Wholesale is one of the biggest goals for Handmade businesses. It’s an opportunity to scale and start a new chapter of your business. However, before getting started, it’s crucial to understand how to handle these type of orders while being successful in the process. It is key to have an optimal process to keep your risk of errors as low as possible. When done correctly, you’re setting your business up for consistent growth and financial gain. It’s essential to achieve this by finding an inventory tracking software for small businesses that fits your needs early on.
In this article, we will discuss our best tips for wholesale inventory tracking management to get your business streamlined and organized at any stage you’re in.
Wholesale inventory management is the system you use to get, store, sell, and deliver products to your customers. It revolves around knowing how much product your business should have in stock at various price points and locations. As well, as projecting those same needs into the days, weeks, and months to come for your business. There are a lot of moving parts at work, and they’re all important for smooth and streamlined operations.
The best way to have a proactive wholesale inventory tracking is using an inventory system like Inventora. This is important because with an inventory tracking system like Inventora. So, uyou can have a reliable and accurate prediction of the demand of your products. When you can predict which items customers will buy and when, you’re able to match your inventory count. Thus, streamlining your business and effectively managing your time.
This also means that you won’t have an excess amount of inventory that ends up losing value or going to waste. You also won’t have too little inventory, causing you to run out of stock and lose customers. This can be one of the hardest predictions to forecast as a new small business owner. So, it’s important to start tracking your inventory early on in the process, and find inventory tracking software for small businesses that fits your needs.
It’s possible to make these predictions with good old fashioned math calculations and Excel spreadsheets. However, as business owners, it is important to automate the tasks that we can do to have a greater use of our time and have more accurate results. This is why technology platforms and tools are the right hand to every handmade business. Additionally, it’s good to have this data all in one place, and easily accessible. If you’re doing things by hand, it can be hard to manually keep track of your finances, supplies, and inventory.
Good wholesale inventory tracking allows you to have better visibility throughout the supply chain. It will also ensure that the movement of your goods are smooth and streamlined. This naturally improves productivity, cuts costs, and lead times across your operations. You’ll be surprised how much time you have to spare after automating your wholesale inventory tracking system with an inventory tracking software for small businesses, like Inventora.
One of our biggest and most useful pieces of advice is to try to avoid manual spreadsheet tracking and automate as much as possible. This is a contentious topic in the wholesale community. Keeping an Excel spreadsheet or physical documents was the most popular wholesale inventory system for a long time. There is a high likelihood that many of us small business owners started doing our inventory this way. However, just because your started your business this way, doesn’t mean to too late to change your old habits with new and improved ways of inventory tracking and record keeping.
Manual techniques will work, but only for a short time. You’ll find that as your business grows, manual inventory management will become harder and harder. To the point where it becomes impossible to keep up with. This is because with most of these systems you are manually plugging in your inventory, purchased goods, etc. It’s time consuming, and hard to stay on top of.
This is why it’s best to avoid manual tracking and go straight for an inventory control software. It’s important to start this from the very beginning stages of your business. No matter in what stage your business is, using an inventory system is the one thing that can allow you to have a good growth and the control that you need in order to do so. Inventora is a great inventory tracking software for small businesses. We offer a free plan that give you the option to start using an inventory system for your business. Which is especially great if you don’t have if you don’t have the budget for it. As you grow, you can upgrade your account for more robust features with our business plan.
When you use an inventory tracking software for small businesses for wholesale, there’s no room for mistakes, oversights, or human error. You’ll have the luxury of not having to do manual calculations, spend hours organizing charts and excel sheets, or deal with the extended time it takes to do this process by hand. This will leave space for more time to craft your handmade items and get back to what you love.
Tracking your product and raw materials inventory, allowing you to know what you have and what you need. This is truly a simple pleasure. You will now have all the information about your supplies at the tip of your fingers. This keeps managing quantity simplified and seamless.
Inventora helps keep track of order fulfillment. You can keep track of all your orders since they are now coming through into an automated system. You will be able to produce the products you need when you need them, without wasting time, materials, or supplies. Once again, this is also a benefit for the customer support side when your buyers have questions about the status or location of their purchased item from you. The benefits of this feature are truly in the multiples.
Delivering customer orders. Yep, you read that right! Your orders are organized by customer with Inventora. You can add the status and date of to have a better tracking of each sale you have. This is huge for customer support! It’s wise to always be thinking of ways to help your customers feel at ease when they order from you. Your customers will ask you where their packages are and if their packages have shipped yet. You should be able to answer questions like these for them.
Inventora synchronizes your inventory and order data across your sales channels. If you use Shopify, Etsy, Wix, or Square as one of your sales channels, you’re allowed to sync your shop with Inventora to have all the data you need in just one place. Things really don’t get more convenient than that! This way, everything is automated back to the same place after an order is made. You’ll know when and where a product was sold.
Lastly, Inventora reorders your stock at the right time based on automated forecasting calculations; a key factor to be able to do wholesale. An inventory tracking software for small business like Inventora, will let you know when your materials and product stock level, and reorder supplies, well in advance. As the system is going to be making those calculations for you, you just need to be aware of the stock levels to make the supply orders. You must to do this to be able to fulfilled the wholesale orders on time. As far as manual responsibilities, that’s nearly it when you use this inventory management technique.
A critical piece of wholesale inventory tracking is to have and keep an accurate count of your inventory. This means to count all the products that you have, once a month or twice a year. Depending on the size of your business this will vary. This cycle counting can help you see if something is missing, if you have more stock of a specific product and small details that are critical when having an accurate inventory. What you need to do is match what you physically have with what you have in the inventory system. This will allow you to keep tabs on a more regular basis. This is in case there are types of items that you’d like to keep track of more closely.
In an ideal world, we have exactly the right amount of inventory all the time. We can’t predict the future and its hard when we run out of stock. However, it also can be a problem to consistently have too much inventory. The longer you’re holding onto a product, the more its value depreciates. And that means you’re losing money. To run your business with your finances kept in mind, it will be necessary to accurately trace the steps of your products and it’s whereabouts from start to finish.
Have a cycle counting. This allows you to recognize which products need to be a priority since they have the highest turnover and value. When using the Inventora report feature, you are able visibly see these cycles, and ultimately have a better control of your stock.
Figure out if smaller order sizes are an option with your suppliers, or if they have a discount depending of the size of your order. Don’t be afraid to ask. The worst response you’ll get is a “no”. It’s important to cut corners where you can, and often times suppliers give discounts when ordering in bulk.
Get rid of your headstock. Giving away products for less than the cost price is not ideal. However, you will need to free up your inventory for new and potentially more profitable products. This can be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s something ever small business owner has to do and come to terms with here and there. Don’t let it get you down; it’s part of the game.
These key metrics are factors that you need to know when using an inventory system. This helps you to add the right data to the inventory control system and get the calculations that you are looking for.
Know your lead time demand. You need to have an estimated time for your supply orders and how much time it takes you to make each one of your products. This is to let your customers know when their order is going to be ready to be shipped. Accurately anticipating your various lead times will enable you to get your wholesale orders moving quickly. The more streamlined this process, the more business you can take on and the more revenue you can generate for your business.
Stay on top of your reorder point and set up a minimum stock level. Reorder point refers to a designated level of a given stock that, when reached, will let you know when to make a reorder.
The goal of setting a reorder point and minimum stock levels is to ensure that you always have sufficient inventory of a specific product or material in hand at any point in time. This will provide a safety net in case of a fluctuation in demand, hold-ups in lead time, or any other unforeseen circumstances that may cause you to run out of stock.
Your reorder point will be different for each of your supplies or products. Planning reorder points is a crucial part of inventory management. Setting your minimum stock level to the optimum amount allows you to cut down on excess spending while also ensuring you always have enough inventory in stock to meet your customers’ demands.
You can’t start running profitable wholesale orders if you don’t have a good handle on your business’s inventory management. That’s why having an inventory tracking software for small businesses is so essential. Using our best tips for wholesale inventory management such as tracking incoming and outgoing inventory, completing regular physical inventory counts, and implementing a great inventory management software, are all key in keeping your inventory in good standing.
Just dipping your feet into wholesale? Learn more about getting started with wholesale as a handmade business owner here. To get started building your business today for FREE join Inventora’s hobby plan. Or sign up for small business educational hot takes with our newsletter below!