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4 Tips for Tracking Inventory in the B2B Environment

Regardless of which industry you operate in, keeping track of inventory is an essential aspect of management because it prevents you from running low on important products and components. While inventory tracking in a business to customer (B2C) context is typically more straightforward, in the business to business (B2B) environment it can be a bit more complicated for several reasons. First, business needs often vary more extensively and are more specific than consumer level demands, so B2B suppliers may have to process a wider range of products than a selection that would be stocked and shipped by most retail outlets. With that said, here are 4 ways you can simplify the process of tracking inventory in a B2B space:

1. Using RFID Inventory Tracking

One of the biggest challenges associated with tacking inventory is handling the presence and placement of each individual item. While traditionally businesses have used warehouse stocking techniques to organise inventory, in recent years RFID retail inventory tracking has become a popular trend in both B2C and B2B fields. Tagging items with RFID tracking chips will ensure that it's always easy to find and account for every piece of inventory. This also prevents the possibility of theft without recovery, misplacement, or difficulty locating inventory in a timely manner.

2. Keep a Spreadsheet

In addition to using RFID retail solutions, it would also be wise to catalogue your inventory within a well-organised spreadsheet. This way you'll have a central database to compliment your inventory tracking technology. Spreadsheets will let you categorise, browse, and search inventory based on a variety of criteria, and this is perhaps the most flexible way to do so without going for a full fledged inventory tracking program. You could set aside some time to design a custom sheet, or use one of the many inventory spreadsheet templates available.

3. Use Inventory Management Software

If building and populating a spreadsheet sounds like it might be too much work for your liking, or if you desire a more robust solution, consider the alternative of going with a pre-packaged inventory management software. There are a lot of established options to choose from, as well as competitive newcomers, so it would help to use a comparison site to examine the features of each and choose one that is best suited to your niche and business practices.

4. Develop a Shelfing and Unpacking System

Now that you have the RFID tags and a spreadsheet or software to serve as the basics for your inventory tracking regimen, it's time to complement these efforts by developing effective unpacking and storage procedures. Most importantly, you'll want to designate a specific spot for each kind of inventory, so if all else fails, you'll always be able to access something quickly and effortlessly the old-fashioned way.

Be Consistent and Look for Ways to Improve

Finally, with the above system in place you should have no problem running a B2B company efficiently on an ongoing basis. The key to maximising the usefulness of these techniques is to create and adhere to specific inventory management policies and to be strict about doing so day in and day out.
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