Top Five Inventory Management Techniques and Their Pros & Cons!
As an online seller, you should know that inventory is an essential factor of an eCommerce business. Mismanagement of inventory can destroy your business in so many ways. If you do not realize the importance of inventory management during the initial period of your business, you may lose your value among the customers on the first attempt only. This is the reason why one should consider the importance of this crucial aspect of online business management.
Without having clarity over inventory management, you can not successfully process the order fulfillment process. The fundamental purpose of eCommerce inventory management is to meet the customer’s demand without gathering an overstock and to escape the situation of stock out. To execute this significant process accurately, you must know about several inventory management techniques. Apart from various techniques, you can also get along with an eCommerce inventory management software that provides authentic and precise information about your inventories. In this particular blog, we have mentioned some of the effective inventory management techniques and their pros and cons as well. It can help you manage your inventory and select the best technique for your business.
Five Effective Inventory Management Techniques with Their Pros & Cons
1. ABC Inventory Management
It is one of the most effective inventory management techniques; through this procedure, you can keep your products in order of importance. ‘A’ refers to the most valuable, ‘B’ stands for moderate valuable products, and ‘C’ stands for least valuable products. Because every product can not stand for equal value, and that is why your priority should be paid to the most popular products in your inventory. This technique’s major factor is selling the most valuable products in the first go. Here are some of the pros and cons of this technique that can help you determine whether it is an effective inventory management technique for you or not. You can segregate your products into the ABC category by multiplying the annual number of products sold by cost per item and finding the annual usage value per product.
- This technique can help forecast demand by closely analyzing a top popular product over time.
- It offers effective time management and resource allocation.
- It can help in determining an excellent customer service approach.
- ABC inventory management technique enables inventory accuracy.
- It can help in implementing strategic pricing for your products.
- The disadvantage of this inventory management technique is that you may not be able to follow the current trends because your priority will be selling the most valuable items first.
- This technique may require human resources and more time to segregate the products as per their value.
- This procedure may require more accurate data collection and measurement.
2. Just In Time (JIT) Inventory Management
Just-in-time inventory management techniques are also considered an effective method. In this process, sellers only receive products from a third-party supplier when they need them. You can say that the primary objective of this technique is to increase inventory turnover and reduce inventory holding costs. This method requires strategic planning for order fulfillment till it gets delivered to customers. Most eCommerce sellers use this method to eliminate inventory wastage. Although this effective technique also beholds significant pros and cons, which we have mentioned in the following points.
- This method is highly effective in eliminating inventory wastage.
- It also decreases the warehouse inventory holding charges.
- This technique requires less investment because one only acquires the limited and essential products to sell.
- JIT inventory management method allows having complete control over the manufacturing process that works on a demand-pull basis.
- One of the primary disadvantages of this method is that you may experience difficulties fulfilling the order on time.
- This technique beholds the immense risk of the stockout situation.
- In any disruption, the just-in-time method can drastically affect your business because there will be no excess inventories to fall back on, and your sales may halt.
3. Backordering Inventory Management Technique
Backordering is another inventory management technique that allows your customers to place an order even if it is out of stock or you do not have sufficient stock of that product. eCommerce sellers implement back ordering when they experience a sudden increase in sales or sell significant products faster than you can stock them. It can be considered as the most common and efficient practice that can be used by online sellers whenever they face a surge in demand. In other words, you can say that backorders are a manifestation that indicates the demand for a product exceeds its current supply rate. In this scenario, you directly send the product request to your vendors, and they fulfill your request, and you then you can ship them to your customers. However, this process also has some pros and cons. Let’s’ check them out.
- This Inventory technique can help you with maintaining the revenue flow in the high-demand low stock situation.
- It can help you fulfill the customer’s demand even if there are not enough products in your stock.
- It provides more flexibility to small eCommerce sellers.
- This inventory management technique minimizes the risk of overstocking.
- Involvement with this method can highly affect the customer satisfaction rate because of the delay in the fulfillment process.
- This technique involves a massive chance of order cancellation and refund requests.
- You may lose your existing customers along with the potential ones.
4. Bulk Shipment Inventory Management
In the entire eCommerce inventory management process bulk shipment method is highly recommended to sellers to meet the higher customer demand in less time. It is cost-effective as buying products in bulk always becomes cheaper in terms of shipment as well. We can say that the bulk shipment inventory management technique is ideal for predominant products with higher customer demand and long shelf life. Let’s find out some of the pros and cons of this inventory management technique.
- The bulk shipment inventory management technique involves a high potential to generate maximum revenue.
- Though this method allows bulk shipment, hence eventually lowers the shipping costs.
- It works effectively for prominent products with particular demand and long shelf life.
- This inventory management technique requires a hefty investment.
- It increases the essential holding costs for product storage.
- In this method, it can be challenging to adjust the inventory during the time of demand fluctuations quickly. However, to escape such a situation, you can take the help of some inventory management software such as eVanik OWS.
5. Consignment Inventory Management
In this inventory management technique, the wholesaler has legal ownership of the products, and the sellers are not required to pay for them until they are sold. In this method, sellers can even decide to return any unsold inventory without worrying about financial loss. The most crucial aspect of this method is to manage the consignment inventory so that it moves quickly and efficiently from a wholesaler to the sellers and then to the customer’s doorstep. Lets’ see what the pros and cons of this technique are.
- This inventory management technique allows you to offer your customers a more comprehensive product range.
- It may decrease the wane time of restocking the products.
- A seller can also return the products in case of no sale without paying a penny to the wholesaler.
- Consignment inventory is difficult to manage on a spreadsheet due to the constant movement. However, an online inventory management software such as eVanik OWS can help you with it.
- A wholesaler may own the stock, but the seller will be responsible for storing them and paying the warehouse.
- You still have to pay for the warehouse space if there is no sale.
Hence, these are some of the profound inventory management techniques you can use while associating with an eCommerce business. Indeed there are pros and cons to every method, but still, you can choose one as per the nature of your business or whatever method suits you the best. The fundament is inventory should be managed accurately never to disappoint your customers and maintain the supply chain flow. As an eCommerce seller, you can take the help of any prominent inventory management software like eVanik OWS to avoid the over-stocking or less stocking situation. It provides you with an accurate inventory report to clarify your inventory.