Inventory management can appear to be a never-ending task. In addition, just when you think you’ve reached equilibrium, your inventory levels shift. According to studies, 43% of small business owners still use manual inventory management techniques such as Excel spreadsheets or do not track inventory. Inventory management, on the other hand, can make or break your business. According to CNBC, common inventory issues such as returns, overstocks, and out-of-stock products cost retailers a whopping $1.75 trillion each year. Optimize print on demand inventory management is critical to ensuring that your eCommerce business does not fall into this category. As a result, it allows you to reduce logistics costs while also meeting customer expectations.
WHAT ARE OPTIMAL INVENTORY LEVELS?
Optimal inventory levels are the precise amount of stock required in a fulfillment center at any given time to meet regular demand for the print on demand products. Furthermore, they are the ideal product quantities in fulfillment center(s) at any given time. You reduce the risk of common inventory issues, such as high storage costs and out-of-stock items, by optimizing inventory levels. In addition, more inventory can cost too much money, take up too much shelf space, and eventually become unsellable. However, insufficient stock can result in stockouts and backorders, reducing customer satisfaction.
WHY IS IT ESSENTIAL TO MAINTAIN HEALTHY INVENTORY LEVELS?
Healthy inventory levels clearly indicate ecommerce supply chain efficiency and profitability. By avoiding overstocking or understocking, you can improve cash flow, optimize warehousing capacity, and consistently meet customer demand, resulting in brand loyalty and trust. More inventory can cost you money by overspending on holding costs or, worse, sitting on a lot of inventory that has lost value or is no longer sellable. Aside from ensuring optimal inventory levels, a better understanding of your stock levels can aid supply chain planning by determining the best time to reorder more inventory and improve inventory accuracy.
5 BEST PRACTICES FOR MAINTAINING OPTIMAL PRINT ON DEMAND INVENTORY LEVELS
1. Set up an inventory tracking system.
You can improve stock control across your distribution network by knowing how much of each SKU is located at each geographic location. Moreover, such real-time access to stock levels across logistics centers and sales channels is provided by print on demand inventory tracking systems. Implementing an inventory tracking system as your supply chain grows is a surefire way to efficiently allocate inventory with full access to real-time data.
2. Determine the reordering points.
Manual inventory tracking is the last thing any business owner wants to do because there will be no time for anything else. Once you’ve determined your optimal inventory level, you can set reorder points to help automate the reorder process. In addition, a reorder point is the lowest level of inventory that determines when it is necessary to reorder. The reorder quantity you choose should consider both customer demand and lead times. Furthermore, most inventory apps automatically notify you when inventory levels reach a reorder point.
3. Use an inventory management system.
Your distribution network can operate at peak efficiency with the right technology that complements the supply chain at every stage. You can sync SKUs and orders with an inventory management system to see all inventory, ecommerce fulfillment centers, sales channels, and customers in one place. Many rapidly expanding online brands rely on an inventory management system from their print on demand fulfillment providers to track inventory in real-time and automate inventory tasks to save time and improve accuracy.
4. Communicate clearly with your print on demand service provider.
A foundation of good inventory management is clear communication with your fulfillment partner about your expectations and the new goods schedule. You should also be aware of any holidays or closures your manufacturer may have, such as factory shutdowns. Access to insights into your suppliers’ operations should be capitalized on and incorporated into your inventory tracking strategy. As a result, your suppliers play an important role in your supply chain, so keep an eye on their performance over time.
5. Conduct inventory audits.
Inventory and warehouse audits are undeniably time-consuming, especially if you’re dealing with a large amount of inventory and manually tracking it all using spreadsheets. Fortunately, consistent inventory audits can be automated and digitized by syncing your online store with an inventory storage system or print on demand fulfillment technology.
It can be difficult to track inventory levels as you expand into new warehouse locations and sell through multiple sales channels. However, a top ecommerce fulfillment company such as Fulfillplex can assist.
Fulfillplex provides a best-in-class fulfillment solution to assist you in maintaining optimized, low inventory levels, establishing reorder notification points, and tracking inventory across channels. Our technologically advanced ecommerce fulfillment solution can help you cut logistics costs and prepare your company for the unexpected. Get in touch with us for more information.