The main purpose of carrying inventory is to provide your customers with the goods and services they expect, when and how they expect them. Businesses make significant financial investment into inventory to facilitate the running of their business, for the purpose in which that business exists. Holding inventory, however, comes with numerous risks that can negatively impact operations, customer satisfaction and profitability. Therefore, businesses must invest time and resources into reducing the risks associated with carrying inventory stock.
Theft can occur in several ways - it may be opportunist, a thief walking out of a low-security warehouse after helping themselves to a box of T-shirts, cleaning staff taking advantage of being in-store alone after hours or an employee getting creative with inventory stock adjustments to move products from the inventory control system.
Occasionally, products get damaged during normal business operations. Some industries have a higher risk of damaged product than others - consider the paper products industry as an example. Industries with high-damaged goods put inventory control policies in place to minimize damage. For instance, in order to reduce the risk of crushed boxes a shirt manufacturer might require a maximum stack height of four rows of cartons per pallet, even though the pallet can hold significantly more weight.
Product life cycle refers to the market phases of product introduction, growth, maturity, decline and withdrawal that all products experience. Goods entering the final two phases of their life cycle become high-risk inventory and manufacturers need to balance the production of parts and units to meet existing demand while avoiding overproduction that sees then stuck with obsolete inventory.
Keeping track of inventory stock using cloud software and online inventory control tools ensures that you are working with real-time information. It optimises forecasting and provides accurate, real-time inventory data to manage stock and mitigate inventory risk.