Lauren writes about inventory for Sortly. Her favorite thing to organize? Her comically large collection of stuffed animals.Lauren
Simple inventory software is one of the most affordable, meaningful ways to set your business up for success. Why? Implementing an inventory system helps your business practice inventory control.
And that allows for your business to do more, sell more, and work smarter—while putting valuable resources like time and money into marketing, new hires, expansion… anything! Great inventory software can also help your business predict demand, understand when a product just isn’t moving or selling, and help you and your team focus on your business’s most profitable, valuable inventory.
Interested? In this article, we’ll dive into X reasons why something as simple as an inventory management system can help your business grow more powerful, productive, and profitable.
Whether you’re an eCommerce company looking to boost its multichannel selling game, or a chain of auto shops that’s tired of wasting money on rush orders, easy inventory software can help your business grow in many different ways.
So, let’s dive right in.
If you sell products online, there’s a pretty good chance you want to sell your inventory or more than one platform. If that’s the case, your participating in what we call “multichannel” selling.
And while this can be super profitable—and help you reach shoppers where they already browse—it can also create an inventory headache.
This is especially true when it comes to overselling. You know, when you promise more inventory than you have in stock, forcing you to beg your supplier to rush you more—stat. (Or, quite horribly, cancel orders!)
The remedy? An inventory app that can help you track exactly what you’ve got in stock, even if you’re moving stock on Amazon, Etsy, Walmart, and Shopify! Bonus points if you pick a warehouse management tool like Sortly, which can automatically alert you when you start to run low on something.
Next up, inventory management software can help you grow your company’s offerings. How so? By helping you manage inventory across multiple storage units, warehouses, or distribution centers.
In fact, inventory software like Sortly allows you to keep tabs on everything you’ve got on hand, even if it’s stored in tons of different places.
To find out what you’ve got in stock, quickly generate a custom report that can show you the ins and outs of what’s where. You can filter these reports by category, tag, location, value—anything. You can even add photos and barcodes or QR codes to every item.
By organizing what you do have, it’ll be that much easier to add new products to your portfolio—and your (super organized) stockroom or storage facility. All you’ve got to do is maintain your inventory list. And luckily for you, with an app like Sortly, that’s a piece of cake.
Inventory control is an art and a science. And it’s all about managing the amount of inventory your business maintains so you’ll always have enough to meet customer demand while keeping costs as low as possible.
But without a solid inventory system, it’s virtually impossible to know how much inventory you’ll need. And this is especially true if your business is heavily influenced by seasonality. Maybe you sell umbrellas, or snow chains, or ugly Christmas sweaters…
Whatever your company offers, it’s essential to know just how much you’ll need to meet customer demand week to week, or month to month, or season to season. With the right inventory app in place, you’ll be able to review usage and sales over time so that you can prepare for next time—and stock your shelves appropriately.
Whether you’re selling something seasonal or not, understanding precisely what your business needs to have in stock to satisfy that customer demand is one of the most essential small business inventory basics. And optimizing your inventory levels is really the crux of that inventory control we’ve been talking about.
But we know that inventory optimization is easier said than done. And that’s where ABC analysis can really help out. This strategy helps your business determine precisely what inventory to “hyperfocus” on and is perfect for companies new to inventory management.
All you have to do is classify your inventory into three groups:
ABC analysis works because it helps business owners realize they don’t have to practice “perfect” inventory control on every single item they stock. Instead, they should pay extra close attention to a small but valuable segment of their stockrooms. You know, the bread and butter of their business.
You can use your inventory software, like Sortly, to help you determine precisely what that “bread and butter”—that “Category A”—is. Then, use your resources to ensure those items receive the tightest inventory control efforts—and the most thorough record-keeping.
By practicing ABC analysis—and optimized inventory control—your business can better meet your customer’s needs without wasting valuable time or resources obsessing over stock that’s just not that valuable. And this can help you run a tighter ship, all while learning not to sweat the small stuff. Quite the recipe for business growth, right?
(If ABC analysis sounds familiar, it’s because it’s pretty similar to the Pareto Principle. Also known as the 80/20 rule, the Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes. This is also known as the law of the vital few.)
Whether you’re selling t-shirts or tortilla presses or T-rex figurines, the right inventory software can help you understand what’s selling like hotcakes—and when you’ve got a bit too much of something on hand. And once you know what’s red hot and where your inventory bloat is, you can grow your business by promoting hot products and planning for discounts.
If you can barely keep a particular product in stock, there’s probably a good reason for that demand. And once you identify that demand, reap the benefits by promoting best-sellers to your customers, whether face-to-face or as they’re checking out online.
A friendly and straightforward mention of a top-selling product from a cashier is sometimes enough to close the deal in-person. Online, a suggested pairing or checkout recommendation can help you sell more (and move more inventory) with every transaction.
The right inventory app will remind you whenever you’re starting to run low on a product, so you’ll never have to worry about a stockout. Just be sure to customize those low-stock alerts to match your lead time.
On the flip side, you might have some inventory that you’re having a ton of trouble moving. Maybe it’s expiring soon, maybe you made an overordering mistake, or perhaps a certain seasonality trend was cut unexpectedly short.
Whatever the reason, offering a discount might help you cut your losses faster. (Or break ever. Or maybe even make a bit of a profit!)
Whether you choose to discount your items 10% or 75%, planning for and then promoting those discounts can be key to optimizing business growth. After all, the sooner you move this less desirable product, the sooner you’ll have the resources to order something your customers want a whole lot more.
Ah, the dreaded understock. Maybe your team misinterpreted some (pretty messy) usage reports from last year. Maybe your inventory wasn’t organized or digitized, and your employees didn’t realize you were starting to run low on something really essential. Or perhaps there was a bit of human error transferring inventory counts from a clipboard to a hard-to-read spreadsheet.
No matter why your business is underordering, simple inventory software can help mitigate (or even eliminate!) these costly mishaps. After all, there’s nothing worse than stoppages or shortages that leave customers angry—and can sometimes even bring your business to a screeching halt.
An inventory app like Sortly can help you stay on top of all your stuff by:
Simple inventory software absolutely leads to growth. A modern, digital inventory solution can help your business sell more products in more places while helping you plan for changes in demand, optimize inventory levels, promote key items while discounting deadstock, and put an end to costly underordering.
The right inventory app can also free up valuable resources, so your business can spend time and money on other stuff—like marketing, hiring new people, opening up an office, and more.
And, best of all, a good inventory management system costs a whole lot less than you might think. Ready to get your inventory organized—and unlock some major growth? Get started with a free trial of Sortly today.