The holiday shopping season is here. For many businesses, especially those in retail, it is a great time to boost sales. According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales in 2019 grew around 4% more than the previous year at $729 Billion.
This year, despite the pandemic, it is important that you prepare your business for the holiday shopping rush. Start with implementing a robust inventory stock management system. The last thing you want is to miscalculate the market demand for the holiday season. Here is a list of some common mistakes to avoid.
- Failure to advertise your business in the holiday spirit
- Being understaffed to meet the increased demand
- Using the wrong inventory control system
- Inability to carry out competitor/past trend analysis
- Inaccurate budget planning
While the list could be longer; the idea is pretty clear. A key factor to drive up business performance during this busy season is accurate inventory stock management. This not only includes stock counts, but also everything from budget calculations to reports and analysis.
Here are six actionable steps you can take to implement inventory stock management for streamlined operations throughout the holiday season:
1.Mark your dashboard calendar
With multiple projects running throughout the year, companies may not leave enough time to plan for the holiday season. This is why it is important to mark calendars early on. Doing so will give you ample time to think ahead and get all the resources in order. For instance, if you are a retail company, you want to design effective marketing and management strategies to get the most sales out of the holiday season. This is only possible if you are well prepared.
An automated inventory stock management software offers a live dashboard calendar that keeps a record of all previous and upcoming business events. By adding all important dates in the software, you can set reminders about events and send out alerts to all concerned individuals, teams and departments
2. Get your vendors on board
The holiday season is a busy time for suppliers and vendors. To avoid shortages and last minute emergencies, reach out to suppliers well ahead of time. The earlier you have your vendors on board, the easier it will be to negotiate inventory rates with them. As soon as the demand starts rising, so will the prices. The best way to stay within budget is to appoint vendors before the season hike.
An early holiday season strategy also leaves room for cost benefit analysis. This means you can try out different suppliers while you still have time and select the best value for money. This practice also acts as quality control and ensures the holiday stock retains the regular standards. Once you have finalized your vendors, you can add them to your inventory stock management software and directly send out procurement receipts.
3. Maintain inventory balance
Accurately predicting demand is a tough challenge for businesses. This is mostly because they are not using robust analytical tools. An accurate demand forecast requires insightful inventory data. To start off, gather information from the previous holiday season sales and inventory counts. Put together a team and study the numbers from the last year.
For actionable customized reports use an inventory tracking software to track previous consumption and demand trends.While previous trends are a reliable indicator of future sales, keep a lookout for any major economic factors that may cause an increase or decrease in demand.
Once the data analysis is complete, order stock in advance. Pre planned inventory procurement ensures that you get the desired items without any delays. However, remember not to go overboard with stocking inventory items. Extra stock will unnecessarily tie up resources and occupy warehouse space With proper analytical tools and survey of the current market environment, your business can maintain inventory balance in a seamless manner.
4. Automate procurement
With holiday orders streaming in, businesses find it tough to manage inventory manually. To ensure smooth performance throughout the busy season switch to automated inventory procurement. With the right tracking software, you can track inventory consumption and receive purchase requests on time. Moreover a software enables you to set minimum stock thresholds. Whenever the limit is reached, instant email alerts will be sent out for a purchase order.
Automated procurement lowers chances of untimely stockouts and delays in shipments due to late orders. Keep up with the customer requests through streamlined inventory stock management.
5. Launch into Ecommerce
Businesses that don’t own a webstore should establish one. The ones that already have a webstore should optimize it to cater to the holiday shoppers. Online stores not only expand your customer base, they make it easier for people to shop – especially in the current pandemic conditions. Whether you own a grocery store, clothing boutique, or a baking shop, invest to advertise your holiday deals online.
E Commerce is the next step of your inventory stock management plan for the holiday season. Once you have audited everything and received your shipments, it’s time to display it on the webstore. Accurate inventory tracking makes online transactions easier as everything is automated and there are lower chances of error.
Boost holiday sales: Invest in an inventory tracking software
The key to successful holiday inventory management is having a robust support system. The holiday season can get overwhelming with all the orders, shipments and customer requests. A cloud based tracking software enables companies to centralize inventory. By using an automated system, firms can keep a record of all inventory items on a single platform.
By tagging all stock items, admin managers can generate procurement receipts and alert vendors with a single click. Moreover, when all inventory orders are traceable it becomes easier to run audits and track performance
EZOfficeInventory is a leading inventory tracking software. It allows you to track, maintain, and report on inventory from anywhere, at any time. We offer a free 15-day trial – no credit card required!