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A Project Based Approach To The Challenges Of Excess Inventory

A Project Based Approach To The Challenges Of Excess Inventory

 
Managing projects on time and on budget
A holistic project management-based approach is needed to tackle surplus inventory, and it this article we show you 10 ways to do it.
 
Article author: Jordan James
      Written by Jordan James
       (3-minute read)
Dealing with inventory is an issue that many businesses face across different sectors. It ties up funds, occupies storage space, raises holding expenses and can result in items becoming outdated or needing price reductions.

All these ultimately affect profits. Which isn't good. So to effectively address this challenge a comprehensive approach is needed often best managed through a project management approach. This will involving planning, proactive actions and efficient implementation.



So let's take a look at a few strategies to tackle this.

1. Predicting Demand and Planning Inventory

Accurate demand forecasting utilizes past sales data, market trends and predictive analytics to anticipate the need for products or services. Utilizing methods like time series analysis, machine learning algorithms or demand sensing software can enhance precision. Armed with these forecasts businesses can better align their inventory levels with what's actually needed.

2. Efficient Inventory Management

This entails maintaining optimal (i.e. lower) stock levels by employing just in time (JIT) processes. Here, inventory is restocked when necessary to reduce the risk of overstocking.
More effective still, is utilizing "pull based" systems that allow restocking based on customer demand rather than speculative predictions.

3. Improving Supply Chain Effectiveness

Improving the efficiency of the supply chain can also be hugely beneficial. For example, Coupa supply chain collaboration software enables you to work with suppliers to enhance lead times, reduce order quantities and introduce vendor-managed inventory (VMI) programs. Efficient transportation and logistics strategies can also play a role, by cutting down holding costs linked to surplus stock.

4. Implementing Inventory Segmentation

Segmentation is something that people often don't pay enough attention to. But categorizing your stock based on factors such as demand variability, lead time and item value will always help with prioritizing tasks.
Using ABC analysis, which classifies inventory based on importance, will help focus towards high value items that need monitoring and control. And by allocating resources in this way, businesses can manage their stock levels much more effectively.

5. Providing Incentives for Clearance

Incentives are always a strong card to play! Running special promotions and offering discounts often accelerates the clearance of inventory. For instance organizing sales events, presenting bundle deals or introducing loyalty rewards can incentivize customers to buy.


And collaborating with marketplaces or liquidation companies is also often very productive.

6. Enhancing Demand Management

This is another form of incentivization. It involves encouraging pre orders, using dynamic pricing strategies and offering personalized promotions.
Leveraging data analytics and customer relationship management (CRM) systems will also provide insights into customer behavior and preferences.

7. Setting Up Return and Exchange Policies

Product returns always create challenges! Offering easy return options and suggesting store credit instead of cash refunds can ease the pain.
And using reverse logistics processes can aid in refurbishing or reselling returned products which also cuts down on inventory holding expenses.

8. Monitoring Metrics

Metrics are the backbone of any activity! So keeping an eye on turnover ratio, days' sales of inventory (DSI) and fill rate can offer valuable insights into performance and pinpoint areas that need enhancement.



These metrics also facilitate identification of surplus inventory and prompt corrective measures.

9. Collaborating With the Sales and Marketing Teams

This is crucial! Sharing sales forecasts, promotions and marketing strategies helps synchronize inventory levels with demand.
Additionally insights from the sales and marketing teams regarding customer preferences and market trends contribute to much better demand forecasting and inventory management.

10. Continuous Improvement and Adaptation

Finally, don't forget the need to aim for continuous improvement. That's on top of regular adjustments to meet evolving market conditions. Scheduled initiatives to assess and enhance strategies based on performance metrics, customer input and market dynamics will optimize inventory levels while reducing investments in cash flow, storage space and logistics.

To tackle surplus inventory effectively, a holistic project management-based approach is needed. By putting into practice the methods outlined in this piece, companies can reduce stock, boost effectiveness and ultimately increase their bottom line. Which is, as their shareholders might say, a pretty important objective.

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