Looking back on the beginnings of my inventory management career, I realize there are several things that I wish I knew sooner and so I wanted to share them with you. One of the biggest challenges that I have noticed about managing inventory is there are a very limited number of resources available. I think this is unfortunate for several reasons! First of all, if you are just starting out, one of a couple things can happen. There might be no one available to really train you and show you the ropes, or the person before you didn’t really know much and left you with a mess. Or even worse, they might train you on their ways, but maybe they weren’t managing inventory correctly (or profitable!).
So going forward into 2018, one of my big goals is to bring inventory management training and continuing education to light. I want to make it available (and build a helpful community of people who manage inventory) so that no one feels frustrated and alone! As an industry we have so many challenges and difficult aspects of our jobs, that training and education should not be one of them!!
So in that spirit, let me share my top 5 things I wish I knew when I first started managing inventory.
- Run an ABC analysis yearly. Running an ABC analysis was hands down, by far the most insightful thing I started doing. It provided SUCH helpful information. The analysis was able to point me in the direction I need to make next in order to reduce my cost of goods, and increase revenue. You can read more about what an ABC analysis is HERE.
- Create purchase orders in your practice management software, and receive invoices from them. I learned how to add purchase orders from my orders and added them into AviMark right away. These allowed several things, first and foremost when something is on order, it displays blue in the inventory screen. That finally decreased the questions of “did you order this?”, “have you ordered this yet?”- it was fantastic!! Secondly, I was able to receive invoices straight from the purchase order so it saved time. I was also able to see if the incorrect product was sent, charged for, or if something didn’t arrive as ordered.
So there is my top 5 of what I wish I knew sooner. Comment below; what do you wish you knew sooner? What do you wish you had more knowledge or understanding of?