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The Most Efficient Way for SMEs to Do Inventory Planning

Apr 22,2024

One of the tricky elements of operating a business in wholesale, manufacturing or retail is inventory planning. Whether you’re an SME managing a lot of stock or just a little, having control over your inventory is essential to your business's success.

If you store inventory data in a spreadsheet, you’ll know it can be a real nightmare to keep track of everything on a manual basis and an expensive use of time. 

Even if your inventory data is stored in an Inventory Management System (IMS), it won’t give you predictions about how much stock you need to order. 

By using an inventory planning and control software, you can reduce the risk of stock outs or overstocking. 

What is Inventory Control?

Every company aspires to achieve its primary goal, which is likely to be making profit. To make profit, you need to reduce unnecessary expenses. This is why inventory forecasting is crucial, as it helps free up cash that you can redistribute to other parts of your business.

For most SMEs, inventory planning is a guessing game. It’s a balancing act that involves making predictions about consumer demand and supplier reliability. If your inventory is not forecasted correctly, you can easily end up with too much of it, or none at all.

Wrong calculations here can result in some damaging consequences, including sending your customers looking elsewhere and undoing all the great work you’re doing in other parts of your business.

How to avoid inventory planning issues

Human errors are great contributors to inconsistencies in inventory counts. If you're currently using spreadsheets or other manual methods to forecast your stock, you may end up wasting your valuable time by going through the paper and correcting mistakes one after the other. 

According to Forbes, about 9 of every 10 spreadsheets contain errors. Inaccuracies from this method can become serious problems. Overstocking can become a nightmare if not properly managed because it reduces your cash flow and clogs up limited storage space. Most companies have about 50% of their working capital tied to inventories. It can be challenging to reduce your inventory, but it is important if you want to have excellent inventory control and management of your business. In fact, you can use StockTrim’s calculator to see how much working capital your business could save.

Another issue is the lack of accurate data to recognize your evergreen products, sales trends, or customer behaviour, leading to an improper inventory forecast. With accurate inventory planning from StockTrim that leverage existing data, you can adequately forecast future trends and streamline it to meet your consumer demands.

Solving the problem with smarter software

All these damaging issues can be solved easily with smart technology that removes guess work from the equation. The use of machine learning and automation software like StockTrim to control your inventory is helping SMEs like yours optimise their stock. 

Our intuitive software helps to make inventory planning available to everyone, meaning you don’t have to be a spreadsheet whizz to know you need to include, or leave out of, your next order plan.

Sign up for a free 14-day trial of StockTrim and upload your IMS data using our 1-click integration to get started today.