Should Your Business Be Smarter About Storage And Inventory?
The physical resources that your business relies on depends on more than just the money necessary to buy them. You also need space to store them. If your business is running out of space or having trouble managing different types of inventory, then the tips below are designed to help you. These tips can answer some of the common issues revolving around inventory management and storage so that it becomes less of a logistical headache for your team.
Ensure you have the amount of storage that you need
First of all, take an inventory of the goods that you currently have. How much of it falls within the stock levels that you would usually anticipate? If you have more than you usually would, how often do you need additional storage? Even if your current levels are “above normal,” if you frequently need more storage space, it might be worth shelling out for it. Of course, you can always rent storage spaces to help you house some of your excess goods. If this becomes a consistent concern and the travel to and from that rented space becomes an issue, however, you might need to invest in some permanent storage space such as a larger warehouse or stockroom expansion.
Organisation of the stock room is essential
First of all, a lot of care should be taken to make sure that your storage is organised and ordered in a way that makes it easy to store items safely, preventing injury to your team and preventing damage to your stock. Warehouse suppliers can help you create lines of rows with open walkways down the middle, instead of having to sort through a maze of shelves. All boxes should be labelled, determining where the items inside are supposed to belong. Similarly, investment in high-quality shelving is a must to make sure your shelves can safely hold of the items on them. Disorrgnised stock rooms aren’t just inefficient, they are dangerous.
Don’t push your stockroom workers too hard
Stockroom workers, by necessity, have to move a lot of goods. However, you can arrange the room to make it more efficient and to thus demand less of them. First of all, make sure they have access to any lifting and transportation gear that they need. Make sure that they are taught proper lifting form as a mandatory part of their training to reduce the risk of them suffering musculoskeletal injuries. You should also consider the accessibility of some of the goods. For instance, for the goods that are most in demand, you should ensure that they’re kept closest to the door so that they don’t waste time going deep into the stockroom to find them, time and again.
Use inventory systems to help you track goods
Having an organised warehouse is one thing, but it won’t make it as easy to find specific products if you have a lot of them and a lot of space. To that end, you should make sure that you’re using a digital inventory management system and a barcode scanner. With this, every item that is moved into the storehouse can be scanned and added to a list of all inventory. Similarly, when someone is moving or packing that item to ship it, they can scan it and quickly update the record on it. This way, items are less likely to simply go missing and you should be able to quickly find the last known location of any item that has been entered into the system.
Know the storage needs of specific goods
One of the key mistakes you want to avoid making is thinking that any old storage space will do for any kind of product or resource. For instance, if you’re storing goods that might spoil if they’re not in a climate-controlled area, then you should have a chiller or even a refrigerated storage room for them. Similarly, if you need to store a lot of liquid in your property, then industrial water tanks can hold a lot more and help you save a lot of space compared to trying to store individual containers or barrels. Make sure that any containers you use are able to adequately contain materials if they are, for instance, able to cause a health hazard or contamination.
Reduce the resources that you need to store
Aside from making sure that you have the room and organisation to store everything that your business needs, you should also think about whether or not you really need to store all of that in the first place. One of the easiest resources to start cutting your reliance on is paper. Going paperless helps save a lot of money and a lot of space, and now it’s easier than ever to go digital, so it may be worth considering. Otherwise, when it comes to inventory, pay attention to which goods are your slowest sellers so that you can order fewer of them in the future. It will help you increase your sales profits, too.
You don’t have to hold onto your own inventory
If you’re having trouble finding space for the inventory that you sell, then you may not need to keep hold of it in the first place. Many businesses order stock from suppliers, hold it, then send it on to their customers. However, drop shipping allows you to get rid of the logistical side of the process. You can act as a seller of the goods and pay to sell them, but you never actually need to touch the products themselves. Drop shippers are only involved in the marketing, sales, and transaction process, letting the supplier deal with the rest and reducing their need for inventory space immensely.
Whether you ensure that you have the right storage capabilities to meet your needs, sharpen up how you sort it or reduce the amount of storage you need by being picky with your resources, you are going to need solutions to address a growing inventory problem. Hopefully, the above tips offer some pointers in the right direction.