Friday, 20 November 2015 16:34

4 Tips to Manage Your Year-End Hardwood Lumber Inventory

Inventory management may be among the least exciting elements in business operations, but for any company selling hardwood lumber it’s among the most important.

When it comes to end-of-year inventory management, the goal is to accurately estimate just how much stock you’ll need to fulfill orders and have little left over as 2015 comes to a close. If estimates are incorrect, you’re left with a lot of excess inventory that has to be counted and valuable warehouse space that cannot be used for other things.ripped-bundles-short

At Baillie Lumber, we work closely with our customers to help them avoid unfavorable inventory scenarios. Here are four tips we have found help our customers achieve their  inventory management objectives and plan ahead for the new year:

1. Order smart, order small. This principle is especially important at the end of the year. Think first about inventory replenishment. The more specific your order, the better your chances it will not sit in inventory long term. Baillie Lumber has a wide range of species, both domestic and imported that we can deliver in smaller quantities in a mixed load environment from many of our hardwood concentration yards.

2. Analyze past sales data. Data compiled from your previous year’s sales can help guide your ordering activities now. Look for sales trends likely to repeat before the end of the year and incorporate this data in your inventory management objectives for the end of 2015 and beyond.

3. Look for ways to streamline the process. This may also be a good time to closely review the entire inventory process, from filling orders to tracking, packing and shipping your goods. Are there opportunities to eliminate inefficiencies and speed up the pace of tracking inventory and shipping products? Plenty of online, integrated systems are available to manage this process more effectively.

4. Create an integrated inventory management plan. General B2B best practices in this area stress the view of inventory management as a continuous process, rather than something that begins and ends in the warehouse. You’re likely to see better results if you integrate inventory management with your company’s year-round marketing and sales plans.

“By managing your inventory against a master promotional calendar, everyone wins,” writes Steve Warren at Multichannel Merchant. “Your purchasing team understands when and how much product to buy, your fulfillment provider knows when to prepare additional warehouse space, and your contact center staff can anticipate increased call volume. Add previous years’ sales forecasts to your inventory calendar to be even more prepared for seasonal spikes in demand.”

We’re ready to help you re-evaluate and improve your end of year inventory management process. It’s part of the comprehensive hardwood lumber solutions we provide to all of our valued customers.

Tony Cimorelli
Baillie Lumber Co.
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