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What is inventory management?

Inventory is, of course, the actual items, the products, the ingredients, the materials that make your business go – the things that your customers want, or that make the things your customers want. Inventory management is the delicate art of ensuring that you always have enough stock, but not so much stock that you’re wasting room, and that you can find it easily and deliver it efficiently whenever it’s needed.

  • Inventory that isn’t moving represents cash you could be applying to other purposes.
  • Inefficiency in your inventory management process could actually be a sign of greater issues further up the supply chain.
  • Stock-outs are disappointing to customers – chronic stock-outs can lose those customers entirely.
  • Losing revenue to inefficient purchasing, storing, and handling of merchandise can give an inaccurate picture of your business’s potential for success.

Proper inventory management means that the optimal amount of stock will remain on your shelf for any stage of business, with no customer going disappointed and minimal stock on hand going unused. For that, you need the kind of industry expertise and technological resources that GraphX can provide.

Why should I trust my inventory management to GraphX?

Your business might require inventory, but that doesn’t mean your business is inventory. You have plenty of business concerns without adding inventory management to the pile. Our team of experts can take care of that and other functions in a time- and cost-efficient system. You don’t have to worry about inventory management, and you don’t have to worry that inventory won’t be available when you need it – Back Office Center handles it all for you, so you can concentrate on generating revenue.

Inventory management starts at the beginning. It’s not just how much stock you have and where it is. It’s also about acquiring stock – processing purchase orders and paying vendors – and moving that stock forward – processing invoices and receipts and collecting payments. Back Office Center’s comprehensive system manages your accounts payable and receivable, your cash flow, and many other functions necessary to support inventory management, all working from a secure, centralized data center for maximum efficiency.

Out-of-the-box computer systems aren’t built around your business. Basic systems can be useful, but if they can’t be tailored to the specific needs of your company, you won’t be able to establish a process that’s tailored to the specific needs of your company. Back Office Center’s inventory management solutions start and end with your company’s past operations, current financial position, and future plans in mind, developing a system both with high-end technological resources and with a team of experts who know your business.

Paperwork should require as little actual paper as possible. We image your business-critical documents and store them in a physically and digitally secure location to be accessed – safely – whenever and wherever you need them. Data and documents can be linked and transmitted with minimal effort and no risk of papers going missing or falling in front of the wrong set of eyes.

System Evaluation

We start by assessing your supply system as it currently stands. What is moving smoothly? What’s sitting still? Are there bottlenecks or poorly allocated resources? If there are problems, are they related to the process itself or the materials or people responsible for executing that process? And for that matter, are there areas of great effectiveness and efficiency, using processes that could be applied throughout the system for better performance?

  • Inventory flow
  • Inventory costs
  • Supplier issues

Inventory flow. Inventory flow involves a lot of moving parts – purchase orders and payments, shipping and handling, movement into and out of warehouses, record-keeping. We trace your company’s inventory flow from the first request for new stock through every hand that touches it until your product walks away with a happy customer. If any step of the process is overwhelmed, underutilized, or inefficient, we find the root of the problem and resolve it to make your system flow smoothly.

Inventory costs. Inventory is an asset and a potential source of revenue, but it’s also associated with a good amount of cost. Paperwork, freight, and handling are part of the cost of ordering inventory. Carrying that inventory includes warehousing and insurance. And that’s not even to mention the cost of running out of stock. A team of experts with experience in payment processing and communication with vendors can help optimize turnover and reduce the time that inventory stays on hand.

Supplier issues. How many suppliers are you relying on, and why? If you’re genuinely getting value from each of your suppliers, you could simply be looking at a large set of resources that needs to be properly managed. But if you aren’t getting value – if you’ve started collecting vendors out of habit, or failed to set standards for bringing in new vendors, that could be a source of inefficiency. We help you evaluate your sources of inventory and fit them into an organized inventory process that saves time on communication and data management.

Forecasting and Planning

An adjusted, overhauled, or completely new process grounded in inventory management best practices gives you the resources to plan for progress, growth, and expansion for your company.

  • Forecasting
  • Planning

Forecasting. Forecasts take into account past performance to anticipate and prepare for future inventory activity. We look at past sales figures, current sales trends, and external factors like social and economic trends to help determine how your inventory is likely to move in the near and less-near future. From there, we can set financial goals and make any necessary changes to your system to get there.

Planning. An agile process, incorporating the ideal inventory management techniques and tools for your business’s needs, lays a foundation for growth and new opportunities. New product offerings, promotional items, pilot tests, and expansion are integrated easily into a well-designed system. Our analysts can help you identify and capitalize on those opportunities to support the growth of your business.

System Maintenance

Inventory management isn’t a project – it’s a long-term process. Back Office Center’s comprehensive suite of accounting services help you maintain an optimized inventory management system and handle the functions that keep inventory flying off of – and onto – your shelves.

  • Accounts payable processing
  • Vendor master maintenance
  • Bookkeeping
  • Reports

Accounts payable processing. As your updated inventory flow brings in new vendors or reallocates work to different vendors, our dedicated team handles the task of processing purchase orders and invoices and disbursing funds within the newly improved system.

Vendor master maintenance. Increased inventory turnover and business expansion require precise record keeping for stability. We maintain your vendor records to ensure accuracy – finding and correcting background information and updating payment data and delivery schedules. Your bottom line, your vendor relations, and your peace of mind will benefit.

Bookkeeping. To keep a current and reliable record of sales, manufacturing, and inventory activity, we enter transactions on a daily basis. We also perform account reconciliations and comparisons to make sure all figures are accurate and consistent and that nothing has been missed, leaving a potentially dangerous hole in your accounting.

Reports. Regular and customizable reports put the information you need about your inventory right where you need it, when you need it, developed from data and presented as usable information for decision-making and planning. And vendor reports and expense breakdowns can help you look at suppliers, product lines, locations, and other categories to tailor your business and resource allocation strategy.

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