The unfortunate truth for your small business is that simply having a better mousetrap isn’t enough. Even if your products are superior, today’s consumers have higher expectations. This is especially true when it comes to order fulfillment. However, imbalanced inventories prevent many companies from being able to meet customers’ demands. Too little inventory means people can’t get what they want when they want it. Too much inventory means you waste capital and warehouse space waiting for sales that may never come.

As is the case with most things, the key to success with your inventory management is balance. This can be incredibly tricky to achieve by yourself because of the seemingly endless number of variables you’ll have to juggle. To keep up in today’s marketplace, you’ll need to utilize technology to streamline your operations and avoid human error. Unfortunately, nearly half of all small businesses neglect to use an automated system to track their inventories, or even track them at all. This puts them at severe risk of losing customers, damaging their reputations, and overspending on excess stock.

Using inventory management software to keep track of every SKU you carry is a critical step for maintaining proper balance. However, it’s not the only step you should be taking. For example, tagging and organizing items in a consistent and efficient manner makes it faster and easier for your staff to pick and pack them. Implementing tools that can update your system in real-time such as barcode scanners or RFID tags accelerates the process and ensures virtually no mistakes are made. Choosing a third-party logistics partner to help you keep track of everything also takes the burden off your shoulders so you can concentrate on more-important elements of one’s business.

To learn more about why balancing your inventory management system is crucial, take a look at the accompanying resource.

Infographic created by WSI, a 3pl distribution company