Inventory is the backbone of every business, so it’s important to properly manage it if you want your business to continue thriving. Unfortunately, doing this is much easier said than done, and there are several pitfalls business owners have been known to fall into when trying to manage their inventory. Today, we discuss four mistakes specific to the produce industry and how to avoid them.
Costly inventory management mistakes every produce distributor should avoid
- Lack of training
Inventory management can be a complex task, especially when you deal with large amounts of produce. If you’re going to succeed in managing your inventory, it’s important for you and any staff to be properly trained.
Simple paper and pen inventory management is hard enough. When using inventory management software, it’s important to train staff to properly operate it.
Some specialized inventory management platforms, which have been developed specifically for the fresh produce business, are much more intuitive, but also need proper introductions. Discover how Silo helps with inventory management here: https://usesilo.com/products/inventory-management.
Spending time and money to get you and your staff properly trained on managing your inventory may seem like a lot at first, but the benefits you stand to gain far outweigh the costs.
- Being lax with your inventory management
One of the biggest mistakes produce business owners can make is paying too little attention to their inventory.
Managing your inventory provides your fresh produce business with too many benefits for you to ignore it. From making sure you take stock of all the produce you have in store, to ensuring that you are up to date on the expected expiry date of each item in stock, there’s just so much you have to gain. This is only truly the case when you take your inventory management seriously.
Think about it: what good is inaccurate data to anyone? It’s just like making a deduction off of false premises or inserting the wrong values into an equation—it ruins the validity of the whole thing. This is what lax inventory management can do to you: leave you with inventory data that is of no use to you.
Lax inventory management can also give rise to several other terrible effects, including produce wastage due to spoilage, inefficient produce purchase, missing produce, and so on.
To avoid this, it’s important to take your inventory management seriously. Make sure to make regular inventory checks and keep your inventory up-to-date. Take note of the expected expiration dates of each item you have in your inventory and act accordingly.
- Inadequate organization of the store
Organization is key in managing your produce inventory. The way your store is arranged can either optimize your efforts, or it can cost you time, effort, and even money.
Inadequate organization of your store and products means you and your staff may spend more time locating items. This time and effort could be better invested in more productive activities.
Properly arranging your store in a systematic way can help solve this issue. Not only does this leave your store looking tidy and put together, but it also makes finding items much easier.
When arranging your store, it helps to separate the space into sections depending on the different items you sell. This kind of system helps in two ways. Firstly, it makes finding what you need easier. Secondly, it makes it easier to track the kinds of products you have so you know when you’re running out. This by extension will help prevent items from getting lost and going to waste.
- Choosing the wrong inventory management solution
It’s no news that utilizing inventory management solutions is the most efficient way to manage the inventory of any business. While this is a fact, many fresh produce business owners make the mistake of thinking this means utilizing just any inventory management solution. More often than not, this turns out to be a very costly mistake.
Inventory management solutions are just that—solutions that have been designed to solve specific problems. These problems may all be inventory management problems, but the context in which these solutions exist varies. This fact is more important than most people think.
Some inventory management solutions have been created specifically for certain industries. Others have been created with other kinds of businesses in mind. Choosing one of these solutions for a business they weren’t created for is often as bad as not having one at all. While general inventory management solutions exist, these software may not suit your individual needs.
So when choosing an inventory management solution for your business, make sure it suits your business adequately. An industry-specific inventory management system is the best choice for any produce business, as it’s designed specifically to tackle the problems facing managing fresh produce inventory. General inventory management services don’t even come close to providing such efficient solutions.
The mistakes listed above might look small and insignificant at first glance, but you might be surprised at how much damage they can cause over time. Don’t be one of those fresh produce business owners who take their chances and come to regret it later. Take care to avoid these mistakes. And if your business is already currently making them, take actions to make changes today. Your business will thank you for it later on.