How Your Small Business Can Maintain Sufficient Packaging Inventory
Packaging inventory management impacts small businesses more than owners may suspect. However, if you don’t have effective inventory packaging strategies or use outdated optimization methods, you could create supply chain bottlenecks that impact your business performance.
Depleting your packaging inventory leads to delayed shipments, missed sales opportunities, and frustrated customers. Therefore, mastering your packaging inventory is a must. Whether you’re rethinking how to do inventory management for a small business or investing in small business inventory management software, following a few critical tips can give you a competitive edge.
Consider Your Current Inventory
Before replenishing your packaging inventory, you need to determine what is available. While depleting your inventory is a big problem, overstocking your business should also be avoided. Notably, if you stock your store shelves with products that aren’t moving, you may sell them at a loss to move inventory.
Forecast Your Demand and Pinpoint Your Expectations
Some business owners spend time chasing the market, while others use their resources to anticipate trends and adapt accordingly. Use all available tools to make informed decisions about what to order. Social media, market analyses, and online research can equip you with practical knowledge to determine what products, packaging, and sales trends make the most sense for your business.
Whitepapers and market research can help you determine whether it’s profitable to invest in recyclable packaging or whether it still makes sense for your brand to prioritize other components. Practical forecasting tools embolden your inventory management small business needs.
Keep the Pareto Principle firmly in mind and remember that roughly 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your inventory. Never let that 20% lapse into supply chain issues!
Develop a Purchasing Strategy
Once you’ve set your baseline for product demand, you’re ready to design a purchase plan. The purchase plan is a core component of small business inventory management, as it outlines how much product you need to source and where it will impact your bottom line. Therefore, your purchase plan must be as flexible as you are.
You want to strike a delicate balance between inventory that regularly performs well without depleting your stock entirely. Your purchase plan should also include room for growth. Budget extra for significant shopping holidays or have additional stock for seasonal items that sell well during certain months. Whether you’re buying bottles, containers, and closures for your skincare brand or designing tincture jars for a CBD business, flexibility is a must.
Keep an Eye on Your Raw Materials Sources
While you need to spend your resources on your purchase plan and your in-house wares, you should also keep a finger on the pulse of your overall supply chain. This means that you need to spend time tracking your raw materials. Raw materials are a significant part of doing inventory for a small business, as shortages, shipping delays, and other restrictions can cut off your access to key ingredients, components, and parts.
Work closely with your manufacturers, shippers, and packagers to find effective shipping solutions that empower your growth. Effective partnerships can help you navigate materials shortages that would otherwise halt your sales process. From the glass that goes into your high-end juice bottles to the jars and closures you use in your shops, track your raw materials to see your strengths and vulnerabilities.
Understand All Relevant Factors Regarding Your Inventory
Your inventory goes beyond your physical products. Often, it factors in the time, costs, and resources invested in your overall inventory management processes. After all, spending money on packaging, bottles, and containers may seem like operating at a loss until you sell products. However, once you’ve established a flow, that reordering process is less like operating at a loss and more of a critical component in your brand’s growth.
Whether using software tools or an old-fashioned spreadsheet, you should figure out how much you have in inventory. This includes materials expenses, packaging costs, and shipping invoices. Without this critical information, you can’t effectively price your goods to boost revenue and support continued expansion.
Track Your Customers’ Orders
Until a package is safely in your customers’ hands, it’s still part of your supply chain, meaning it’s your responsibility. Effective order tracking makes it much easier to close the loop on your transactions. On the other hand, failing to provide order tracking, timely deliveries, and regular updates can negatively impact your brand reputation and lead to inventory management issues.
When you’re doing inventory for a small business, track every component from origination to delivery. That can help you maintain optimal in-stock levels and streamline your reordering process. Order tracking can even improve overall customer satisfaction.
Use Software to Optimize Your Inventory
Inventory management for small businesses doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems. These days, automation can streamline redundant tasks, mitigate human errors, and help you make intelligent decisions about ordering materials, reordering products, and shipping packages. Packaging inventory management and optimization software often make things easier for small businesses.
Inventory management software empowers you to set low-stock alerts that inform you when to top up your supplies, reorder critical ingredients, or buy more bottles for your best-selling beverages, soaps, or lotions. Software that takes the guesswork from inventory management for a small business can often make all the difference in your success.
To learn more about small business strategies that can help you avoid depleting your packaging inventory, contact BottleStore.com today. Our expert team understands how proper packaging impacts your inventory management processes. In addition, we make bulk ordering a breeze to address your inventory packaging management needs. Get in touch today to see how effective packaging can transform your business.