When you have to manage inventory at a large scale in multiple markets it may seem like a daunting task.

However, we’ve pulled together some of today’s best practices to bring you 10 tips for effective inventory management for a global business.

Let’s take a look!
Tip #1: Coordinate Efforts with Other Departments

Coordinate your inventory management efforts with other relevant departments in your company, instead of just focusing on inventory as a standalone category.

Understanding how and when marketing and sales are approaching new products will help you schedule new deliveries and avoid unnecessary increased costs.
Tip #2: Apply JIT Only When Necessary

The JIT (Just in Time) method is a risky practice for a good reason, but it can reduce your costs if you apply it properly.

Use JIT on products prone to spoilage and seasonal products, and employ modern inventory forecasting methods that can accurately predict demand down to the unique item and location.
Tip #3: Vet Your Supply Chain Partners

Make sure your supply chain partners are as flexible as you need them to be, and understand your unique predicament. They should be willing to share data with you (in a secure way) to help increase transparency and facilitate optimization and data-driven decision making.
Tip #4: Use The Cloud

If you need to coordinate with multiple divisions across a variety of countries, there’s no better way to do it than with cloud-based tools where everyone can access what they need, when they need it.
Tip #5: Pay Attention to the Cash Cows

Typically, 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your products.

Thoroughly analyze them to understand how you can apply the learnings to the rest of your products.
Tip #6: Label Correctly to Implement FIFO

You don’t want spoilage, but if you want to implement the first-in-first-out practice, you need to know which products have been sitting in storage for the longest.

Employ clear labeling practices to avoid increased costs – and this means both labeling your product and your data!
Tip #7: Fix It (Even If It’s Not Broken)

Even if your global inventory management process is working correctly, consider employing local consultants to analyze the process on the ground to see what you could optimize.
Tip #8: Prioritize

Clarifying to all your employees and partners what your priorities are will greatly increase the likelihood of succeeding in your goals; from increasing savings to improving cross-departmental collaboration.
Tip #9: Track Progress

Your main priority with inventory control is making sure that your stock adds up, but don’t forget to track progress after a few stock controls.
Tip #10: Use AI to Help You Manage Inventory for a Global Business

Why do everything yourself and with Excel sheets when you have brand new technology like Machine Learning and Automation to help you?

Smart automation software can improve how you manage your inventory; from interdepartmental communication to accurately forecasting the sales cycle of thousands of products.