Inventory Management for Beginners: How to Make a Place for Everything

Labeling inventory and locations seems like it’s easy, but if you’ve never done it before, it’s challenging. You should invest in a dymo label writer 400 turbo to help you label your inventory.. Here’s how to nail it so that you can find what you need when you need it.

Make Location Names Unique

Every location needs to have a unique name. No two locations should have the same name. If you’re using good inventory management software, which has fine-grain control, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

The idea is that you label each major area in your warehouse or store with a different name like “counter area,” “cafe,” “assembly,” “storage,” and so on. This is different from creating zones (which will be discussed later).

Think of this as a micro-label.

Every Physical Space Should Have a Location Name

Every physical space should be named. A lot of businesses make the mistake of just naming areas they believe are important, while leaving out areas that they believe don’t matter. But, when you leave out areas like this, you create confusion and it makes it difficult to manage inventory that may later be moved to a new location based on various metrics that develop over time.

For example, the front of your store might not be used right now. But, that might change as you test new sales concepts and ideas. If you don’t have a name for the now-empty zone and a name for different locations within the zone, you can’t track or measure anything.

This problem is compounded if you wait until later on, because zone names may be taken up and so zones will be “out of order,” making logical organization impossible. Or, you may need to change zones when employees are already accustomed to the previous arrangement. It adds a learning curve mid-operation and creates unnecessary confusion during a time of growth, when focus needs to be on customer service.

Create Zones For Conceptual Cataloging

This is one of the most important parts of proper labeling and organization. You need to effectively create zones in your store or warehouse so that anyone (not just you) can find an item quickly. Storage zones can be named “A,” “B,” “C,” and so on. 

This helps people conceptualize the store into different areas or zones, and it makes it easier to locate items with similar names that may be located in different areas. So, for example, a store that uses a special display stand might contain similar, or the same, items that are located in the back of the store on the shelf.

Yet, you need to know the difference between where these items are located and how they are stocked – this helps coordinate inventory management and gives you important metrics on sales in various locations of the store.

In a warehouse or storehouse, it can be helpful if similar items tend to be grouped together but are sometimes separated and put in a “holding area” (for frequently used items or items with a high turnover that need to be “on hand” and ready to go at a moment’s notice).

Max Gardiner works as an assistant stockroom manager. He loves writing about his experiences by posting online. Look for his articles mainly on management and business websites.

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