search icon
Two men standing in a warehouse inspecting bales of toilet rolls

Command and control your inventory

Delight customers, vendors, and employees with fast, accurate fulfillment.

Control stock and protect your business

Loss of sales and spiraling costs make poor inventory management a major problem.

Not having enough stock results in stock-outs. Orders come in, you don’t have the items the customer wants, and then a scramble ensues to expedite higher-priced replenishment—or, possibly even worse, you lose the sale to a competitor who has the desired stock available. Stock-outs carry opportunity costs: the opportunity to sell at the best price, and the opportunity to sell at all. 

On the other hand, holding excess stock carries costs because the inventory you stock has to be warehoused, insured, secured against shrinkage, depreciated, and taxed as an asset. Excess items generally cost the business an additional 25% to 50% per year.

Excess stock carries opportunity costs as well: the working capital tied up in unsold inventory is unavailable for other purposes. Just-in-time inventory management can help with this problem.

What is just-in-time inventory management?

Just-in-time inventory management (JIT) is a strategy whereby products are only stocked when needed for sale. Reducing the amount of inventory stored in the warehouse allows you to avoid product waste due to damage or expiration while decreasing the costs incurred housing and maintaining unsold inventory.

How to improve your stock control systems

Improving inventory management requires taking charge of your warehouse operations and the physical stock inside it. Here are four areas you can work on right away that will improve your inventory management.

1. Evaluate your current practices.

Before you can make improvements, review your current practices. Effective inventory management is purpose-driven. Understanding what each link in the chain does—and why—allows you to hone in on the specific aspects of your system that need improving. Try consulting with other members of your team to identify potential problem areas and start there.

2. Perform routine stock reviews.

A major part of inventory management is simply knowing how much of each item you have in stock. Tracking what you bought against what you sold won’t give you the full picture. Items can get lost, stolen, or damaged after they enter the warehouse—it’s unavoidable. And often, lost items go unreported until the right person takes notice. Remedy this problem by routinely reviewing your physical inventory for accuracy with your records.

3. Systematize stock replenishment.

Having a system in place for restocking your inventory ensures you’re never completely out of stock. It’s crucial for the smooth flow of product during busy periods. If you’re not using the just-in-time strategy, you should have a policy to replenish inventory at set levels.

Whenever your inventory management system indicates stock has fallen below a certain number, place an order. Systematizing the replenishment process avoids having a lapse in product availability between the time you order and the time you receive the shipment. 

4. Learn customer behavior.

Start keeping track of how often you’re restocking certain items and try to identify any trends or patterns. Depending on your industry, there may be seasonal or other outside factors that affect your product flow. An inventory tracker can help and typically these are a key feature of modern inventory management solutions.

Note the periods when customers are ordering more and when they’re ordering less. Having a solid handle on how your customers behave allows you to stay ahead of the dry spells and mad rushes so you can work on maintaining the right inventory balance at all times.

Why you need better inventory management software

Taking charge of your inventory challenges could be the key to growing your profits.

Keep costs under control 

Take charge of your expenditure to ensure your business stays profitable in an often unpredictable operating environment.

Get your stock right

Easily accessible live data allows you to make better decisions about what to stock, pricing, and discontinued items.

Take charge of purchasing 

Automate key elements of your purchasing process, including replenishment and records of all purchase orders, and build up accurate data to make critical decisions.

Manage every aspect of your business

Sage X3

A complete business management solution tailored to the demanding medium-sized business user.

 

Discover Sage X3

 

Ideal for global companies in the manufacturing, distribution, chemicals, and services industries. 

  • Take control of global operations
  • Get the insight you need, when you need it
  • Expand to new markets or geographies
  • Gain agility and focus on your business

Brightpearl

The flexible retail operating system (ROS) that streamlines, simplifies, and automates your business.  Retail brands across the globe choose Brightpearl by Sage to power their back office.

 

Discover Brightpearl by Sage

 

Brightpearl’s ROS includes:

  • Workflow automation that saves the average retailer two months a year
  • Inventory and sales order management
  • Advanced demand forecasting
  • Market-leading benchmarking, retail analytics and business intelligence tools
  • Purchasing and supplier management
  • CRM
  • Warehouse management
  • POS
 ""

Inventory Planner

The top-rated inventory planning app that helps retailers accurately forecast future sales and get easy-to-understand buying recommendations.

 

Discover Inventory Planner by Sage

 

  • Forecasts that factor in seasonality, sales spikes, and demand shifts for ultimate accuracy.
  • Automated buying recommendations that are easy for your whole team to understand. No more over (or under) ordering!
  • Customized reporting with 200+ meaningful metrics to prioritize your purchasing. 

The benefits of inventory management software

Delight customers

Today's digital-savvy customers can instantly compare retailers’ prices online, wherever they are. These comparisons automatically increase pressure on prices, so retailers, distributors, and manufacturers often attempt to stand out based on the quality of service they provide.

You can fulfill customer orders quickly and accurately if you have instant insight into stock levels, customer details, shipping information, and more.


Get paid faster

Fulfilling orders faster means you can get paid faster, but keeping on top of invoicing and records of purchase orders can be a time-intensive process, often causing delays and impacting on your cash flow. Automate the process using powerful systems with accurate live data to make collecting payments a breeze.

Maximize profit margins

Making sure you have the right stock, in the right amount, at the right time is one of the biggest inventory management challenges you'll face. Running out, or ending up with excess stock, can prove hugely costly. With the right solution, you can analyze live sales and inventory data instantly to produce quality forecasts in no time at all. This way of working will help you hit your target fill rates, minimize stock-outs, and get the maximum value from your inventory.

Manage a more efficient growing business

Better insight into—and oversight of—your inventory can deliver benefits right across your business. With more accurate forecasting and the automation of many routine tasks, you'll free up time and working capital to invest where it's needed most. And with instant access to live data whenever and wherever you need it, you can make better decisions across your supply chain.

Get advice about managing inventory and the supply chain

Read our articles, guides, expert tips, and more.

Overcome financial fear to grow your business (Part 1)

Overcome financial fear to grow your business (Part 1)

Finance and growth mentor, Julie Wong, shares her top tips on how you can overcome your financial fears to optimize your business.

Read More
Read More
3 ways accountants can use automation to free up time for client work

3 ways accountants can use automation to free up time for client work

Explore how by embracing automation, you can unlock efficiency, reduce errors, and foster stronger client relationships.

Read More
Read More
Crafting powerful prompts

Crafting powerful prompts

Craft the best generative AI prompts with this practical guidance. Learn essential techniques to harness the full potential of AI for your business.

Read More
Read More
Rethinking AI

Rethinking AI

Challenge the conventional approach to AI and unlock new possibilities for your business. Join this masterclass to rethink AI for innovation and growth.

Read More
Read More

Change how your business competes and grows

Manage every area of your business with Sage X3.

Give Feedback