Inventory changes constantly. Throughout each day, sales, returns, new receipts – even damage and theft – affect your inventory levels. While daunting, effective inventory management and inventory control are the most important jobs in a successful retail or wholesale business.
Effectively managing inventory gets harder as your business scales and the amount of inventory you’re handling increases. Taking advantage of technology can make things easier for yourself and your employees. This is why an inventory management system is invaluable not only for liquor shops but to any retail business.
This guide will tell you all you need to know about inventory management systems. We’ll explain the types of systems you can choose from, and which may suit you best. We’ll also describe the principal features that systems need to improve efficiency and overall customer satisfaction.
Before we get there, though, it’s worth spending some time on the fundamentals. Let’s get to grips with precisely what inventory management is and the benefits you’ll see from handling it efficiently.
What is inventory management?
If you’re in the process of just starting out in retail or wholesale, you may be asking yourself “What is inventory management?” or “What is inventory control?”
Effective inventory management and inventory control are one in the same – and the definition is pretty simple to understand.
Inventory management refers to the process by which you track the amount of product you have on your shop/ warehouse shelf, in store or sitting with other retailers and distributors. This enables you to succeed in having the right number of units in the right place, at the right time and for the right price.
When effectively tracking and controlling your physical inventory, you’ll know how many of each item you have, when you might be running low on products and whether you should replenish that item in order to keep selling it.
And as a busy business owner, you should be able to do all of this at a glance. This enables you to make good purchasing decisions quickly and easily. It’s where having the correct inventory management system comes in, too, as we’ll learn later.