Happy April Fools’ Day. What do you think of my attention-grabbing headline for this blog post? It makes it sound like the end of the world is upon us!
What I actually mean by “The End of Inventory Management” isn’t that it’s time to give up on managing your inventory or that you should head for the hills. It simply means that I would like to talk about the end result of good inventory management.
Let’s have a little fun with the definition and usage of words as we talk about the end of inventory management.
Despite what the title of this section says, I in no way want to end any users of products. I’m using the word “end” as an adjective, not a verb. Is that joke getting old? Okay, but you get the point. The end users are the most important part of any supply chain.
Yes, you need to have manufacturers, vendors, reliable means of transportation, and storage facilities to keep products safe. But all of that is building up to the moment when a sale is made and the product leaves your facilities, hopefully forever. That’s when all of your hard work and patience is rewarded.
You want end users to have a positive experience finding what they’re looking for in your store, working with your staff, and using your products or services. It is essential to have the right products on your shelves, ensure their quality, and empower your employees to effectively help customers. These are all things that good inventory management helps you accomplish.
Ends Justify the Means
How am I going to twist the familiar phrase of “The ends justify the means” to mean something other than its obvious interpretation? Oh, nothing special. I’m just going to change the definition of “means” to “averages.”
When working with inventory, it’s important to study trends. Look back on previous years and use those numbers as benchmarks to guide your current decisions about how many products to keep in stock. If you see seasonal increases or decreases in sales, adjust your inventory levels at those times of the year to avoid overstocks or shortages.
I guess in this case the means justify the ends because the average number of products you’ve kept in the past helps you figure out the numbers you need in the end.
Inventory management is extremely important in running a successful business. If you don’t have the right products in the right quantities coming in and out of your warehouse(s) and store(s) you won’t have much of a business.
You don’t want poor inventory management to lead to the end of your business. Instead, you want good inventory management to lead to positive ends, such as profitability, happy customers, and efficient operations.
Now that’s what I call a happy ending.
Robert Lockard is a copywriter with Fishbowl. He writes for several blogs about inventory management, manufacturing, QuickBooks, and small business. Fishbowl is the #1-requested manufacturing and warehouse management software for QuickBooks users. Robert enjoys running, reading, writing, spending time with his wife and children, and watching movies.