If you're a food entrepreneur or own a business in the CPG space, establishing an accurate and reliable inventory management system is essential. After all, inventory is the fundamental backbone of your business.
It's okay to start small with an Excel spreadsheet to track inventory, but as your inventory management needs grow and change, it's important to assess whether it's time to abandon the spreadsheets and adopt a more complex inventory management system that will sync with bookkeeping and accounting systems.
Here are three signs that your inventory management system isn't supporting your business:
- Recurring errors: When inventory management lives in an Excel spreadsheet, there's a greater chance for data-entry errors. While this is a fine option for small businesses with limited SKUs, larger businesses with multiple SKUs need access to reliable inventory counts at all times. Moreover, locating the error that's skewing the data can be a challenge in and of itself.
- Too much (or too little) inventory: A well-maintained inventory management system leads to better reporting and forecasting. If you feel like ordering inventory is a guessing game and you aren't using your inventory counts to create reports to help you plan your sales cycle, it's time to upgrade your inventory management system.
- More questions than answers: Managing inventory doesn't have to be complicated. If at the end of the day you're scratching your head and not sure if the numbers you have are accurate or reliable, it's time to make a change. When used properly, inventory management systems can be a handy tool that provides valuable, and easily interpreted data.
Depending on the size of your business and the industry it's in, there are inventory management systems that will can be tailored to meet your needs. We've assembled a handful of systems that we use with our clients: