Whether you’re running a new Shopify store or this isn’t your first go, good inventory control is essential. This refers to the process of checking and ensuring the right amount of stock is available in your warehouse at all times.
Having effective control of your inventory allows you to make maximum profits and ensure the smooth running of your business. Did you know that inventory mistakes cause almost 50% of all markdowns on non-food products, leading to a loss of profits? There are plenty of ways to avoid your stock being part of this number.
First, I’ll take you through the 2 different types of inventory control. Following this, I’ll give you 5 great tips for improving inventory control for your Shopify store.
2 Types of Inventory Control
Inventory control can work in different ways. There are 2main types. Many businesses use a combination of both.
Perpetual Inventory Control
This is when you track inventory in real-time as products are added, sold, and shipped. This is great because you get a live indication of your stock levels. It is a highly detailed view of what is in your warehouse and can be used by any size business.
Periodic inventory control is where you physically count your stock at different times. This can be done daily, weekly, or monthly. Often, businesses will do a physical stock check once in a financial year, instead of using this as their primary method. This is because it is time-consuming and less accurate than constant control. It is not as effective for large, high-volume businesses.
5 Inventory Control Tips
I have 5 great tips on how to implement effective inventory control.
1. Track Sales
Tracking your sales is the top way to ensure inventory control runs smoothly. If you know what you’re selling, where from, and when, you have a handle on your stock. Whilst some businesses opt to do this manually, this is usually only an option for smaller sellers.
Using EasyScan to pick and pack orders means you will have a log of everything you sell that you can match up to your inventory. This is a sure-fire way to keep track of sales, and therefore make sure you have all the stock you need. You can also use it to reduce the stock of those items that don’t do as well, thereby maximizing your profits.
2. Be Consistent
This seems basic, but having consistency in how you manage your orders, stock, and sales is really important. Make sure everyone working in your warehouse knows the processes for re-stocking products, fulfilling orders, and shipping. This will reduce the chance of inconsistencies or errors in how things are done.
3. Use an Automated System
Something that can help with the first two tips is implementing a smooth automated system to control your stock. Not only great for tracking sales, EasyScan operates a perpetual inventory control using your barcodes. This means you’ll constantly know what is in stock and where it is held.
Whilst some businesses opt not to use automation, I believe it is the best way to reduce mistakes and have effective control over your inventory.
4. Audit Regularly
The core of all good inventory control is regular audits of your stock. This involves checking that those products in your physical warehouse match up with your digital inventory. If not, you can figure out what’s gone wrong and adjust your numbers accordingly.
EasyScan makes this process really simple. You can use your barcode scanner to account for your stock and produce a report that matches up stock levels with the inventory. As I mentioned in the previous point, this automation is a great way to save time and ensure accuracy!
5. Use Bin Locations
Finally, good organization makes for good inventory control. For example, the use of bin locations in your warehouse or warehouses means you’ll know where your stock is held. If you label them clearly, you’ll be able to find products way quicker.
This helps with your inventory control as strong organization is the key to success when it comes to running an efficient Shopify business!