5 Tips for Avoiding Stockouts in Retail Inventory Management

Stockouts, especially in the era of supply chain issues, can be devastating for a retail business. A stock out happens when the demand for a product outpaces the supply. While this seems like a good problem to have, it can lead to frustrating experiences for your customers. They may opt for other products in your inventory, or they may decide it’s time to switch brands entirely. With the help of effective inventory management, you can avoid this common retail problem. 

Implement Accurate Demand Forecasting

In retail, demand forecasting means predicting the amount of product you will need to meet the demands of your customers. This is essential for inventory management, especially in a fast-paced retail environment. To accurately forecast the demand for your products, you will need to consider seasonal patterns, market trends and historical sales data. This can be done manually by members of your team, but more often than not, businesses utilize forecasting software to make the most accurate predictions. 

Optimize Inventory Replenishment Systems

One of the main benefits of inventory management software is its ability to automate inventory replenishment. You can input data like frequency for reorders, safety stock levels and order lead times to ensure that you will always have the right amount of inventory. However, white you’re in the stages of building your business, you can have someone track these things manually. Whether you use a system or have a co-worker tracking inventory, make sure to have a regular review process, adjusting replenishment systems as needed. 

Cultivate Strong Supplier Relationships

Working with a reliable supplier is key to always having the inventory you need on hand. Finding a single supplier who can handle most, if not all, of your supply needs can help you build a crucial long-term relationship that will benefit your company in many different ways. Suppliers who know you and your business well can recommend products that could help your business work more efficiently. They can make you a priority during supply chain shortages and help you find alternatives when needed. 

Embrace Just-in-Time Inventory Management

Just-in-time inventory management means receiving products and supplies right when you need them. This means never overspending on excess inventory. It also means the inventory you do have turns over quickly, giving you the space you need for the next round of inventory. If you choose to utilize this style of inventory management, you will need to make sure your systems are efficient and working properly. Real-time data and communication with suppliers is crucial for companies that practice just-in-time inventory management. 

Adopt Robust Inventory Tracking Systems

With the technology available on the market today, tracking inventory is easier than ever. RFID scanners have become more affordable, and they can be a great tool for tracking inventory. Unlike barcodes, RFID tags can be read from a distance and in any orientation. Inventory management software can be used to automate the tracking of sales, stock levels and order fulfillment. With tools like this at your disposal, you can ensure accurate real-time tracking of inventory and avoid stockouts. 

Keeping track of your inventory and your inventory needs helps you avoid stockouts, a retail problem that has become more common with the post-pandemic supply chain issues. There are many ways businesses can stay on top of inventory, and working with a reliable supplier like Pollock Orora is one of the best. Contact us today to learn how we have SOLVED retail inventory management for businesses like yours.