Inventory planning is critical for any e-commerce business. No matter how good you are at generating demand, if you don’t have key products in stock at the right times you won’t be able to close the sale.
Here are some inventory management tips from proven successful e-commerce sellers…
At RainCaper, it’s critical to factor our wholesale orders into inventory management. We track hundreds of open orders for independent retailers, catalogs, and museum stores in our ERP, using the future requested ship dates. We rely on that information for proof of concept for preorders, as well as for inventory planning and forecasting.
We don’t want to over-allocate to Amazon FBA if inventory is low. We’ve found that a smart mind who knows the seasonality of products is necessary to supplement any mathematical tool.– Lindsay Hagerman, Co-founder at RainCaper
Our take: Replenishing FBA without overstocking is critical, but sometimes numbers don’t tell the whole picture. Lindsay make some great points on how inventory management can be just as much an art as a science.
The number one rule of inventory management is making sure your reliable sellers are always stocked. Don’t get too fancy trying to optimize for perfect turnover, if it means that you might run out of stock of your most important products.– Cole South, founder of Gold BJJ
We maintain three different 3PLs (EU, UK and US) and find that rigorous tracking of goods in transit can avoid a lot of headaches with identifying missing inventory. Our warehouses use a mix of WMS systems so we “own” inventory transit internally via our own SOPs rather than depending on the warehouse for communication via data or, worse human interaction.
Scheduling, booking, and expected transit (and cost) are built into functional internal reporting such that we are aware of delays or issues long before the goods simply fail to arrive at their destination.– Kevin Williams, CEO at Balls.co
Our take: Juggling multiple balls is tough! If you’re using several 3PLs like Kevin, make sure your dashboards have accurate data synced up.