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What is Inventory Planning and why should SMBs be doing it?

Jul 14,2024

The transportation world is off its axis right now, largely due to the Covid Virus. This includes all modes of shipping via ocean, air, truck and rail (even couriers). The supply chain for most companies is in a state of flux and it will likely take 2 years or more to heal itself. Added to that is the recent turmoil in the Ukraine with Russia and Belarus being the agitators.  It's making manual inventory planning extremely difficult.

There is no one particular industry that is affected more than any other. SMB (Small and Medium Businesses) are faced with uncertainty when the arrival of products or raw materials is in a volatile state.

These include:

  • Wholesale
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • E-Commerce

These business sectors must reconsider their ordering practices. Transit times that were usually reliable are now out of sync and that entails a closer look at demand forecasting. Relying on internal spreadsheets in the past is not enough for many businesses who may have to look at a better system.

Panic ordering to cover sales projections has its own downfall. Carrying excess inventory is very costly to most businesses. Rather, a more regimented approach is recommended for demand planning accuracy. SMBs though, may not have the resources in-house to analyze and predict a steady supply of products and raw materials.

Who Can Help With Inventory Control?

There are affordable business options that have developed cloud based SaaS (Software as a Service) that contain algorithms tailored to your particular business and based on your ordering practices.

An Auckland, NZ firm, Stock Trim has developed software to assist companies by keeping their inventory at levels that are suited to their requirements. A few of the benefits include:

  • 40% savings of working capital.
  • Stock-outs are eliminated by half.
  • Replenishment and planning reflect up to 75% bottom line savings.
  • Bills of Material (BOM) are included with Stock Trim’s software in order to further reduce expenses internally.

The implementation of demand planning for finished goods and materials planning for manufacturers is easy and hassle-free.

The software covers all of your locations worldwide with consideration for different purchasing habits dependent on the market level of diverse locations. Stock Trim’s client base is represented internationally and no matter where your headquarters are located, up to date data is available instantly.

Inventory Planning for Seasonal Peaks

Many businesses increase their sales throughout the year. For retail, e-commerce and distribution companies, holidays may prompt a surge of business only to taper off after the holiday. Along with Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving, other ‘holidays’ can see an increase in sales such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s and Father’s Day that can cover a myriad of products.

Manufacturing businesses also experience fluctuations in sales including construction, household goods and mass production. Warmer climates may not have an issue with stock control as their consistency of receiving materials throughout the year is already steady. Colder climates may have different needs depending on their manufacturing process.

Inventory Planning

Generally, domestic and international businesses need to be aware of the faults in the supply chain presently. Stock Trim’s inventory planning software is available to all levels of your company including Directors, CEO and CFO, Supply Chain personnel and any other employees who are involved in procurement.

An economical pay-as-you-go plan is put in place and is dependent on the scope of your requirements. This allows for easy budgeting and the ability to see a ROI almost immediately.


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