Let’s say you own an online store that sells t-shirts for children. A couple of months ago, you were selling about 2,000 T-shirts per month, and out of nowhere, your order volume doubled. You lose both sales and customer trust when your T-shirts constantly go out of stock, leaving you scrambling to restock.
An efficient strategy is necessary for keeping costs low and replenishing stock to meet demand. Managing your supply chain and meeting demand consistently can be challenging if you can’t optimize your inventory levels. The article provides tips on restocking inventory to help you improve your supply chain and meet demand consistently.
What is inventory restocking?
Essentially, it refers to the process of replenishing inventory based on demand and projected sales at the right time and place. It allows you to avoid overstocking and ensures you don’t miss sales opportunities.
During the initial phases of your business, you might order a seemingly random quantity of inventory and hope that it sells. The act of replenishing inventory entails more than placing more product on the shelves and ordering more from a supplier. In order to prepare for retail fulfillment, the right amount of inventory must be allocated and insights into demand must be developed, along with a clear understanding of production lead times and how long it takes to receive and store inventory.
Inventory restocking methods
It is important for every online retailer, big or small, to have restocked inventory on time. Data-driven restocking is generally regarded as the best restocking approach and inventory management. A brand’s resources and needs play a role in how they establish an inventory replenishment method.
- Restocking inventory periodically
In small businesses with low order volumes, periodic inventory is often used. It is this method of inventory valuation that occurs when the accounting records for the business’ inventories and cost of goods sold are not updated after every sale or inventory purchase.
Restocking involves replenishing inventory at regular intervals (e.g., every month, quarter, or year) and replenishing it after a set time frame.
- Restocking system based on profit
Profit-based restocking is the process of deciding whether to replenish inventory (or not) based on a SKU’s profitability. You will ensure that your storage facilities have enough stock to meet the demands of your inventory analysis if you find that a certain SKU leads to more profit. In order for this method to work, you should be able to track the profitability of your products on a regular basis.
5 inventory restocking tips
Retailers can suffer from poor restocking processes. In the absence of adequate restocking of inventory, business opportunities are lost, customer loyalty is diminished, and warehouse costs are increased.
You can reduce risk and meet demand by optimizing your inventory restocking processes.
I. Implement an inventory management system
Restocking accordingly becomes more challenging with multiple warehouse locations and different sales channels in a supply chain. A majority of online retailers use inventory management software to streamline inventory, order, and shipping processes.
In addition to saving time, inventory management software can reduce human error by automating inventory tracking. Overall, tools and technology can help you access the inventory at all times of the supply chain, so you know what and when to restock.
II. Utilizing inventory data
The ability to access data quickly is very important. By analyzing inventory data, you can predict future trends, adjust your inventory levels, and analyze past trends.
To determine how much additional inventory you will need to have on hand for the upcoming holiday season, you can factor in your current growth rate while looking at data from last quarter if you routinely run out of stock around the holidays.
III. Audit inventory on a regular basis
The purpose of an inventory audit is to compare financial and inventory records with actual inventory levels, in order to gain a better understanding of your inventory. You can identify inefficiencies and shrinkage in inventory, calculate profit and reorder accordingly by conducting an inventory audit.
IV. Make sure your inventory replenishment system is working properly by monitoring and adjusting it
It might be obvious that this is the point at which the process begins again. Late deliveries can affect lead time forecasts if your distributors aren’t on time. The demand for your product may exceed or fall short of your expectations, so you should update your projections.
At every stage, make sure your system is working correctly. You should keep up your internal processes as much as you do your external factors. Through trial and error, brands are inherently able to adapt and learn from their own processes.
V. Establish safety stock levels
Stock levels of safety are the quantity of stock that should be available at all times. You know you need to order a new item when the count falls below a certain number. By ensuring that you are continuously able to meet consumer demand, you are provided with a safety net.
There is no set safety stock level because buying trends, time of year, and supplier capabilities must be taken into consideration when adjusting safety stock levels. Make adjustments as necessary.
Purchasing, managing and restocking inventory effectively means putting systems and procedures in place to ensure customer satisfaction, while keeping your inventory lean.
You’ll need an inventory management system that lets you track stock efficiently, a good understanding of your data and strong agreements for restocking. Checkout Inventooly if you are looking for an inventory management system for your business needs.