This post is an updated version of a post from our blog entitled:
"Inventory Management Macgyver: Getting Creative With Your Tools".
For those of you too young to remember, Macgyver was an incredibly cheesy 80's action TV show about a man who used everyday items to create tools to get him out of the sticky situations in which he'd constantly manage to find himself. He would always find a way to take the tools he was given and make it work. It was farfetched, to say the least, but I guarantee you'll never be able to look at a paper clip the same way again.
See, just because something was designed with one use in mind, doesn't mean it can't serve another purpose. Computer code is a lot like that. A cell phone really is just a screen, a microphone, a speaker, and a computer that holds and processes data. But thanks to creative engineers, it's a personal assistant, an alarm clock, a news reporter, and a discussion forum (among a million other things).
Every day, we at Shopventory get questions on how best to enter and label inventory. Over the years, thousands of merchants have relied on Shopventory's tools to manage and maximize their inventory, so we've learned a thing or two about managing more exotic inventory needs. Usually, that means taking your tools and getting creative.
Here are 3 Steps to Rethinking your Inventory Management:
1. Double Down
Every field on the internet has a character limit. Don't hesitate to test it. Add more than just the requested information to one or all of those fields to keep things properly labeled and organized. When it comes to inventory, more info is usually better than less. Getting it right, however, is far more of an art than a science.
We at Shopventory offer three "layers" of differentiation: Category, Item Name, and Variation Name; but the fields do allow you to add plenty of info, so for instance:
Category: Shoes - Men
Item Name: Reedok X5 - Black
Variant Name: Size 10 - Wide
Variant Name: Size 10 - Regular
Variant Name: Size 8 - Regular ... etc.
But there are any number of configurations for that exact same item. You could also do for instance:
Category: Athletic Shoes
Item Name: Reedok X5 - Mens Regular Fit
Variant Name: Size 10 - Black
Variant Name: Size 10 - Blue
Variant Name: Size 8 - Black ... etc.
It depends on what makes the most sense for your business, but the tools are all there.
2. Get Serial
Shopventory can help you track serialized inventory with your existing point of sale using the Barcode / SKU fields. Learn more in the button below:
3. Bundle Up (even for non-bundled items)
I know what you're saying: "I don't need to combine items, you fool! I'm still selling them one by one!"
First of all, ouch. Words hurt, you know. Secondly, you have to combine more than one item to make a Bundle... but no one says that second item has to be an actual item. Enter: Bundle Variants.
But once you have a Bundle Variant, you can create a regular version of an item, then create a bundled version.
What have we learned today?
It's what entrepreneurs learn every day: How to take what you've got and make it work. We "computer people" are working our tails off, but with every solution comes a fresh set of challenges, and try as we might, we will never be able to code our way to a perfect world. So why not lead the way instead of waiting for us to give you permission?
It's not exactly neutralizing a villainous plot using nothing but a cotton swab and a stick of gum, but the spirit of MacGyver lives on!