Small Business Inventory Storage and Management Tips

Avoid losses and mismanagement with our inventory storage tips.

Any small business that keeps inventory will understand the importance of proper stock management. Inventory storage needs daily management to avoid shrinkage, over or under ordering, losses, poor service delivery and spoilage.

As an example, without proper management, you won’t have accurate records of what items are in stock which might lead to over ordering of a particular item. This expenditure will lead to funds being unnecessarily tied up in items that you already had in stock.

Top tips for small business inventory storage

These simple but effective tips will help any small business or entrepreneur avoid stock mismanagement.

Use inventory management software

Good cloud-based inventory management software will allow you to digitise your inventory, making it easier to track stock levels. The system’s real-time data will also allow you to do things like forecast demand and identify slow-moving stock.

Implement first-in first-out (FIFO)

First-in first-out is one of the main principles of good stock management. It simply means whatever went into your inventory first, must come out first. This prevents any stock from stagnating and is particularly important for perishable stock items.

Keep track of slow-moving versus fast-moving stock

Slow-moving items should be moved to less accessible areas of your storage space, while fast-moving items should be right up front. This helps streamline your stock in and stock out processes. It also helps you identify stock items that might need to be culled in future.

Track your stock levels in real-time

Management software will help you track this in real-time but if you don’t have or need this software, make sure your stock levels are always up to date. Stock levels should be recorded daily at least, possibly even twice or three times depending on how fast your stock moves.

For larger inventories, hire a stock controller

If you have a big or fast-moving inventory, a dedicated stock controller will be able to keep constant watch over stock in and stock out. They can also restrict access to the storage area to minimise shrinkage.

Make the most of your storage area

Manage your space as well as your stock. Map out the storage area and create the best layout based on type and amount of stock, shelving options, number of people working in the area, for example. Make sure you have an efficient and user-friendly labelling system too.

Don’t skimp on space

As your stock requirements grow, your current storage space might become too cramped to be efficient. This will lead to problems managing your stock properly. Get a bigger storage space as you need it.

Do quality control

Don’t forget to do a quality check as your stock comes in. If you leave this step for when the stock needs to be shipped and you discover faults or breakage, you won’t have the time or recourse to fix the problem with the supplier.

Audit your stock

Mistakes happen, even when you’re using inventory management software. At least once a year, do an audit just to make sure everything lines up. Using historical and current data, count and recount your stock, do spot checks and make sure everything adds up.

Business storage for better inventory management

Multibox offers affordable storage units for small to medium businesses or entrepreneurs that need inventory storage. With our range of different sized units, you can securely store non-perishable inventory for your retail store or ecommerce business.

If you prefer to store inventory on your own premises, we also offer affordable container hire. Both options provide a central yet accessible storage point for your inventory to make stock management much easier. Contact us for more information or to get a quote.