Running a business can be a fulfilling but chaotic affair. If you don’t keep yourself in check at all times, your business will fail.
This can manifest through your lack of control over what’s going on in your retail stockroom. If your retail stockroom is neat, it indicates that you are on top of everything going on in the business.
If you want to organize your retail stockroom better, here are nine tips that you can follow:
Utilize Vertical Space
One issue that businesses have when it comes to organizing their inventory is the lack of space. This is especially true when your business is in the growth stage.
When there’s a lack of space, people tend to impose arbitrary placements of their products. Eventually, what was once an organized stockroom becomes a storm of various products.
With that said, if you can’t move to a bigger place yet, you can think of more creative ways to generate more space instead. An excellent way to get more space is by using sites you haven’t thought of before. For example, you might want to utilize more vertical space to be able to store more things.
The least popular items should be on the higher shelves since you won’t be reaching for them quite often.
Designate a Hanging Bay Area
The hanging bay area is the part of the retail stockroom that contains items you’re about to roll out onto the sales floor. If you have to restock certain things, the hanging bay area should hold the containers with the items you need to stock up on the sales floor.
Clear labeling, as well as boundaries, should help you designate that hanging bay area.
Label All Boxes and Storage Bins
If you’re going to be storing some items or products in storage bins or boxes, this means that they’ll be harder to identify at first glance. Therefore, you need to create a labeling system to determine what products are in the boxes and storage bins.
When creating a labeling system, ensure that everyone responsible for handling the inventory knows the meaning behind the labels.
When labeling these boxes, it’s best to label them by the product type and the product number. This labeling will make it easier to find merchandise, especially when you need it on the sales floor.
Invest in Inventory Management Software
An inventory management software is a worthwhile investment for any business running all sorts of products.
Your manual ledger and inventory management system can be convenient when you’re starting. But once your business has grown, it will no longer be enough. That’s where inventory management software comes into the picture.
There are plenty of different inventory management software types, so make sure you do your research before using one.
Once you have inventory management software, you’ll find that it’s much easier and more convenient for you to keep track of the stock available. It can even have predictions of when your inventory is going to run out based on history.
Clean Up Your Stockroom
Before you’re going to organize your stockroom, you first need to clean it up thoroughly.
The professional cleaners at Maid Sailors NYC Office Cleaning services believe that cleaning is the first step to organizing. If you don’t clean before you manage, you’re going to have to make twice the effort for something that shouldn’t take that long.
There’s no better place to start developing a system for organizing your things in the stockroom than by emptying it first. You’ll also be able to clean areas that you wouldn’t be able to when you empty it first usually.
Once you finish cleaning your stockroom, you can then start organizing the items and products inside.
With a clean and organized stockroom, your employees will have an easier time handling your supplies. They won’t lose products, and it will make it easier for them to manage inventory.
Install Quality Lighting
Your stockroom needs to have quality lighting in it. When you picture a dingy, old stockroom, we picture flickering lights or that weirdly yellow tint lighting up the room.
However, you don’t want that if you want your retail stockroom to be the best that it can be. Invest in high-quality lighting in that room.
When your workers are rifling through your stock, you want them to be able to see what they’re looking at without straining themselves. Besides that, if boxes are lying around, your employees might get into an accident in the stockroom.
If you have a smaller retail business, your stockroom might double as a break room for your staff. Although that’s not the ideal situation, you have to make sure that you add lockers in the stockroom if you have no other way.
You want your employees to have a dedicated space to put their belongings when they’re there. If you don’t provide lockers, your employees will have their items lying around willy-nilly. It might mix in with the products you’re selling, and it can be a lot harder to look for the products or merchandise you need.
Plus, with lockers, your staff won’t have to worry about their belongings going anywhere when they’re not in the room to look after it.
Organize Based on Product Type
When it comes to organizing your retail stockroom, a rookie mistake is to organize it by the alphabet or even by size.
Although, in theory, it sounds like a reliable system, in practice, it isn’t. A better approach would be to organize products by product type first. You can then have a different organizing system after the product type category.
It will be a lot easier to find the items you need when you keep similar products in the same area. Think of it as a grocery store. The things there aren’t categorized by the alphabet. They’re ordered based on the product type.
Create an Open Shipping and Receiving Area
The merchandise you haven’t sold yet and the products that someone already purchased shouldn’t be in the same room. Otherwise, it cannot be evident when it comes time to ship the items.
If you don’t want to confuse yourself and send the wrong order, you should create a separate open shipping and receiving area.
There should be an area where you prepare and leave on standby the items you’re about to ship. There should also be a clear demarcation between the things you’re supposed to send out and the items you’re supposed to keep.
Your retail stockroom is the hub of where your merchandise comes and goes. Hence, it’s imperative for your business’s flow that everything is well-organized. With that said, the tips in this list should give you a better idea of how to organize your stockroom and ensure a streamlined operation.
Juliette Anderson is an Outreach Community Specialist for an e-commerce fulfillment company that specializes in partnering with online sellers who have an average parcel weight of 5+ pounds or greater. She works hand-in-hand with e-commerce stores to achieve optimal sales for four years already. Her specialty lies in social media marketing and paid promotions.