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What is Inventory Management?

The term "inventory management" refers to the process of specifying the size and placement of stocked items. Because inventory is typically a retailer's largest asset, counting problems can lead to loss sales and even cause the business to fail. The goal of inventory management is to ensure a sufficient supply of stock to meet the needs of the business while avoiding excessive overstock. Proper inventory management also allows a retailer to more accurately predict when stock is running low on specific products. Inventory management is sometimes also called inventory control.

Why Retail Stores Need Inventory Management

Inventory control is crucial to ensuring you're able to deliver on he promises you've made to your customers. By properly maintaining your inventory, you'll always have the right amount of stock on hand. Here are several key reasons every retail shop needs inventory management:

  1. Avoid losing sales. If you don't know what you have in stock, you'll need to search your warehouse or rely on your memory to find the items you need. Inventory management allows you to see what stock is running low so you can place re-orders before you run out.
  1. No overstock. Every retail store owner understands the importance of spending wisely. Inventory management helps you avoid stocking too many of any one item that may not sell as well as you'd expected. The money you save can instead be used to expand your product range or promote your store.
  1. Minimize Losses. Inventory discrepancies happen among the most vigilant of retail staff. You could be unknowingly losing stock to theft, damage, or some other circumstance. An accurate inventory management system can help you quickly identify causes of loss.
  1. Lower warehouse costs. Inventory management is the key to a more efficient warehouse. When employees know where to find items, you lose less money and free up your resources for processing more orders. Keeping accurate stock level information can help your profits grow.
  1. Better customer service. Maintaining proper inventory allows you to provide more effective customer service. When someone calls to find out if you have a certain item in stock, you can either confirm that you do or let them know when the item will be back in stock. By communicating promptly and accurately about your inventory, you earn customers' trust.

Managing Inventory With Point-of-Sale (POS) Software

Point-of-sale (POS) software helps streamline the inventory control process by integrating order processing, inventory management, and customer relationship management. POS software provides the accurate inventory data you need to maintain optimal inventory levels. You can also easily track department and vendor information. No more guessing when an item is running low; you'll have the information you need to make an important buying decision or respond to a customer's inquiry right away. Point-of-sale software is ideal for retailers of all types and sizes - from small retail shops to large, multi-location chains.

Accurate inventory is at the center of any profitable retail business. Consider investing in point-of-sale software so you can spend less time managing your inventory and more time growing your retail brand.