5 Inventory Management Tips to Prevent Costly Mistakes for Small Businesses
Guest post by Marcus Lansky
As a small business owner, you know that trust and dependability can make or break your relationships with customers. So why would you leave your inventory management processes open to mistakes that could damage these aspects of your business?
Instead, use these step-by-step tips, provided by Solomon Bruce Consulting, to improve your process and protect your company from the potential losses that can come with even the most trivial inventory mistakes.
Website and Checkout
If we’re going to talk about your inventory processes we need to start at the beginning before we move onto other essential steps. From the moment your customers add items to their basket, you need to be on top of your inventory and order management game. Keeping your website updated with current inventory counts will keep you from having to deal with disappointed customers or having customers turn to other businesses.
If you need help with your e-commerce website or inventory processes, you can hire freelancers via job boards. An e-commerce expert can streamline your website and dashboard so that managing your inventory is less of a hassle, but you can find other freelance professionals to help you improve all aspects of your small business.
Order Fulfillment Process
Once a customer has confirmed their order and paid for products/services, the next step in your inventory process begins: order fulfillment. This process needs to be seamless and accurate in order to prevent a mistake that could cost your company time and profits or damage customer relationships.
If you want to be proactive with this and other inventory processes, you can begin with your warehouse management practices. Your management processes should be organized and efficient, while also being flexible enough to adapt to changing technology and demands. This extends to the management of your employees as well; without a solid schedule in place, your warehouse simply will not operate at peak efficiency. Make use of shift scheduling software that can help you plan and create schedules, send alerts to employees regarding shift changes, and make alterations to the schedule from your smartphone or tablet.
Packaging and Packing
Before we move on from your order fulfillment processes, we need to talk about how to properly secure and package products for shipping. While this may seem like a small detail, failing to use the right packaging products and techniques could result in broken products being delivered to your customers. The right boxes and labels can also help increase brand awareness and customer loyalty, especially if you choose to include thank you cards with all of your orders.
Shipping and Transport
Now that your customer’s order has been fulfilled and carefully packed, it’s time to send it out with a reliable shipping provider. Choosing your shipping partners wisely will ensure your products arrive as quickly as possible. Speed can be crucial when you are trying to compete with larger corporations. Your products should also arrive free of damage and other issues.
Follow-Up and Customer Service
When you take the time and care to ensure your inventory management processes are organized and efficient from start to finish, you can minimize common mistakes that could impact your customers. Even with the latest tech and most experienced warehouse staff, however, it’s impossible to prevent mishaps and customer issues altogether.
That’s why you need to put just as much time and effort into your customer service model. Providing exceptional experiences, which includes listening to concerns and addressing mistakes, will help build more trust with your customers, and will ensure they keep coming back to your business for future products and needs.
Even simple inventory mistakes can cost your business big time. Those mistakes can add up fast and eventually damage your reputation, putting your entire business in jeopardy. If you want to prevent potential losses of time, money and customer relationships, be sure to review your inventory management processes on a regular basis. Because when it comes to practices that affect your customers, there’s always room for improvement.
Grow your business with help from Solomon Bruce Consulting, LLC. Call 817.386.3032 to learn how to get started.
Photo Credit: Unsplash