Storing Products 101: Tips for Protecting Your Inventory
Your inventory is the life of your business. Finding a way to ensure your items are safe and protected, whether they’re in your warehouse or another storage facility, will give you peace of mind and keep your business running smoothly. This guide will take you through factors you should consider to ensure your products’ safety, as well as ways to keep your inventory organized.
8 Ways to Store and Protect Your Inventory
All of your inventory may not fit in your warehouse, or in one location. Storing items in a separate location will allow you to save space in your warehouse, but it can be difficult to stay organized and keep it all safe. Here are some tips on the best way to keep inventory safe and organized:
1. Consider Your Location
Consider where your storage facility is located in terms of safety. If it’s in a dangerous neighborhood where there is a high crime rate, you may want to implement added security outside the building or consider choosing a facility in a different area.
You should also think about where your storage facility is in relation to your business. If you will need to get items out of storage frequently, ensure the storage facility is near other parts of your operations to save time.
2. Keep Items Clean
Before filling your storage facility, make sure all the items are clean, as dirty items are more likely to be damaged or lose quality after their time in storage. Bugs and other unwanted creatures are more likely to be attracted to dirty items, as well.
If possible, go in yourself or have designated staff go into the storage facility and clean things periodically. Monthly cleanings are ideal, but every few months may also work for your operations.
3. Use Proper Ventilation
One way to ensure your items stay clean and in good shape while they are in storage is to choose a storage space that has enough ventilation to keep the room cool and dry. When moisture gets into a storage space, wood items can become warped and metal tarnished. Other items can become damaged with high humidity or extreme heat or cold.
Implementing an HVAC system or using vents to allow airflow can help manage your storage space’s climate, depending on where it’s located. Ideal humidity for a warehouse is around 50%, while the temperature should range around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Those numbers may change depending on your inventory, so opt for whatever’s best for your materials.
4. Pack Properly
When storing products, there is a lot of thought that needs to go into how you are packing them up. If you are storing bigger, heavy equipment, you likely aren’t boxing it but may want to cover it with a tarp or use some other method to keep it covered. Smaller items should be boxed up in a way that will protect them should a box fall over or be dropped. Wrap items in bubble wrap or other packing materials to help keep them protected, even if they aren’t necessarily fragile items.
You should also consider what kind and what size boxes you choose to store your items in. Packing your items efficiently will allow you to fit more in your storage facility safely.
5. Stay Organized
There should be a method to how you organize the items in your warehouse so they stay protected. Valuable items should be placed on a high shelf where it is unlikely they will be knocked over when items are taken in and out of the lower levels more often.
In general, you should try to keep as many items off the ground as possible to help control moisture and temperature.
Because the items will likely be in boxes that make it difficult or impossible to see what is inside, label them before they are packed away in product storage. Make sure your labeling system is clear for you and any members of your staff who will be getting items in and out of storage.
You may consider implementing a barcode system to help with organization. This allows you to know where every item in your inventory is through an automated system.
6. Use Automated Inventory Software
As your business grows, you will need more than a simple labeling system and list to keep track of your stock. Implementing an automated system is the best way to ensure your inventory is kept organized. Inventory management software can grow with your business and help you know exactly what is in your storage facility and what is in your warehouse.
7. Have an Audit Trail
Use your automated inventory software to implement a comprehensive tracked audit trail. This feature tracks individual items in your warehouse or storage facility, allowing you to generate different reports based on your needs. Track the lots or serial numbers your business manufactures, sells, receives and ships to maintain storage organization.
8. Conduct Inventory Observation
Periodically, you should consider conducting an inventory observation by doing physical counts of the stock in your warehouse and in your storage facility. Most companies hire a third-party auditor for this, allowing you to ensure your stock is organized and there are no glaring errors between what you have in stock and what you’ve sold. Doing this will also help you more accurately predict future customer trends so you can order the right amount of materials.
Track and Manage Your Stock With Finale Inventory
Finale Inventory’s cloud-based software platform for inventory and storing management offers a wide variety of benefits for organizations of any size, including:
- Convenience: All of the data on your inventory is at your fingertips when you use a cloud-based inventory management system. You always have a real-time look into your inventory available to you, as well as data insights.
- Data integrity: The data collected by an automated system is far more likely to be accurate and comprehensive than information collected manually. Keeping your data this way ensures it’s safe and updated, so you always have the most recent information to work with.
- Scalability: Having an automated inventory software helps you stay organized as your business grows because it grows with your business.
- Low maintenance: Our inventory programs do not require an on-site server, which helps limit maintenance costs and make them much more predictable.
Contact Finale Inventory today with any questions about our software solution!