5 Practical Tips for Efficient Apparel Inventory Control
Looking for an efficient way to control inventory for your apparel business without spending a fortune? Read on because this post is for you.
Inventory control is one of the toughest parts of running an apparel production/retailing business. It involves checking and regulating your inventory level so as to ensure optimal performance.
Some of the processes that go into inventory control include receiving and storing stock, placing them at accessible locations, documenting their movement across the warehouse, and tracking them.
Done right, Inventory control can help you avoid overstocking, cut down on storage costs, improve capital flow, and help your employees stay productive.
In this post, we will dive deep into what Inventory Control is all about and 5 practical steps to get it right for your apparel business.
What is Inventory Control And Why Should You Care?
Inventory control is the process of managing and regulating the stock levels of a business to ensure that inventory is efficiently managed and utilized. Proper inventory control is critical to the success of any business that carries and sells products. It involves keeping track of inventory levels, forecasting future demand, and ordering new products to replenish stock as needed.
Effective inventory control is essential in all industries, but it is especially important in the apparel industry. This is because fashion is highly seasonal, and products that do not sell within a given timeframe may become outdated and unsellable. Therefore, retailers need to have a clear understanding of what is selling, what is not, and when to replenish stock.
One of the most critical aspects of inventory control is accurate forecasting. A retailer must be able to anticipate demand, so they do not end up with too much or too little inventory. Too much inventory can lead to higher costs, as products take up valuable storage space and may not sell, leading to markdowns and losses. On the other hand, too little inventory can lead to stockouts, which can be costly in terms of lost sales and customer dissatisfaction.
Technology can be a significant asset in inventory control, as it can help automate and streamline the process. This can include barcode scanning systems that track inventory levels in real-time and software that helps forecast demand and reorder products when needed.
Why Inventory Control is Important for Apparel/Fashion Businesses
One of the main reasons inventory control is so important for apparel/fashion businesses is that the industry is constantly changing. Trends come and go quickly, and consumers are always looking for the latest styles and designs. This means that businesses need to be able to quickly adapt to changing demand, and that requires having the right inventory in stock.
At the same time, apparel/fashion businesses also need to be careful not to overstock on products. Fashion items can quickly go out of style, and if a business has too much inventory of a particular item, they may be forced to sell it at a loss.
Additionally, overstocking ties up valuable capital that could be used for other business expenses.
Effective inventory control allows apparel/fashion businesses to strike the right balance between having enough inventory to meet customer demand and minimizing excess inventory. This can help to reduce costs, increase profitability, and improve customer satisfaction.
Studies have shown minimizing stock-outs and overstocking can help reduce inventory costs by as much as 10%.
5 Tips for Implementing Effective Inventory Control
Now that we’ve established the importance of inventory control for apparel/fashion businesses, let’s take a look at some tips for implementing effective inventory management practices.
Use Inventory Management Software
One of the most effective ways to manage inventory is to use inventory management software. This type of software can help businesses keep track of inventory levels, track sales data, and identify trends in customer demand. It can also automate many of the inventory management processes, making it easier for businesses to stay on top of inventory control.
And better inventory management software to use than Uphance. Uphance comes with an impressive suite of tools and features that enable you to manage your inventory seamlessly, fulfill orders efficiently, and manage your warehouse a lot better.
Uphance is so complete that you wouldn’t need any additional apparel software. Plus, you can plug it into your favorite e-commerce platform, such as Shopify and WooCommerce.
Ready to take Uphance for a spin to see it live in action? Schedule a demo right away.
Analyze Sales Data
Another important step in effective inventory control is to analyze sales data. By analyzing sales data, businesses can identify which products are selling well and which ones are not. This can help businesses make more informed decisions about which products to order and how much inventory to keep in stock.
Forecasting demand is another key part of effective inventory control. By forecasting demand, businesses can anticipate which products will be popular and order the right amount of inventory to meet that demand. This can help to reduce excess inventory and ensure that the business always has the right products in stock.
Establish Reordering Rules
Establishing reordering rules is another important step in effective inventory control. Businesses should establish rules for when to reorder products based on factors such as sales data, inventory levels, and lead times. This can help to ensure that the business always has enough inventory to meet customer demand without overstocking.
Conduct Regular Audits
Finally, it’s important for businesses to conduct regular audits of their inventory. This can help to identify any discrepancies between inventory levels and sales data, as well as identify any items that may be missing or damaged. Regular audits can also help businesses to identify areas where they can improve their inventory management practices.
What are the four major types of inventory control techniques?
There are four broad types of inventory control techniques, which are also applicable in the apparel industry. They are as follows:
- Economic order quantity (EOQ)
- First in, first out (FIFO)
- Minimum order quantity (MOQ)
- Just in time (JIT)
What are the main challenges of inventory control for apparel businesses?
Managing and controlling inventory is generally challenging, regardless of the industry. But for apparel businesses, the major challenges are:
- Fast-changing season
- Lack of dedicated software solutions exclusively meant for apparel businesses
What are the main factors that affect Inventory control?
The main factors that affect inventory control are as follows:
- Lead time
- Market demand
Effective inventory control is critical for apparel/fashion businesses that want to stay competitive in a fast-paced industry. By using inventory management software, analyzing sales data, forecasting demand, establishing reordering rules, and conducting regular audits, businesses can minimize excess inventory, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction. By implementing these tips, apparel/fashion businesses can improve their inventory control practices and stay ahead of the competition.