If you’re thinking of getting into the ecommerce industry, or if you are looking for the best ways to help your existing ecommerce business grow, there’s a good chance you’ve considered finding the absolute best ecommerce fulfillment company for your unique needs. When it comes to making this important choice, inventory control and management should be your top priority for several important reasons.
It’s Not Just Supply and Demand
Once upon a time, long before the internet, business owners looked at their inventory in terms of supply and demand. They would supply what people wanted on their store shelves, and that worked very well for them for centuries. However, in today’s day and age of technology, things are much different – especially when it comes to ecommerce. Demand can change overnight, and that can leave you with too little of a popular product (or none) and too much of yesterday’s hot trend. Having too much or too little inventory can destroy your cash flow. Inventory control is a bit different now and learning how it works will certainly help you choose the best possible fulfillment company.
What Is Good Inventory Control?
There are several things you will need to do in order to manage and control your inventory properly so as not to find yourself over or understocked.
- Come Up with a Plan for Buying – If you expect that you will sell several units or products per month, determine how much those products will cost you. For example, if each product is $100 and you plan to sell 1000 each month, you should not only buy $10,000 worth of product. You should always have at least 30 days’ worth of overstock, so you would need to spend $20,000 to take care of your next month’s sales and have the right amount of overstock on hand.
- Consider Fast Moving Products – Products that fly off the virtual shelves should be considered their own inventory but be sure to include them when it comes to restocking. These products require a little more attention than most, too.
- Determine When to Restock – New ecommerce business owners usually struggle to determine when they should restock their wares, so it’s always a good idea to put a system in place that alerts you to the best time to reorder. You can use visibility counts or stub counts, but both things require you to manually count your inventory. You might also choose to use a POS system that tracks sales and inventory, but this can be expensive.
Leaving it to the Experts
Inventory management and control is crucial to your success. If you don’t have a product consumers want, they’ll simply buy it elsewhere, and if you have too much of a product, you’ll be out a great deal of money. The best way to avoid these issues involves hiring an ecommerce fulfillment company that handles your inventory for you. When they control storage, picking, packing, shipping, tracking, and reporting, you can feel confident that your business has what it needs, and you don’t have to spend hours upon hours manually counting inventory or dealing with POS systems that track your inventory for you.
There are several considerations to make when hiring an ecommerce fulfillment company, but inventory should always be the top concern. Consider the company’s ability to adequately manage your inventory and provide you with detailed reports no matter how large your business might grow in the future. At the end of the day, your inventory is your paycheck, so proper management is critical.