Small businesses could see their reputation take a huge hit if they promise customers items and then fail to deliver. It’s not enough to simply have a good inventory control system in place; getting 100 percent accuracy is essential. Businesses must know which items they have on hand as well as how many are available to ship at the moment an order is placed.
Sometimes, poor inventory control might just be a matter of insufficient communication. Perhaps one person took a phone order and promised the last 10 of a particular item to one customer. In the meantime, a different employee sent those 10 items out to a different customer, rendering them unavailable when the first person went to fulfil the order. This is where looking over your recently missed shipments can come in handy; in this case, you’d see the necessity of implementing a process for letting other employees know that certain stock has already been allocated to customers.
Regular Audits Can Spot Problems Before They Grow
You could also check your inventory control by carrying out a floor-to-sheet audit. Choose a few items and then head out to your warehouse or wherever you happen to keep your inventory and count how many of each item you have. Then compare this to your warehouse management system, ledger book, Excel spreadsheet, or whatever else you’re currently using for tracking inventory and check if the numbers from your physical count match those on record. If they don’t, it’s time to investigate the cause of the discrepancy.
Some of the common reasons for this include shipments from suppliers not matching what’s on the packing list, outbound shipments not being deducted from your inventory in real time, having to remove some items due to quality issues and your system failing to reflect that, or a security problem wherein items are being stolen by employees or other individuals with access to your inventory.
This blog post was based off of an article from The Balance Small Business. View the original here.