Improving your inventory management

So, you may have seen that my pink towels are out of stock.  This is obviously good news but, what’s not so good, is it will still be a while until they’re back.  I definitely need to work on my inventory management! This is down to three things:

  1. Production time
  2. Shipping time
  3. Not re-ordering in time!

I have tried to get better at inventory management. (Honestly!)  In my defense, it has been tricky managing a product with variations – as I didn’t know when I placed the initial order which would be the most popular.

To manage my stock better, I’ve worked out what my re-order point is, using this article by Jungle Scout.

Inventory Planning in Amazon’s Seller Central

I’ve then also used the Inventory Planning option in Seller Central to help validate this. This is a (relatively) new tool.  You just add in your supplier’s lead time and MOQ and it tells you when you need to re-stock, based on your sales history.

The only thing is, it won’t include sales from other channels, unless you’re using Amazon to fulfil those orders – so, if you’re also fulfilling orders another way you might want to take that into account and re-order slightly earlier than it suggest.  It doesn’t send you alerts (as far as I can work out) – you have to remember to manually check.

You also need to remember that sales velocity can change – so your re-order point that was looking likely to be June (for example), could suddenly become May or earlier, if your products start to sell more.  The only advice I have here is – keep an eye on it!

The final thing it does is tell you how much money you’ve lost from out-of-stock products.  Personally, I can’t decide if this is a good or bad thing!

Do you have any other tips/advice/tools to keep on top of your inventory?  I’d love to hear them if so!

P.S. Blue and yellow towels are still in stock – for now, at least!