When you overstock, your operating costs escalate as you pay for warehouse space you don’t need. Under-stocking can be even more lethal. Suppose your product is in great demand and orders are strong. Sales are so strong, in fact, that the warehouse runs out of your product and it will take several weeks to restock it. Your customers will have to wait. And they don’t like to do that. A UPS survey showed that 48 percent of retail customers are not willing to wait more than five days for most of their purchases; 23 percent said they would be willing to wait eight days or more. By failing to have a product in the warehouse, ready to ship, you could lose a customer forever.
That’s why hiring a professional fulfillment firm to store and ship your products is often a good investment. The best firms use sophisticated software to manage your inventory, so you don’t overstock or underestimate. They let you know when a pallet of printer parts is gathering dust or when your supply of snow globes is running low.
The best inventory systems include alerts, so that fulfillment staff can notify you when your inventory needs adjustment, and they also give you easy access to the system, so you can monitor inventory from your office as well.
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