keeping your products and services well-stocked is essential to the success of your company.
Sadly, it’s not as simple as buying as much as you need and waiting for it to fly off the shelves. Firstly, not all items are created equally, and some are more popular than others. Secondly, you won’t have a big enough budget to buy yourself out of a hole. So, how do you ensure you never run out of finished products again?
Track the Data…
The days of guessing how much you are selling are over. Today, whether you sell online or in-person, the information is stored on a server for you to pore over. For instance, digital or physical barcodes will relay what products are being bought, at what times, and by how many people.
By tracking these numbers, you can analyse how your items perform. Even better, a production scheduling software programme will enable you to react in real-time as the data will be passed on straight away. As a result, prioritising goods based on their sales is not only a piece of cake, but it maximises your earnings.
… Over a Sustained Period
If you glean the wrong information from data, you will be worse off than when you started. It’s easier to do than you might imagine, because there’s a temptation to spot a pattern and assume it applies across the board. Considering that stock-outs result in walkouts, it’s not hard to see why you’d act decisively.
However, there’s a chance a spike might only happen once. For instance, sales increase all the time at Christmas, and some items might sell better as a result. Still, this doesn’t mean you should rush to buy more inventory. When the run-up to the festive season is over, you could be left with stock you can’t move.
Understand Crucial Metrics
Certain features will dictate whether products and services sell. A prime example is the weather. In October, November and December, the rainfall is higher, which means umbrellas and waterproof jackets and trousers are wise choices. In the summer, they will obviously sell less well.
By adjusting your stock based on a key metric such as this, you can tweak your inventory based on demand – but you need to remember little details that make a massive difference. In the Southern hemisphere, the seasons are reversed, so international companies should do the opposite of what they would normally do in Europe and the US.
Communicate with Your Supplier
What do your suppliers and customers have in common? Not much, on the surface. However, when you delve further down, you’ll see that how your suppliers operate impacts the consumer experience.
If materials and goods aren’t delivered on time, or they are faulty and need replacing, your customers will become disgruntled. Therefore, communicating with key vendors within the supply chain should stop issues before they rear their heads. At the very least, it will limit the damage.
You shouldn’t worry about the worst-case scenario when you have these tips in your back pocket. These will ensure your stock levels are not only healthy, but prioritised to help you sell more.