how to keep track of inventory for small business

Some of its advanced features include demand planning, cycle counts, and very detailed product catalogs. Still, you’ll likely need the help of developers to take advantage of all of its functionality. It’ll take time to set up the platform’s inventory system, but it’ll be well worth it. Businesses use inventory management software to manage and optimize their supply chains. While you can use a spreadsheet for real-time inventory tracking, we recommend a POS system to streamline this process dramatically. POS systems track real-time inventory levels and adjust your counts with every sale.

how to keep track of inventory for small business

While some products just need a basic quantity count, others will require variations in size, color, or both for accuracy. We tried dozens of inventory templates online and picked the best for most… Inventory management is the process involved in keeping the right products, in the right quantity, in stock at the right times. In other words, inventory management is anything you do to avoid stockouts and to have in-demand products in stock for your customers to buy when they want them. We suggest a POS system to help eliminate errors in your inventory management and make your business more efficient. Small business inventory templates also include your total inventory value , condition, category, item size, licensing, and physical location.

Why Is Inventory Management for Small Businesses So Important?

If you find errors like wrong, shorted, or missing items, note these on your PO and contact your supplier immediately to resolve them. Digital asset management Manage and distribute assets, and see how they perform. Streamlined business apps Build easy-to-navigate business apps in minutes. Secure request management Streamline requests, process ticketing, and more.

  • Easyship can help you meet customer demand and handle your shipping needs so you can spend more time keeping track of your inventory management system.
  • Manually entering sales into a ledger or POS system can get tedious, especially if you run a retail business with lots of daily sales.
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  • Inventory management software is usually made with specific niches in mind.
  • Adding barcodes and scanners to the mix makes it possible to track inventory quantities and locations in real-time.

If you don’t have time to do a full inventory or set PAR levels for every product, focus on high-priority products first. Ideally, your physical inventory counts will match your projected QOHs. If you have more or less of a product than anticipated, you will need to investigate the problem and reconcile the difference. There are different ways to audit your stock — some businesses audit their stock annually. With physical stock takes, a team goes through to count stock, recount it and spot-check it to ensure everything adds up correctly. Money is an independent, advertiser-supported website and may receive compensation for some links to products and services throughout this website.

Organize Inventory Storage Areas

This allows managers to keep track of how many items have been sold. This system may work well when the business involves only one person, or when there are only a few different types of items to sell, but as the business grows, the stock book method can become sloppy. If employees get busy and forget to note items that were sold, you could suddenly find yourself with very low inventory.

The just-in-time strategy generates products at the time they are ordered. The strategy used varies by industry, type of business and the company’s inventory strategy. Inventory management software stores a wealth of data that can be used to identify the vendors offering the best value in terms of price, service, turnaround time, and product quality. Nurture relationships with preferred vendors for better deals and identify potential savings through early payment discounts and economic order quantity. Know how much stock you have on hand, how fast it’s selling, and when the next shipment is due to arrive. Strategic inventory management solution means balancing fast-moving goods and supplies with minimal storage needs.

Multi-location inventory management

In short, if you have just started your small business and don’t have much stock or a customer base, then you may be better off using free software such as an excel spreadsheet to save on costs. If you find that your business is growing quite quickly and you’re finding it hard to manage your inventory and stock levels, then an inventory tracking system will definitely be useful to you. The real estate bookkeeping best inventory management software depends on your business model, size, and product type. The software listed in the article offers exemplary inventory tracking and management solutions. Cin7’s unique spin is that it’s an inventory management software and a point-of-sale system. This allows businesses to further streamline stock management across sales channels to prevent stock-out.

  • Try giving your customers a discount, holding a promotion, bundling it with new stock, selling it to a liquidator, or even giving it away.
  • Calculating optimal reorder points, performing demand planning and forecasting, and more are all made easier when you have insight into inventory levels and movement.
  • Inventory management is important to a wide range of businesses, including retail companies, shipping and logistics operations, and manufacturing businesses.
  • Its forecasting and reporting capabilities are also limited compared to many other options.
  • Suppliers are trying to cut down on uncertainty and prepare for unexpected events just like you are.

Fortunately for you, we can offer an answer — stick with what you already know while adding a few fail-proof tools to your repertoire. Upserve provides a dynamic inventory solution for the unique needs of restaurants. Specifically, Upserve offers a greater focus on expiration date tracking and specialty supply chain needs than other inventory control software options. Ordoro also offers vendor management features that make dropshipping a breeze. For instance, you can assign vendors to specific products in your catalogue. Also, inFlow is remarkably easy to use, with many of its inventory tracking features automated.