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The smart way to manage garment inventory

Creating the best garment inventory management system is a challenge, as it requires keeping one step ahead of customer demand. Not only do you need inventory to meet current demand, but you also need to predict what consumers will order next week or next month.

The fashion industry is subject to trends, tastes and changing styles, so how can you get this right?

Why does good inventory management matter?

There are three main reasons why efficient inventory management is essential to the success of any garment business.

1. Storage space costs are lower if there is no or little excess stock.
2. Fewer out-of-stock items keeps customers happy.
3. Capital is not tied up in unnecessarily high stock levels.

Basic methods of planning inventory management

There are several ways to plan garment inventory systems, but some are better than others.

Pen and paper are fine for small business inventory management as long as there are few garment lines, but it is challenging to scale up for large inventories.

A step up from pen and paper are spreadsheets, but if the wrong data or functions are implemented, there is potential for error.

Apparel inventory management apps are available for smartphones. With these, you scan barcodes and take pictures, which are uploaded to the app. The data collected can be downloaded as a CSV spreadsheet file. The advantage of these apps is that they avoid error-prone manual data entry.

The best way to keep track of stock levels is to use enterprise resource planning (ERP) software combined with a warehouse management system (WMS) to create an integrated administration system that handles all warehouse operations, including stock management, sales monitoring, order picking, and order packing processes.

Where does the stock go?

Monitoring stock levels, anticipating demand and ordering new stock is only one part of inventory management. An efficient inventory system organises where every item of stock is to be stored and what equipment is best for each item. For example, small items in boxes can be stored on shelving or pallet racks, while larger items are best stored on garment rails.

There are several ways to group stock together. Similar styles can be next to each other. High-demand items can be located near packing stations to reduce picking journeys.

Who knows where the stock is?

Usually, after each item has been allocated to a specific location, the employees processing goods that arrive, and the order pickers, need to know where each type of stock is located. Alternatively, use warehouse management software to direct workers to stock locations. Even if they do not know where each specific stock item is, light or audio signals can direct them accurately to the location.

The best garment inventory systems minimise out-of-stock items, anticipate future demand, and organise where each item is located. The inventory management system also needs to allocate warehouse storage equipment for every item.

At Steely Products, we can supply you with the best garment storage equipment, including heavy-duty garment rails and shelving, that lays the groundwork for an efficient inventory management system. To find out more, use the contact form below.

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