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Small Business Inventory Management Streamlined [Free Sample Form]

 

Excellent stock management is the driving force behind any successful business. Inventory management is an incredible skill that can improve your sales, giving you an edge over your competitors. If you are an entrepreneur looking to improve inventory management in your business, this guide is meant for you. In this article, we will focus on crucial topics like:

  • What Is Inventory Management?
  • Importance of Inventory Management for Small Businesses
  • A Guide to Managing Inventory for Small Businesses
  • Best Inventory Management Practices for Small Businesses

 

 

Part 1
What Is Inventory Management?

An excellent inventory management system enables you to monitor consignments, production, and sales in your business venture. This system offers an excellent view into your stock, enabling you to effortlessly determine the demand level of your goods. With a comprehensive understanding of market trends, you can make informed decisions when restocking. An ideal inventory management strategy highlights overstocked commodities and which products are in short supply.

Using powerful market tracking capabilities, this system develops a strong relationship between a commodity’s market demand and its quantity in your warehouse. Using insights from this tool, you can accurately adjust your supply chain, ensuring that you have the right number of products at the right time.

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Part 2
Importance of Inventory Management for Small Businesses

At all business levels, a powerful inventory management system is crucial. This tool offers an excellent platform to help you understand current market trends and prevent under- or overstocking.

While having excess goods in your warehouse can result in serious storage problems, especially for small-scale business ventures, having too few of them is equally catastrophic.

However, with excellent inventory management, you can identify impending insufficiencies in your stock level and make the necessary adjustments.

An inventory management system is an invaluable business asset that offers dozens of benefits, including:

  1. Enhances Production Prioritization

    Market fluctuations are part of an entrepreneur’s daily life. There may be an influx in demand for a certain product and a decrease the next. To keep up with the erratic variances, modern production lines are incredibly flexible and can be calibrated to prioritize certain items over others.
    By monitoring variances in both sales and production, an inventory system can quickly update and seamlessly adjust production rates, thus maintaining the balance between demand and supply.

  2. Improves Customer Service

    Inclusive of a comprehensive list of unavailable goods, this incredible system provides an accurate update on your warehouse status, thus barring clients from placing orders for items that are out of stock.

  3. Provides Theft Regulation

    With your goods being monitored 24/7, the system seals all loopholes, making theft impossible.

Part 3
A Guide to Managing Inventory for Small Businesses

Managing inventory can be incredibly expensive and overwhelming. For small-scale ventures with limited resources, inventory issues can escalate to unprecedented levels in a matter of days.

ProsperForms — receive reports from your team members on autopilot. 100+ forms available: reports, logbooks, requests, etc. or build your own. View and manage data on Timeline and Dashboard screens, generate consolidated PDF reports. Get Started

Inventory management is about ensuring that your warehouses contain the right quantity of products at a given time. In this section, we will demystify this concept and provide you with a guide to managing inventory.

  • Understand Your Specific Type of Inventory

    First and foremost, you must understand the exact kind of inventory your venture deals with. This requires establishing whether your venture manufactures its goods or deals with already finished products.

     

    If you prefer manufacturing items, it is important to have a significant stash of raw materials so you can quickly produce items upon request. Additionally, you will need to frequently conduct a detailed inspection of your equipment to make sure it is in top-notch working condition.
    However, if you are operating a retailing business, where you predominantly deal with finished products, you should have an adequate supply of items at standby. While this may strain your budget, especially for small-scale organizations, consider engaging multiple suppliers. This provides an alternative option in case your main supplier is unable to deliver.

  • Always Keep an Eye on the Market Curve

    So, you have devised a reliable technique to ensure that you have an adequate number of items in stock to fully satisfy your customers’ needs. However, the modern market environment is known for erratic demand fluctuations. While constant changes in demand can breed either under- or overstocking, an excellent inventory management system should increase or decrease your stock levels with respect to the current market demand.
    This enables you to determine the precise number of each item, thus optimizing the limited warehouse space. This inventory management technique is ideal for ventures experiencing challenges with storage space, especially small-scale business ventures.

  • Ensure Excellent Tracking

    Besides ensuring you have the right number of items in your warehouse, superb inventory management features incredible stock tracking systems. Inclusive of brief descriptions of specific items, a perfect inventory system accurately highlights the location, supplier, and value of your stock.

     

    With precise knowledge of where each item is stored, you will avoid the trouble of locating a specific item among the thousands available, thus enhancing the delivery procedure.
    Tip: Manual tracking does not require any upfront investment, only perfect documentation of products. It is considered the ideal option for small-scale ventures. However, if you are willing to spend a few dollars, computerized inventory tracking is a better choice.

  • Keep Good Shelves

    Lastly, ensuring neat and applicable storage rooms or shelves is an ingenious inventory management technique. With perfect shelves, you can seamlessly integrate the first in, first out (FIFO) principle, thus enhancing your inventory management workflow.

Part 4
Best Inventory Management Practices for Small Businesses

To develop an exceptional inventory management technique and thrive in a small-scale business scenario, here are some of the best practices to observe:

  1. Set Least Stock Levels

    Predominantly formulating minimum stock level is crucial for small-scale businesses. This helps establish a warehouse warning system that notifies you when a specific product is approaching a critical level, thus ensuring ample restocking time.

  2. Consider Engaging Multiple Suppliers

    Whether you run a retail or production business, suppliers are an integral part of your inventory management. Contractors are responsible for delivering raw materials or finished products upon ordering. Maintain a constant supply of items — your supplier is the backbone of your entire supply chain.
    Sometimes, your main supplier may be unable to meet your immediate demands, resulting in communication breakdown or insufficiency of production materials. As a supply breakdown can be a major blow, relying on one supplier is dangerous. Consider contracting several merchants whom you can contact if your main supplier is unable to fill an order.

  3. Incorporate Technology

    Although expensive for startup ventures, integrating technology in your inventory management systems is a great way to streamline your business.

Conclusion

Hiccups in your inventory management can breed a diminishing revenue curve, greatly affecting the general performance of your small-scale business venture. Thus, a comprehensive understanding of various aspects of this niche is imperative.

ProsperForms – inventory information management software. Get Started Now

inventory information management

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asset management

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ProsperForms — receive reports from your team members on autopilot. 100+ forms available: reports, logbooks, requests, etc. or build your own. View and manage data on Timeline and Dashboard screens, generate consolidated PDF reports. Get Started

 

it asset management

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equipment control

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equipment log

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ProsperForms — receive reports from your team members on autopilot. 100+ forms available: reports, logbooks, requests, etc. or build your own. View and manage data on Timeline and Dashboard screens, generate consolidated PDF reports. Get Started

equipment rental log equipment checkout

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product movement log

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general log

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Part 4

ProsperForms is a cloud solution to dramatically reduce the time you spend creating reports

  1. Make reporting easier with auto-fill: Fields such as date, name, report type, and formatting are inserted automatically by software.
  2. Consolidate reports automatically: Reports created by your team members can be consolidated easily.
  3. Save time with auto-layout: No need to spend hours in Word or Excel perfecting the report’s layout because it exports your updates into a beautifully crafted file with a couple of clicks.
  4. Peace of mind with auto-reminders: No one forgets to submit their reports because ProsperForms automatically sends timely reminders according to the schedule you chose.
  5. Decrease time and effort spent on monthly, quarterly, and yearly reporting thanks to powerful filtering and export features.
  6. Quick sharing: Reports can be either - exported to files and printed, or sent by email; - shared with the manager online (in real time); - optionally shared online as team-wide status reports, i.e., all team members share their progress with each other to spend less time on meetings.

How to configure reports on ProsperForms:

Step 1:
  • Choose a form (100+ forms available) — customize our preset forms or easily create a new form in minutes.
  • Setup reminders if you want your team members to receive automatic reminders when their reports are due.
  • Configure who will submit reports by choosing the “Participants” tab.
Step 2: Click the "Open Submission Form" button to fill in and submit the report. Data such as the report type, date and name will be added automatically. As soon as a new report is added, participants with “View” rights can view it in real time.

Step 3 (Optional): Generate a report and export it to PDF. (Skip this step if you share status reports online and don’t print them.)

Click “Generate Report”.

Done!  

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