Effective inventory management techniques are paramount to success leading into busy holiday seasons. The average American shopper spends more than $1,000 yearly on holiday shopping. Don’t miss out on those sales due to out-of-stock items or discourage future sales with unsatisfactory customer experiences.
Using mobile devices and RFID visibility solutions can help your teams do more in less time while improving accuracy. We’ve worked with retailers nationwide to help them streamline operations and enhance their barcoding and RFID technology. These are just a few inventory management techniques we’ve seen when working with those national and global retailers. No matter what size your business is, these are good practices to have or to put in place.
We’ll Weather the Weather Together
Seasonal fluctuations and demand volatility can make store managers feel like a meteorologist: struggling to forecast accurately using available visibility tools. If empowered with the right tools and good historical data, there’s a better chance that they’ll get an accurate forecast and predict your needs. If they don’t have precise forecasting tools, trying to successfully stock their store might feel a bit like scrambling unprepared in a trends tornado. Stay ahead of trends and customer demands when you plan ahead based on your visibility tools.
Intuitive, up-to-date mobility devices and RFID visibility tools can be excellent solutions to help you forecast demand and prepare accordingly. A retail mobility partner can help you set up and maintain IT devices that predict future trends. This can include routine maintenance tasks associated with a mobile fleet and depot services to ensure that your team always has operational devices with as little disruption as possible.
Harnessing the Power of Mobile Tech and Visibility Tools
Using barcodes and RFID tags can help you accurately identify and track inventory, in many cases in near real-time. RFID is also a powerful tool for retail because it doesn’t require a direct line of sight for scans, which allows you to complete inventory tasks more quickly with less staff.
While the labor market is cooling, 7 out of 10 recently surveyed CEOs still cite labor shortage as their number one challenge. Combat these issues when you harness RFID tagging to complete cycle counts faster, with less staff.
Using barcode scanners and RFID technology can help you easily make informed inventory management decisions, giving insights into what items need to be rotated to keep inventory fresh and enticing.
How to Execute Inventory Management Best Practices
Best practices are all well and good, but how do you successfully implement these solutions? The first thing is to organize products based on categories, brands, and SKUs. RFID tags, in particular, are an excellent choice for enhanced inventory management as they store more information than traditional barcodes.
Implementing a well-defined system that helps you quickly identify products makes it easier for your teams to retrieve requested products. An example might be a customer asking for a clothing item in a specific size and color unavailable on the sales floor. The store employee should be able to tell them if that item is in stock in the back with a few taps on a mobile device.
Setting up transparent inventory management practices also helps your team quickly create reorder requests for high-traffic item replenishment. When you can keep high-traffic items in stock, your business generates more revenue.
Regular Cycle Counting and Stock Audits
Unsurprisingly, successful businesses conduct regular cycle counts to reconcile stock levels. That said, though, it can be labor intensive if you have one employee who has to cycle count your entire sales floor. Using multiple mobility devices can help keep it simple for your employees and speed up cycle counts, especially if you introduce RFID tags to your merchandise.
If you don’t have multiple devices, an enterprise mobility partner can help you roll out devices that make cycle counting faster and more accurate. Having a large variety of devices can also help with other tasks like line busting and price checks on the sales floor.
Roll Out an Upgraded Inventory Management System Now
The saying “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago” parallels the question of when to enact the inventory management techniques outlined in this list. While 20 years ago is a stretch, it’s fair to say that if you’re not already working with an RFID visibility software or an enterprise mobility partner, you need one now. Implementing or updating your inventory management processes before a busy season sets you up for enhanced operations and increased customer satisfaction during sometimes-stressful buying seasons.