You don’t want to do it. Your team doesn’t want to do it. Your boss, if that’s not you, probably doesn’t want to do it all that badly either. Don’t know what we’re talking about? Anyone who’s been in business involving direct marketing and product shipping long enough is familiar with one of the most dreaded times of the year: inventory audits.
Inventory audits can be exhausting because of an excess of inventory, poor organization, inefficient tracking, unaccountability, and, oddly enough, too few audits.
If you’re involved in organizing your inventory and coordinating inventory audit efforts, you will want to check out these tips for better inventory management:
1. Don’t store too much
This concept might seem simple, but it’s often the biggest obstacle for inventory management. And the most avoidable one. It’s tempting to overstock in fear of being unable to keep up with orders. But, when you overstock, you clutter your inventory and put it at risk of depreciation or even damage if the storage facility is compromised by some form of disaster. Plus, it can be expensive to maintain storage facilities, and if you have too much inventory, you may have to upgrade to a more expensive site.
This is why it’s important to track your quarters and campaigns, and collect data. You can use this data to make projections for future campaigns or sales quarters, so you can avoid the mess and stock the appropriate amount of product or media.
2. Organize to the smallest detail
Keeping your warehouse clean is not organization of inventory. It’s a small step, but truly organizing your inventory requires much more attention. Use SKU numbers, UPC numbers, size, weight, color, and, if applicable, price. These details on packages prevent incorrectly counting two different types of product or media together and ruining your projections for next quarter.
You can keep your ordering and fulfilling process smooth by using a comprehensive service that takes orders, checks inventory, updates inventory after the order, determines the charge to the client, and converts the order to an invoice for packing and shipping. Automating this process helps prevent orders from getting lost, delayed, or incorrectly placed.
Managing your brand and managing your marketing inventory, such as print campaigns and direct mail campaigns, benefits from an automatic system as well.
3. Perform regular audits
Murphy’s Law states that anything that can happen will happen. This is especially true for inventory accidents. Your inventory can be ruined by leaks, fire, or other natural disasters. It can be stolen, damaged, or lost. Too many items can be shipped to one client, or the wrong item can be shipped. Performing more frequent audits can help catch any gaps from errors like these, and help you keep the appropriate inventory in stock as well as projecting next quarter’s orders.
Do you need help organizing your inventory for your marketing campaign? MEDiAHEAD offers everything you need to fully communicate and measure the impact of your message over print, online, and other new media outlets. Contact MEDiAHEAD today for more information about developing a web portal for an overall more effective campaign!