Did you know the global parcels industry was worth more than US$500bn in 2020? With such huge demand in the market, it’s essential companies can accurately track their goods in order to provide the highest levels of customer service.
But, how can you ensure your business is tracking inventory correctly? After all, if you get this crucial step wrong, it could result in lost packages, delivery delays, unhappy clients, and increased costs. The good news is there is no need to panic, as you can implement some straightforward methods that can improve your inventory tracking processes.
Let’s dive in and learn about some of the best tips for inventory tracking.
1. Use the Right Tools
When deciding how to track inventory, you need to think about which tools can help you easily record details of packages, even at your busiest times. Using pen and paper was a popular method many years ago, but this is now outdated. Instead, you could benefit from recording the details of your goods on an inventory tracking spreadsheet.
You can customize your spreadsheet to include any required categories, and it is simple to add extra columns or rows when necessary. You can also share an inventory tracking spreadsheet with colleagues, and it is a low-cost option that is affordable for both small and large businesses.
While it is possible to invest in specially-designed inventory tracking software, this can be an unnecessary expense for many businesses. You could end up paying for features you don’t need, and these systems can also be complex. Unless you are handling massive numbers of packages each day, using a more straightforward option could be a better choice.
2. Invest In Staff Training
If your staff aren’t trained to accurately log the movement of your goods, they are likely to lose track of your packages. It’s a good idea to create a clear plan of how goods will enter your premises, where they will be stored, and how they will leave your building.
Management can then pass this information to their teams, ensuring each staff member understands the processes. It is also important to have regular training sessions. You can then ensure employees are up to date with any changes to your inventory tracking procedures.
To make the training process easier, you can also provide online documents and videos. Employees can then refer to these materials should they need clarification when they are at work.
3. Outsource Inventory Tracking
If you are struggling to keep track of your inventory, you may want to consider outsourcing this task to a third party. A specialist firm will have tried and tested processes that can tell you where your goods are at all times. However, there are downsides to this method. You will be relying on an outside company, and if you choose the wrong partner, they could make mistakes that affect your business.
For example, if they lose track of goods, your customers could complain and ask for refunds. This can damage your reputation, and you could struggle to keep hold of the business from a dissatisfied client. There are also additional costs as there will be fees for the third party’s services.
While outsourcing is a viable method for many businesses, keeping your inventory tracking in-house can be preferable if you would rather handle this aspect using your own staff.
4. Work Closely With Your Suppliers and Couriers
One of the most overlooked tips for tracking inventory is communicating with suppliers and couriers. Your goods may be with many different companies as they travel between manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers. Therefore, there are times you may need to seek information from other businesses in the supply chain.
If you have strong relationships with these companies, they may be more willing to help you with any queries. But, there are also other ways businesses in the supply chain can help each other with inventory tracking. For example, one firm may be using an app that they find invaluable, and they can recommend this system to another company.
By keeping each other up to date with the latest inventory tracking trends, businesses can help one another become more efficient.
5. Audit Your Inventory Tracking Processes
Even if your inventory tracking processes appear to working, it’s vital to perform regular audits. You may notice there is a tiny flaw in your procedures that could result in goods going missing, or not being logged correctly. If you find some staff members are making mistakes, you can then provide additional training so they are more competent in their roles.
Audits can also save you money as you could notice there are more efficient ways to handle your goods that reduce costs. This can be an extra bonus in addition to ensuring your inventory tracking procedures are performing as required.
Make Tracking Inventory Easier For Your Business
Tracking inventory can be challenging. But, you can make the process easier by implementing some helpful practices. It can be beneficial to keep a straightforward inventory log that you can easily update. You should also ensure your staff know how to keep accurate records of your goods.
In addition, it can be useful to communicate regularly with your suppliers, and it’s vital to perform audits to ensure your inventory tracking processes are working efficiently.
You could soon have a seamless inventory tracking system!
For more helpful hints and tips, be sure to check out more great posts in our Technology and Business sections before you go.