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Efficiency

Stock Management for Small to Medium Merchants

Alice-India Garwood
by Alice-India Garwood on September 3, 2018

Stock management is a perfect opportunity for your business to upgrade its efficiency. It might seem simple but there are always little improvements you can be making to your inventory control.

Firstly, why is this so important? What impact can proper stock management have on you and your business?

We’ve located three main areas impacted by your level of stock efficiency: customer service, cost and time. You’ll probably find some overlap in these, highlighting how interconnected they are.

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So, customer service.

Well, I guess it comes down to this: If I order 500 bricks from you, do you know where they are? Do you know if you have enough of the right ones? How much are they? When can you get them to me by?

If you can’t answer these questions quickly, or if I have to wait for you to restock, I’m going to move on to another supplier.

I’m a busy project manager, I don’t have time to waste!

"If a customer is having to wait for you to restock, they're going to move on to another supplier."

What’s next?

Money. Another factor of stock management.

Baring in mind that 50-60% of all construction costs come from materials. If you don’t know how much stock you have and you take too long to order new stock, it’s going to drive builder’s money in to the pockets of competitor’s.

Builder’s want to give you there money!

SMB3 (1)[Photo Credit: JB Jessop]

But what about you?

Time saving.

You’re having to run around checking you have the right stock. Or you’re having to order new stock which you thought you had, but don’t.

Builder’s don’t have time to waste and neither do you!

You want repeat custom, all of these issues affect your ability to give the best possible customer service and your bottom line. It all comes down to something as simple as effective stock management.

"Builder’s don’t have time to waste and neither do you!"

So what can you be doing to make sure you know the answers to all of these?

Although you may have been using paper systems for a long time - what’s not to like? You’re in complete control of your information and how you want it presented! - it might be time to consider digitising that information.

smb5[Photo Credit: Dillon Transport Inc]

Even if you’re unconvinced by stock specific software, why not give Excel a go?

The beauty of excel really, is that with the right formulas and shortcuts, you can have information that updates itself when you put in completed orders. Is there anything more beautiful than a self updating system? We think not.

Another option for you is specifically designed inventory tracking technology. These technologies have the ability to automatically order new stock when yours is dropping below a certain point.

"Is there anything more beautiful than a self updating system? We think not."

Software like Linnworks, which has high customer ratings across the board. So, as well as standard inventory management you’d expect, it also has the option to automatically order new stock when you get down to a certain level - pretty neat!

containers1100x500[Photo Credit: Excel Transportation]

Then we have Order Wise. One major benefit for smaller businesses is that the cost of using this software works on a sliding scale depending on the size of your business. So you have access to a great piece of software whatever your size.

What can Order Wise do for you?

Well, within the small business package you have 6 months of advanced support as well as training options. You also get set up assistance with this package. As for the software itself, project coordination is one of its many features as well as stock control and warehouse management. Alongside this you get invoicing, purchasing and accounts/reporting - ideal! And that’s just with the small business package.

"If you’re unconvinced by stock specific software, why not give Excel a go?"

Whatever your level of digital expertise, there are options for you when it comes to increasing your stock efficiency.

Tags: Efficiency

AUTHOR
Alice-India Garwood

Alice-India Garwood

Content Marketing Executive at Bobtrade. Interested in design, sustainability and the history of construction. I love all things indie and theatrical.