Ordering wholesale inventory can be incredible for many aspects of your business, including that it helps ensure you have stock on hand that your customers want and that you get the clothes you need at an affordable cost. However, one issue that may arise is managing all the clothes without everything turning into a chaotic, disorganized mess. So let’s talk about some of our top tips and tricks for managing all those fantastic clothes that make up your wholesale inventory.
Don’t overstock inventory
The less inventory you have, the less you have to manage, but that doesn’t mean ordering less than what you need. Instead, order the wholesale clothing you anticipate needing, such as via the Bella + Canvas Maker’s Program, plus a little extra just in case you sell more than expected. However, ordering less than the inventory takes too much space and you risk not being able to sell it soon.
Check clothing inventory every two weeks
Many don’t tend to get excited about checking clothing inventory, but as with several aspects of owning a business, ensuring that everything is running is necessary. Many don’t tend to get excited about checking clothing inventory, but as with several aspects of owning a business, ensuring that everything is running is necessary. You can also use it to straighten everything out and adjust any containers that need to be more organized. Consider leaving the task to a trusted employee or–even better–do it yourself, so you know it’s correctly done.
Have a storage space that fits your needs
You can do a lot with managing inventory in a small storage area, but there are eventually limits, even if you have fantastic organizational skills. So it’s an option to upgrade your storage space, allowing you more room for the clothing you need.
However, that might not be an option, so if it’s not, you’ll have to configure the space you have to work for you rather than hinder your daily business operations. While it’s likely going to seem like an overwhelming project (although less so if you have the help that can keep things exciting and fun yet still stay on task), you may want to clean out your storage area thoroughly, set up all the containers you need, then put everything back where it belongs. Hence, an organized system works better for you.
Use handwritten, software or spreadsheet recordkeeping
If you ask several business owners what would be the best way for you to keep track of wholesale inventory, quite a few are likely going to say using a software program. However, we will tell you to use whatever works for you and your store. For many, the software is easy, but other business owners might prefer spreadsheets or stick to an old-school handwritten method.
The key is to determine what you find to be ideal. If you’ve only tried one method, consider trying the other two and see if you like one better than what you currently do.
Set rules for all employees
Clothing stores with multiple employees should ensure everyone is on the same page regarding keeping the inventory organized. Consider posting a paper of requests about keeping the area neat, such as not mixing up clothing pieces and asking that all container lids get closed after something gets removed or put back in.
Choose the right containers
Speaking of containers, picking the right ones is essential for ensuring your wholesale inventory stays organized. Get larger containers if it allows you to combine multiple smaller containers or if you anticipate filling them up the rest of the way with a new clothing order. Also, opt for airtight containers that can easily keep out dust, debris, and bugs so that every piece of apparel stays as perfect as it was when you got it.
Before purchasing the containers, measure the shelf space you have. You don’t want to order containers that seem perfect only to realize they’re too tall for your shelf space or they’re slightly too wide to put next to each other.
Utilize labels on containers and shelves
Labels can be a huge help when you want to keep track of what you have and its location. Put them on the containers and the shelves so that every individual item and category has its own space.
For example, if you sell jeans, put a label for jeans on a shelf (where it’s easily visible), and on each corresponding container, put a tag that describes each type of jeans you carry so you can put only that type in that box. It may take time to get used to the new system, but after a while, you’ll know exactly where to get what you need and see how much wholesale inventory you have in stock.
Manage inventory as soon as it comes in
As tempting as it might be to procrastinate and leave the wholesale clothing orders sitting for a while when they come in, it’s better to open the boxes as soon as they arrive. One reason is that it allows you to check that your order is correct and that you got everything you need in the condition it was supposed to arrive in. In addition, if the wholesaler offers returns or exchanges, there’s likely a timeframe you need to abide by.
A second reason is that procrastinating only delays putting the inventory away, creating another task on your to-do list that you eventually have to do anyway—dealing with the clothing to update your inventory immediately, so you know what you have.
Take your time with the inventory organizing management project. First, make a list of what you need to do for the stock area, take one step at a time, and you’ll eventually have a place where it will be easy to find every item for your clothing business.