This post is written by Crystal Gilliam and illustrated by Joyce Lee, both members of the TradeGecko content team. TradeGecko is a cloud-based inventory management software solution for SMBs. TradeGecko’s blog and knowledge base are full of tips and tricks for retailers and wholesalers on inventory management, ecommerce and logistics.
Supply chain management. The term brings images to mind of warehouses, shipping containers, and people walking around in hard hats holding clipboards. It can seem complicated – and let’s be honest, it is. A supply chain is the multi-faceted backbone of your retail or wholesale business whether you’re selling online, in stores or doing a little bit of both.
As with any major aspect of your business, there are probably lots of areas where you’re incurring more costs than necessary and some of these can definitely be streamlined. It’s worth taking a look at your supply chain as a whole to recognize areas where there could be fewer costs, which also means higher profits.
If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a guide for cutting those costs and optimizing your supply chain.
In the following, we take a look at six areas of the supply chain and how you can start to cut costs and streamline: inventory cost, inventory valuation, quality control, sales channels, warehousing and fulfillment logistics.
This post is by Vera Lim, an Inbound Marketing Manager with TradeGecko, a company that provides cloud-based inventory management software for growing businesses. Vera writes for TradeGecko’s blog and knowledge base, covering topics ranging from the latest ecommerce developments to explaining how inventory management works… without the jargon.
When people start a new ecommerce business, managing their inventory is often the last thing on their minds. Most will find themselves spending the bulk of their time and attention on getting their brand recognized enough to break through the clutter of the internet. It’s easy to overlook the importance of inventory management: getting the right products at the right place at the right time.
As an online retailer, what you’re gunning for is to ensure that you’re stocking more fast moving goods that are making up the bulk of your sales, and less of stuff that doesn’t seem to sell so well. At the same time you’d want to make sure that you have enough stock to match forecasted customer demand at any time.
You’ll want to get inventory management right, because most companies invest the bulk of their capital in inventory. Just think about it: first you’ll need to purchase products, then you’d have to figure out how much storage you need and how much to spend, followed by devoting time and effort to setting up an inventory management system.
Ultimately, efficient inventory management plays a huge role in your business’ success.
UPDATE September 2016: We now have a directory category for restocking tools.
Retail is a simple business. You buy products in large quantities, open up the boxes, then sell small quantities to consumers.
But when we talk about ecommerce – online retail – most of the focus is on the “selling” and not so much on the “buying”. There’s no doubting the importance of selling, which includes marketing, shipping and customer support. But there’s just as much to be gained by working on the buying part of the business.
So in this article I’m going to talk about “inventory optimization”. It’s the science of when to order stock, and how many units to buy, to make sure you have enough to keep up with orders while minimizing the amount lingering in the warehouse.
It gets a little complex, but there are innovative tools that can do it for you – including one that’s free for small businesses.