Expert Insights
All the tips to make you succeed
MANAGING YOUR INVENTORY
How to be sure it is working for you all year round.
 

"Question: Is it possible for me to manage my inventory in an easier way without having my suppliers’ manage almost all my inventory and having to call them every time an order comes in which may delay my delivery time?"

Inventory management is a systemic process used to oversee the flow of products in and out of your store organization. As a medium sized business owner, you may decide to incorporate one key inventory management technique or combine a variety of techniques to meet your buyers’ growing needs. We will be discussing some of these technique below which may be beneficial to your store.

SUPPLIERS HELP: An effective way to manage inventory is to solicit the help of your suppliers. Supplier-managed inventory gives you access to their inventory data. The supplier generates purchase orders based on your needs. Distribution-intensive business such as yours may need to utilize vendor managed inventory controls to eliminate data-entry errors from you or your store assistants and to effectively manage the timing of purchase orders.

INVENTORY CONTROL OFFICER: Another efficient method for managing your inventory is to hire a dedicated inventory control officer experienced with keeping inventories for store owners. Inventory specialists manage all you merchandise items that are on hand and those already in transit. They also perform price adjustments, manage your returns, validate received merchandise from your suppliers and implement inventory reporting strategies that will suit your business.

LEAD TIME: Lead time is the amount of time it takes for you to reorder inventory. Your suppliers may deliver the products you ordered from them at varying times after an order is placed. A useful way to manage inventory is to establish lead time reports to understand how long it takes to replenish your inventory.

MONITOR INVENTORY LEVELS: Having high levels of inventory adds to expenses and increases overhead costs for you and this will tell on your overall business. An effective way to manage inventory is to determine the inventory demands of your store with Konga Mall. Limit purchases of seasonal inventory that is only needed for a specific period of time and cut back on inventory that does not sell.

CUSTOMER DELIVERY: An effective way to manage inventory is to measure inventory turnover and delivery turnaround time. This involves measuring how often your inventory (products) on the Konga Mall sells and how long it takes to get into the hands of your customers.

PRODUCT TURNAROUND: All businesses have products that sell and products that sit on the shelves for a rather long time. A helpful way to manage inventory is to establish a system that pinpoints which products move quickly and which products take more time to sell. This can be rather easy for you to track as you simply need to follow up with the number of products you have sold on the Mall and which product’s availability declines rather fast.

WORK IN PROGRESS: You store will be able to manage inventory by tracking units as they move through your different operational stages and that of the mall. Many businesses utilize some inventory to create other products. Establishing a system to track "work-in-progress" materials allows businesses to adjust order amounts before the inventory gets too low and slows production.

Culled from Small Business post on Managing Your Inventory

ABOUT KONGA'S INVENTORY EXPERT
Vastly experienced in inventory management research, both practical and in theory, and in charge of the overall effective performance of the warehouse, Lekan is the Vice President of Konga’s 120,000 square meters Warehouse and responsible for its daily performance and has played an integral part in building a functional and impressive logistics arm of the largest online mall in Nigeria. An industry expert in warehouse inventory, he aims to address all queries and professional advice surrounding inventory and order fulfilment. For more researched expert advice from Lekan and the rest of our expert team, you can send in your questions regarding your store to mall@konga.com.