02 Mar 11

Good Housekeeping For Accurate Inventory Management

Housekeeping is no fun, but like it or not, if you want a tidy household, the work has gotta’ get done!  And much like good housekeeping keeps a tidy home, it’s also wise to do housekeeping to run a tidy business.

With that said, today we’re going to cover one especially important aspect of business housekeeping, cross checking your inventory.  Inventory management and cross checking your stock, especially after shows and offline events is critical.  It can be difficult to deal with and accept, but it’s imperative for you to be aware.  Sometimes your inventory can be lost, sometimes your inventory counts are off and sometimes your inventory can actually be stolen from events.

To avoid miscalculating your inventory, a smart business housekeeping tip is to cross check your inventory periodically (quarterly is a good idea) to check for accuracy.  I personally learned this lesson the hard way recently when I sold an item online that I no longer had in stock.  Luckily, I was able to scramble, repurchase the necessary supplies, and fulfill the order, but not without stress and concern that I would have to reach out to my customer and confess that I made a mistake.  Had I crossed checked my inventory recently against the items available on my storefront, I would have caught the variance and avoided the nausea!

All in all, I learned a valuable lesson on the importance of checking my inventory from time to time.  Have you learned any lessons like these the hard way?  What other housekeeping tips are you working on for your business?

Main image courtesy of 1024greenstreet.

Posted by: Courtney Dirks

Posted in: business management , selling

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1 kathy commented on 03/02/2011

Good advice!

2 Liz commented on 03/02/2011

I am committing to project planning this year. Last year was my first year with my business, and I don't feel that I had enough control over what needed to be done. Today is actually my Project Planning day, so this post is very timely for me - looks like I need to add one more project! :)

3 Eva of ZAFRÁN commented on 03/03/2011

I'm currently creating an expandabel Excel sheet containing one on-stock-column that will be linked to every other column that I'll add. I'll add columns for every craft show and every new retailer or wholesailer . This way I will not only be able to follow up my stock but also to know where it went to. I hope this way I only have to check my inventory once a year.

4 John Krech commented on 03/03/2011

Great post Courtney - as someone who provides services that automatically optimize inventory levels - our analysis is only as good as the data itself - cross checking can help minimize surprises. Good housekeeping is also a great first step for technology to come in and drive down inventory levels as the bottom 30% performing businesses have nine time more inventory than their top 20% performing peers.

5 Lori Sadowski commented on 03/09/2011

One thing that I have found that really works for me is organizing all my fabric, ribbons and other items by product line or in the case of fabric stashes by color. The more organized I am with every item in my business the faster I can achieve my goals.

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