It takes a bit of effort to get inventory management just right. However, once you have achieved strong control of the inventory, future management much easier, especially for businesses susceptible to seasonal hikes or prolonged times of high demand.
Here are some tips to improve inventory control during seasons and peak periods:
Categorize seasonal inventory
Categorizing inventory based on a product’s lifecycle helps to distinguish between products of the seasonal type and perennial products sold throughout the year, although some will fall under both categories. For example, the market for fresh cream is all year, but demand will spike during certain holidays like Christmas.
Improving demand forecasting
Demand forecasting is one of the toughest tasks for controlling inventory for seasonal demand. At best, you take a guess how many sales you expect to make in a given time period, but there are many tools available to help with seasonal forecasting that help predict base sales or seasonal trends.
Analysing historical data and seasonal variations will help identify issues that may affect product replenishment throughout the year and this information can be used to set minimum stock levels.
Conduct audits of manually counting inventory stock in the lead up to busy periods to ensure that the carrying amount in accordance with the actual stock numbers. This will allow you to approach the peak of the season with total stock-levels accuracy.
Identify seasonal demand schedule
To plan appropriately for the peak times, you need to understand the length of your peak season. This allows you to determine the extent to which you can respond to sales of the product throughout the season. Many business owners choose to store out of season goods in self-storage units for convenience. For Self Storage Burnham on Sea, visit a site like Leakers, a top Self Storage Burnham on Sea.
With the short season you generally have the full quantity of orders submitted in advance. For example, the demand for red roses rockets around February 14th. While the long season such as sun hats for summer will need to be refilled several times during the season.
Know your product lead times
The lead times for certain products will impact a lot of purchasing decisions. Long lead times dictate selection made prior to peak demand, short lead times while the average sales during the season will inform additional purchasing decisions and reduce inventory risk.
Streamline order fulfilment
Managing inventory packing, tracking and delivery can be a challenge particularly during times of influx. Applying a management system will help to address the problem and ensure the smooth fulfilment of tasks during the holidays. Software will also help a business to effortlessly manage back-end operations, such as inventory tracking, order management and intelligent response replenishment
Time is everything
Understanding the dynamics of seasonal inventory can help businesses determine the best method for their inventory control. Forecasting, purchasing and filling line needs to be approached in different ways for different seasons and products. The goal is to have enough stock to meet demand but not be left with surplus stock and post-season goods that cannot be sold.