Inventory is the lifeblood of any successful furniture business. Just ask home furnishings mega-player Ikea. They’ll tell you that by streamlining and maximizing their supply chain and inventory management systems, they can offer a massive spectrum of products at incredibly low prices – all while minimizing out of stock situations that can turn off potential buyers.
All furniture retailers need an inventory management process – defined as the science of specifying the type and quantity of on-hand goods – for many compelling reasons. Here are some of the key reasons why this process is so important to your furniture business.
Furniture retailers who regularly find themselves out of stock may enjoy quicker turn times on inventory as they are not sitting on closed-box items in the warehouse for very long. Unfortunately, they’ll also alienate the client who wants to take home a specific piece that day, or who wants to arrange for quick delivery service.
While the average furniture retailer will want to create inventory levels that permit industry-standard or shorter inventory turn times – 142 days, as of a 2013 survey – it is also crucial to stock enough merchandise to create in-stock situations as often as possible.
Inventory management processes created expressly for the furniture industry can help smart managers accurately gather consumer trends and purchasing preferences. These insights enable individual furniture retailers to create more popular collections of furniture and home décor while custom tailoring the on-hand inventory levels to meet established client demands. An inventory management process coupled with a long-term relationship with a knowledgeable furniture manufacturer can help ensure you are offering the latest products.
The furniture industry is heavily influenced by contemporary style trends, so stock that is allowed to sit in the warehouse too long runs the risk of becoming obsolete.
Better Multi-Unit Networking
If you own or operate a multi-unit furniture business that shares inventory, you simply must use an inventory management system to oversee your operations from one single entry point. Your various business units can access the business’ on-hand inventory without having to physically check in the shared warehouse while customer satisfaction will improve when you’re able to demonstrate an understanding of your business’ available offerings.
You can even create more effective marketing campaigns by promoting and advertising the pieces you have more of in the warehouse – thus improving inventory turn times, reducing idle inventory, and maximizing profits.
Sales Tracking Made Easier
An efficient inventory management system will do more than simply indicate the amount of on-hand goods in the store. Rather, a dedicated system will make sales tracking and commission management a quick and accurate process. You’ll have a better idea of what you have in the warehouse while your sales force will enjoy easier access to important sales data that often directly relates to their paychecks.
Virtually all furniture businesses today could benefit from a partnership with a reliable U.S. furniture manufacturer that can provide quick, affordable shipping on the latest furniture and home décor styles. This partnership is one piece of the inventory management process, as it allows for lower cost delivery of needed furnishings – all without the risks of excessive on-hand inventory that could potentially become outmoded. Inventory management processes are the foundation of any furniture business’ operational policies, and creating a consistent and efficient inventory plan can help your business to grow and thrive in no time.