The market value of the apparel industry will expectedly hit a whopping US$1.94 trillion in 2027—which could be revolutionary. If you’re a part of the industry with sewing and quilt stores, it’s time to scale your business. The industry demand is at an all-time high with more innovations, technologies, and strategies used. Before discussing inventory management for quilt and sewing stores, we need to brush some basics.
What is Inventory Management?
Inventory management is an approach in business used to determine product stock levels. It assists businesses in determining merchandise ordering and management. It keeps track of merchandise from purchase to sale, monitoring the whole process.
The practice identifies and responds to consumer needs, ensuring enough stock for customers. This way, your business can timely cater to client orders and counter potential shortfalls.
Inventory earns revenue only if it sells well. Inventory (which is an asset) requires cash even before it sells. So, having too much stock costs money and lowers cash flow, which isn’t good for the business in the long run.
Inventory turnover implies effective inventory management. It is an accounting term that shows the frequency of stock sales in a specific period. A business shouldn’t have more inventory than its sales.
Insufficient inventory turnover often leads to deadstock—also called unsold stock. Therefore, business owners need to keep their inventory management in check.
Importance of Inventory Management
Inventory management is necessary for almost every business today. It is essential to a company’s success as it guarantees a balanced inventory. It saves businesses from having low stock levels, lowering stock-out risks and inaccurate records.
According to the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations, inventory management plays a vital role. Thus, businesses provide need the best management procedures and records.
Inventory Management Best Practices for Quilt and Sewing Stores
Running a sewing and quilt store requires professionals to follow the right ideas. The approaches in business mainly focus on inventory management because the rest of the business depends on your inventory.
As a professional, you can try different ideas, such as using smart tools, conducting a physical inventory count, and more. However, that’s not all. You also need to follow the right inventory management practices for your business.
Control Costs with Inventory Management
Most businesses in the apparel industry think their production is the biggest cost. However, that’s not true because residual inventory can cost just as much. What does Residual inventory mean? It refers to the production left at the end of the season.
It refers to the project left unsold and carried to the next season. The companies lose their profit and must pay higher for inventory keeping. It’s why leading brands put on an “end-of-season sale.”
Companies would rather sell the products at a discounted price than carry them to the next year. Similarly, you can scale this idea for your quilt and sewing store to avoid unnecessary payments.
- Blend your existing retail merchandising and inventory management strategies for the best results.
- Create and check quarterly sales reports to see which months have the least sales. It will help reduce the residual inventory, dropping the need for it.
- Add designated codes to products launched in particular seasons. This way, you can immediately filter out your sewing and quilt products.
Focus on Your Customers
You’ve probably heard the expression “Customer is king,” and that’s not wrong. With the quilt and sewing industry expanding quickly, you need to prioritize customers. As a professional, you need to assess customer behavior and requirements to determine better inventory management.
The more you understand your company’s sale patterns, the less of a hassle your inventory will be. The sewing stores cater to a large audience, requiring personalized solutions.
You can guarantee your success in the industry by focusing on what your customers are looking for. It’s necessary to value all customers, but especially the recurrent ones. You should assess your sales and see who shops at your store most often and the customers who spend the most.
These two indicators can help narrow down your customer base. If customers are already shopping with you frequently, engaging them for higher sales will be easier.
They already like your products, and a little more targeted marketing can maximize profits. Remember, a customer will always return as long as they are happy. Focus on the 80:20 for your sewing and quilt store for better inventory management. According to the rule, only 20% of customers make 80% of the profits for the company.
By segmenting this popular customer percentage, you can better determine market trends; It also helps understand the consumer intent and delivery of what buyers want from your company. Once customers see you as the go-to option for their purchase—the rest is downhill.
Prioritize Physical Sales
The physical sales of a sewing and quilt company provide the info required for future strategizing. As a professional, you have to cater to various online selling expenditures like:
- Software fees
- Shipping costs
- Marketplace listing fees
- Inventory management and upkeep, etc.
You must consider all these factors if you’re a business in a wide industry. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can adopt to maximize your sales. For example, most successful apparel businesses prioritize your best-selling items in their physical stores.
Outlining the best-sellers in your stores first allows you to increase per-sale profits. It’s a simple yet effective strategy to scale your business, target customers, and maximize profits. This way, a slow-moving inventory won’t be a problem for your quilt business, even if you’re selling online.
Adopt Technology in Inventory Management
Regardless of how efficient your current inventory management is, you need help. The industry is changing quickly, and improving services with it makes a massive difference. If you don’t want to see the business plunge, you need to have the latest tools and approaches in place.
Several inventory management tools like QuickBooks can be a good business addition. The software offers inventory-tracking functions necessary to manage supply for your business. You can control the software from almost anywhere, making it highly accessible.
It increases business transparency and maximizes the efficiency of business. Using automated software and digital tools completely makes calculating inventory costs simpler. You can draw insights about product sales and usage—boosting accuracy.
This is a newer approach because that’s not what customers always do. They previously had to go to the store to check the current inventory count.
Next, they would need a paper catalog to order using supplier phones. Fortunately, we have made this process much simpler by adding technology.
Moreover, as a business owner, you should know the kind of inventory you’re dealing with. Some quilt and sewing inventory takes a year to move. You should avoid reordering these products until the first batch sells.
With technology, you can assess customer needs better and deliver what they need. By doing this simple act, you can save up to 10% of unsold inventory. You can save costs on unsold products and replace them with better ones.
Benefits of Inventory Management for Your Quilt and Sewing Business
We’ve discussed the top strategies used in the industry for inventory management. By incorporating them into your business, you can enjoy several benefits.
Two main advantages of adopting it in your business are better inventory control and increased profits. However, focusing on inventory management offers some additional benefits, like:
Better Saving Potential
With inventory management, business owners have clearer data on resource allocation. It’s smart to use produced stocks in the best way possible. It also assists store owners with third-party products with less stock for every store.
Balance in Stores and Warehouse
With inventory management, the owners can balance the store and warehouse products. You can use products in your warehouse to fulfill orders from almost anywhere.
Thus, decreasing the costs for inventory and running the business. It also helps reduce wasted stocks and improves overall business performance.
Improves Cash Flow
Inventory management allows spending money on products that sell. With this, you guarantee increased cash flow and stability for the business leading to loyal customers. You can cater to these customer needs without making them wait, improving your business reputation.
Inventory management is a staple for almost every business, especially if you have a quilt or sewing store. You’ll deal with multiple customers with different needs. It’s your job to assess and fulfill their needs in the best way possible.
Like Sew provides the best retail software solution assisting companies with preloaded vendor catalogs. It also helps enhance the financial performance of these companies.
Streamlining business processes, inventory management, and sales is simple with software from Like Sew. It’s the ultimate solution for the businesses in need.