Great Inventory Management Tips for Wholesale Businesses

Inventory Management

Wholesale businesses, especially digital and online models have severely taken off since Covid-19. But, inventory management has always been one of the biggest challenges to these kinds of businesses, especially new ones. 

As a distributor, you will most likely be managing and controlling a huge volume of stock. It is key, therefore, to streamline as much as possible and ensure that it is efficiently controlled.  

If it is not controlled properly, and not effectively streamlined, it won’t put you out of business, but the fact of the matter is that it will cost you money and stagnate your processes, which will hurt you in the long run. 

So, with this in mind, we thought that we would unpack the key aspects of inventory management. We spoke to some of the top wholesalers to find out what their top tips are and brought them to you. Let’s get stuck in.  

Use the right tools and platforms 

The first thing that you want to do to overhaul your inventory management is to make sure that you have the right technology behind you to effectively manage your inventory. Luckily, there are numerous tools and platforms online that you can choose from to suit your specific needs. 

If you are just starting, you will most likely not have a huge budget or inventory to manage. The more you grow, the more your needs will increase and the more adaptability you will need from your platforms. 

Choose a wholesale management platform that not only provides you with all of the data and information that you need with a click of your mouse but that will allow you to engage with your employees and your clients effectively. From order placement to payment processing, try and get everything in one place. 

Some platforms even offer virtual showrooms, so do a deep dive into various options and pick one that will be able to align with your company as you grow. 

Open up communication channels 

Communication between your employees as well as your customers is key. One of the biggest reasons for a lot of businesses failing is a break in communication and new businesses not knowing how to open channels between their employees. 

In fact, many entrepreneurs withhold a lot of information from their employees out of fear that their trade secrets might get leaked to competitors. The fact of the matter is that in a lot of cases, you will need to have a set policy in place to manage information and data in the company. Control the flow of information, and decide from the outset what needs to be communicated and what trade secrets you will need to keep to yourself. 

Inventory management is a cumulative effort and it will only work when everyone has access to information and data to be able to do their jobs effectively. So, open up channels where information will be able to reach those who need it. 

There are some great solutions like Slack that allow you to communicate in real time with individuals, teams, and even the whole company from any device. 


Keep on-hand inventory low

The truth is that maintaining an overstock is always preferable to maintaining an understock. In saying that, it doesn’t mean that you should keep high levels of inventory in your business. This usually leads to you paying excessive amounts of money every month on storing items that will eventually decay. Especially if you are in an industry with perishable items. 

Not only is decay and costs part of your consideration but you also need to keep in mind that the value of goods depreciates over time. Storage and warehouse management are also key factors to keep in mind here. 

So, the answer to this is to again, look at technology and platforms to help you out. Incorporate smart software solutions that use Artificial Intelligence, or AI. These will help you to predict inventory requirements according to consumer buying trends. They will also let you know how much stock you need in any given month based on past sale records.

The bottom line 

In conclusion, wholesalers need to make automation of inventory management a number one priority. We have mentioned the importance of moving to technology to manage a large part of your business. But we need to emphasize how important automated inventory management is to most modern wholesalers. 

These automated systems allow wholesalers to manage inventory in real time. It also allows you to make business-critical decisions in a timely fashion. They should also work hand-in-hand with your other tools and platforms to provide an overreaching support system for your company.

If you’re going to achieve real-time accuracy in inventory management, turn to technology and automation to get your business streamlined and effectively managed.

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