Food products need to be handled and delivered carefully, and within a certain time frame. Wholesale food products, like wholesale seafood, need to be efficiently managed and shipped to avoid spoilage.
As a wholesale business owner you are always looking for the best ways to manage your distribution company. This article will help you know how to run a wholesale distribution business for food and manage your inventory efficiently.
Wholesale Inventory Management: What Is It?
So, what is inventory management? More specifically, what is wholesale inventory management?
Wholesale inventory management consists of tracking and managing food inventory. Wholesale inventory management makes inventory storage, transportation, and distribution as efficient as possible.
Warehouse management, shipping and handling, and wholesale ordering are all important aspects of wholesale inventory management.
Key Takeaway: You should consider improving your wholesale inventory management for your food wholesale food distribution business. Wholesale inventory management is a great way to increase profits and reduce inefficiencies.
5 Wholesale Inventory Management Tips
- Warehouse Organization
The first tip for effective wholesale inventory management is to keep a clean and organized warehouse.
Disorganized warehouses can cause a few issues and inconveniences. If your warehouse isn’t organized properly, you might not be able to accurately count your wholesale products. This can lead to dead stock, shipping delays, and increased labor costs.
There are a few ways to keep your warehouse and inventory organized. Make sure that items are clearly labeled and kept in the correct location in your warehouse. You should also have a map or list outlining the location of each product.
Another way to keep your warehouse organized is to document the movement and stock levels of your food inventory. Keep an accurate and updated schedule of deliveries and transportation times. This can help your staff stay on top of your inventory and keep the warehouse operational.
Clean and safe practices are another important aspect of warehouse management. Conduct regular inspections to make sure machinery and equipment is working properly. You should also have a daily cleaning schedule and clear standards of cleanliness.
Warehouse inventory management is especially important for food distributors. The shelf life and large quantities of inventory make it crucial to keep a clean and organized warehouse.
- Inventory Management Software
Another way to achieve good wholesale inventory management as a food distributor is to invest in an inventory management software.
Inventory management software can help your business in many ways. It streamlines operations and helps you track your inventory levels.
Softwares can help you know exactly how much of each food product you have in stock. This can help you avoid shortages or overstocks. It can also help you with inventory forecasting..
Inventory management software can help you see patterns in inventory use. These patterns and insights can guide your purchasing decisions.
Inventory management software supports your wholesale inventory management in another way. Many softwares keep track of when food inventory will expire. This is helpful because it allows you to know how long you can store your perishable products.
Invoice management is another benefit of using wholesale inventory management software. You can easily keep track of invoice totals and due dates.
In general, wholesale inventory management software reduces time spent on administrative tasks. You can do your ordering, accounting, and tracking on one system.
- Regular Count Schedule
You need to conduct a regular count of inventory when operating a wholesale food distribution business.
A count schedule outlines how often to count physical inventory. Many businesses conduct a full count at least once a quarter. Some even conduct daily inventory counts for certain products in order to stay on top of things.
You should use a specially trained count team to count your inventory. An inventory control manager can help train staff to count and handle food inventory. They will know strategies and techniques to ensure accurate inventory counts.
- Use First In, First Out (FIFO)
First In, First Out (or FIFO) is an inventory management method that many food distributors use. It basically means that the first products ordered are the first sold. Older inventory is shipped out first. This allows you to sell items before they are expired or unsellable.
This is an important technique for a few reasons. It helps to make sure the food you’re distributing is fresh. FIFO is common in the food and beverage industry because of the perishable nature of the inventory. FIFO improves food safety.
Improved quality control is a main benefit of using FIFO. It ensures that your customers receive consistent and high-quality products.
FIFO helps streamline warehouse activities and reduce labor and handling. It's a very efficient and cost-effective method.
- Just-In-Time Inventory Management
JIT inventory management means that products arrive immediately when they’re needed, and no sooner. This allows warehouses to keep the lowest level of inventory on hand at all times.
JIT inventory management requires a lot of planning and preparation. You need to have accurate data and projections so that the correct amount of inventory arrives at the correct times.
When executed well, Just-In-Time inventory management can save you money on inventory carrying and labor costs. It can also ensure high quality products.
Many food distributors and warehouses use this wholesale inventory management system. Wholesale produce and other fresh food need careful handling and have short life spans. Reducing the amount of time that inventory remains in the warehouse means that food is fresh when it gets shipped.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wholesale Inventory Management
Wholesale inventory management requires careful planning and attention. When it’s pulled off correctly, it can save your food distribution business time and money.
What is inventory management?
Inventory management consists of keeping track of inventory data in order to optimize inventory storage and distribution. Wholesale inventory management is a crucial part of running a wholesale food distribution business.
Inventory management helps you to manage your inventory and make the best purchasing decisions. Accurate data can reveal patterns in inventory use that can guide your future orders.
Wholesale inventory management is critical for food distribution companies because it helps you avoid stock overages or shortages.
Why is wholesale inventory management important?
Wholesale inventory management is important because it streamlines operations and increases profits. Inventory management allows you to run your wholesale food distribution business as efficiently as possible.
What’s the best way to track inventory?
The best way to track your inventory is to use inventory management software. Wholesale inventory management software makes sure your numbers are accurate. It can help you make demand forecasts and detect inventory patterns. The inventory management process is important to streamline and automate your wholesale operations.