Self-storage is the perfect option for small businesses to manage their inventory. Self-storage is a flexible, budget friendly alternative to a whole warehouse that has the complications of a commercial lease.
A growing business may not need the whole space a warehouse can provide and would still have to pay all that rent. Whereas self-storage allows the business to upsize or downsize storage as required and only pay for storage from month to month.
Here are some tips on how to manage business inventory using self-storage.
Get an inventory management system
Have an inventory management system in place and work out the best and worst selling items, the inventory turnover for each item you stock, and which minimum stock levels work best. It is important to know when to restock and re-order stock, so you are never out of product. Having this information will also help you manage your self-storage space.
While many small businesses may find spreadsheets sufficient, it may be worth your while to use an inventory management system app. If you choose the right one and set it up properly, it is likely to be more accurate, easy to use and worth the fee.
A great inventory management system accurately reflects levels of stock, ensures you can keep up with sales and takes a lot of the headwork out of stock management.
Choose the right sized storage
When you’ve worked out your stock levels, you can figure out what the right sized storage is for you. Work out the volume you need based on stock dimensions and weight, required stock levels, stock containers/shelving. You can then choose the right size of unit or book the right number of modules.
Choose your storage facility wisely
Nowadays, there are so many self-storage facilities available it can be tricky to choose the right one. Decide which features are most important to you and how much you are willing to pay for these features.
For example, consider the location of the storage facility as a trade off between convenience and expense. If you need to restock frequently, paying for a self-storage facility that is near you is sensible. However, the travel cost to an out-of-town storage facility is more than offset by low storage fees if you only need to restock occasionally.
Some facilities provide 24-hour access though the most affordable ones are likely to require a day’s notice before you can access self-storage. Again, with frequent restocking you will be much more willing to pay for 24-hour access.
Depending on the type of inventory you are stocking you may also need temperature control and humidity control to maintain the quality of the stock, to make sure it doesn’t spoil or deteriorate.
Check the type of security and surveillance at your chosen facility to make sure it’s up to standard.
Organise the layout of your storage unit
Plan the layout of your storage unit using the information collected on your inventory management system.
Popular items that need frequent re-stocks should be at the front close to the entrance, less popular inventory at the back. Heavy inventory should be packed at the bottom, small items of inventory at eye level so you can look for them easily.
Invest in some containers, labelling, and shelving to store your stock in a neat, organised, easy to access way.
Take stock regularly
Though a good inventory management system will make your life easier, you must still take stock of inventory regularly. Frequent inventory checks can make sure the numbers are truly accurate and check that there is no theft or mishandling of stock. It’s also good to do quality checks from time to time!