Successful inventory management is vital for your business to avoid waste and losses. Get the right stock management system in place and you’ll avoid unnecessary purchases, expired excess stock and wasted work-hours. Here are some things to consider when organising and storing your stock.
Keeping an accurate stock inventory
If you keep your own inventory spreadsheet, organise it according to frequency of sales - items high in demand need to be the easiest to keep track of and access.
As your business grows, you might decide to invest in an inventory management system, which can automate reordering and avoid duplicating orders, saving you money, space, and time. You could also consider inventory tracking software if your stock is stored in multiple storage units around the country, so you’ll always know where your stock is and can ship it without delay.
Use your inventory to work out how much storage space you’ll need in your unit, and have a look at the space in your chosen unit to see how to organise it. We have some useful videos
showing each of our units, so you can visualise how much you could fit into the size of unit you choose.
Organise your storage unit
Stock management relies on:
a. Knowing how much stock you have, and
b. Rotating excess stock so that new stock goes to the back of the line.
You can use shelves to better organise your storage unit, and store smaller items in clearly labelled boxes on each shelf. That way, you can always see how much of each item you have in store.
When replenishing stock, move older items to the top/front and new items underneath/at the back.
Those simple steps will make it quicker and easier to access stock when you or your customers need it, and will ensure that older stock gets used before it perishes.
Think about the layout of your stock
Your bestsellers need to be easily accessible - place them as close to the door as you can. Seasonal or less popular items can be placed at the back of the storage unit.
Use the vertical space in your storage unit by installing floor-to-ceiling shelves, and keep the central floor area free so that you can manoeuvre safely between them when replenishing stock. Heavier items need to be on the lower shelves, with light ones on top to avoid injury or damage if anything falls.
Keep a folding set of stepladders in your unit to access items on the top shelves safely.
If you have large or bulky stock, remember that Safestore stores have pallet trucks, forklift trucks and trolleys that we can lend to you or help you with if needed.
What to look for in a storage unit for your stock
A key part of organising your stock is to ensure that it’s kept accessible yet out of the way, which is why so many businesses opt to store their inventory in self storage units. Self storage units are more flexible and can be more cost effective than leasing a warehouse.
You can rent a storage unit of any size, so your inventory can grow alongside your business. At Safestore, you can increase or decrease the size of your unit, so you won’t pay for more space than you need and will always have enough room. This is especially useful if your business stock tends to fluctuate during the year. We can also usually accept deliveries for you, so you can have your stock delivered directly to your unit to save time during your working day.
Keep your overheads down by choosing a self storage unit store away from the city centre if you can - prices for units tend to be higher where space is at a premium. Balance the need to have your stock close to hand (if your business is located in a city centre) against the price differences between city centre storage units and units that are located a little further away. Safestore stores are all located either in city centres or close to major road or railway networks for easy access.
However solid your business model may be, and however phenomenal your customer service is, your customers will expect their goods to be delivered quickly. By mastering stock management, you’ll ensure that your customers receive their orders without delay, and avoid unnecessary costs by avoiding building up too much excess stock.