Discover 8 best practices for optimizing apparel inventory management9 min read

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Summary:

  • Apparel inventory management is a vital asset for a clothing store as it plays a crucial role in ensuring customer satisfaction;
  • A well-organized inventory helps the company in identifying the reasons for discontinued items and determining when to ramp up production;
  • Take control of your inventory management with the Audaces360 multi-solution! Sign up for a free trial today!
Download the free trial of Audaces360 multi-solution now!

It is common to have questions about organizing an apparel inventory and managing a store effectively.

This is because inventory is a crucial resource for anyone in the clothing industry, and it directly impacts customer satisfaction.

The larger your store, the more challenging it becomes to manage inventory. And it’s essential to have a reliable system in place.

However, with the right approach, you can keep your stock up-to-date and always organized.

If you’re looking for tips on effectively managing it, we’ve got you covered!

Check out our recommendations below to learn how to do just that!
Happy reading!

Why is it important to conduct apparel inventory management?

Proper organization of an apparel inventory is vital for effective control of available stock and to determine the quantity of each item, as well as identifying items that are running low.

This approach facilitates predicting the demand for each product, enabling the company to acquire specific pieces for sale and take note of the excess or obsolete stock.

Efficient inventory management requires meticulous planning and organization. With correct inventory management, the company can minimize losses, avoid overstocking, and improve financial control.

By keeping track of the inventory, the business can reduce unnecessary investments in excessive stock and make informed decisions based on the stock status.

Check out more benefits next!

Reduction of time spent searching for items

A well-organized inventory enables efficient retrieval of parts and accessories, thereby reducing the search time.

Reduction of errors in product delivery and shipment

Woman checking information on an order box while conducting apparel inventory management at a company.

An updated inventory sorted by size and item type facilitates easy location and segregation of products for shipment. That ensures accurate delivery to customers and enhances their satisfaction.

Protection against damage

Poorly ventilated, sun-exposed, or leaky storage facilities can damage your inventory, potentially harming your business.

Investing in a clean and organized storage space can yield significant returns for your business by ensuring that your inventory remains in pristine condition and is readily available for customer delivery.

Learn more: What is industrial quality control in the textile business and how does it work?

How to organize your apparel inventory: a step-by-step guide

Efficient clothing inventory management is essential for businesses of all sizes.

By keeping track of your stock, you can improve control, reduce costs, and increase profitability.

Follow our tips below to learn how to establish better inventory management and maximize your company’s profits.

1. Register your products

To begin your apparel inventory management, start by recording all the products in your stock. This essential step is the foundation for establishing control and managing your space efficiently.

Record all incoming products, including key information such as purchase date, acquisition value, and sale value.

Assign each product a unique code, such as a barcode, to facilitate easy tracking and sales. It doesn’t matter if you do it manually or through a system. The most important thing about this activity is to have control over all this information regarding your products.

Be sure to include a detailed description of each item, and track its status as available, out of stock, or on hold. By recording the number of items stored, you can also keep track of your inventory levels accurately.

Learn more: Get to know what GTIN is and its importance for the clothing industry

2. Categorize your items

Maintaining a well-organized inventory is an ongoing task. You should repeat the process every time new items arrive, when conducting inventories, and at least once a year to ensure everything is in order.

This practice helps your business to function efficiently and stay organized. To achieve this, it’s crucial to categorize your items appropriately.

Categorizing your products makes it much easier to store and locate them. You can sort your items using various criteria such as:

  • Size: Sorting items by size, such as pants ranging from 34 to 44 and shirts ranging from S to XL, allows for quick and easy access;
  • Gender: You can separate your pieces into categories of male, female, and children;
  • Type: Another classification option is to sort by the type of garment, such as blouses, skirts, pants, dresses, coats, etc;
  • Color: Categorizing your pieces by color can also speed up the search, such as white, black, blue, etc.

By combining these categories, you can organize your inventory and quickly locate your products. It also helps you identify what items are missing or not moving and assess what else needs to be in stock.

Learn more: Find out how – and why – to apply textile automation in your company

3. Take control of inventory movement

Blonde woman wearing glasses taking notes in a notebook while taking care of apparel inventory management in a factory.

Controlling inventory movement is crucial to be aware of what goes in and out. You must conduct regular inventories with consistency, so you can determine the correct quantity of each product in your stock.

The periodicity is established by your company’s needs, whether that’s half-yearly, monthly, weekly, or even daily.

Keep in mind this practice can significantly impact your sales. Therefore, if your input and output flow is high, the inventories should be quite frequent.

By doing this, you can reduce the possibility of stock failures, prevent losses, and ensure that you always have enough products available to meet customer demand.

Learn more: How does technology in fashion impact the textile industry?

4. Develop strong relationships with suppliers

If you think that inventory management is solely based on what is available in your store, it’s time to think again!

The relationship you maintain with your suppliers is also a critical factor in effective stock management. Prompt and reliable delivery of your goods is essential to ensure that your sales are not impacted.

Thus, establishing a trustworthy relationship with your suppliers is of utmost importance.

5. Plan for seasonal changes

Seasonal changes occur at least twice a year, and you must be prepared for them.

In addition to scheduling the exchange of collections, it’s crucial to be mindful of the dates for replacing items. Understanding the seasonality of your store’s products is vital, such as having an adequate inventory of winter pieces during the summer.

Therefore, be aware of how your products rotate so that you can adjust your sales strategy accordingly and plan for the seasonality of your products.

Learn more: What is takt time and how to calculate it in your company?

6. Foster employee training

Brunette girl working in a store and holding a piece of clothing while collaborating in the apparel inventory management.

Apart from the previously mentioned activities, it’s fundamental to provide your employees with training to ensure efficient inventory management and instill confidence in their work.

Your employees must comprehend the significance of well-organized inventory, just like you.

Conduct training sessions, address their concerns, facilitate discussions, and gather feedback from your employees to simplify your stock management process.

Since they work in the store daily, they can provide valuable contributions to enhance inventory management.

7. Evaluate your physical space

Assess the space available for inventory management. It should be adequate to display all the available items without any clutter or confusion.

This provides a clear overview of the available products, the items that have been out of stock for an extended period, and the items that require restocking.

An open and spacious area allows for better care of the pieces, enabling you to identify stains, print failures, and incomplete items.

8. Set minimum and maximum inventory levels

Adopting the minimum and maximum inventory method is beneficial for controlling when to search for new items and determining the required quantity.

The minimum inventory level is the reserve stock for peak demand periods and special occasions. Once the products near depletion, you can start selling the reserved inventory while placing a new order to ensure timely delivery.

The maximum inventory level is the optimal quantity of parts or accessories to maintain in stock, considering factors such as physical space availability, storage cost, and sales volume.

It’s crucial to evaluate whether the items sell well and if the investment in storing them is worthwhile.

Keep track of your apparel inventory management 100% digitally

Audaces360 Cycle

Nowadays, several software options can aid in inventory management, offering increased speed, efficiency, and accuracy in your work.

Consider implementing some of Audaces’ software solutions to streamline your inventory processes:

Audaces360

This multi-solution software supports your clothing industry’s journey from ideation to production, helping you to overcome the major challenges of the fashion industry. Audaces360 is the ideal choice to propel the success of your clothing collections – from start to finish.

Audaces Isa

For those requiring assistance with product lifecycle management, Audaces Isa is a complete and cutting-edge software option.

With just a few clicks, you can manage and organize the technical aspects of your entire collection.

Conclusion

Technology can be an invaluable tool for effective apparel inventory management, offering benefits such as time optimization, precision, and agility at work.

Ensuring accurate inventory control is essential for staying ahead of the competition in the fashion industry.

To learn more about how to boost your business in this market, download our free e-book now and begin planning your next collection, being aware of invisible costs you might face (and how to prevent them):

FAQ

Why is it important to have a well-organized apparel inventory?

Effective apparel inventory management provides real-time information on the available quantity of each item and allows for prediction of demands for required assets.

What are some ways to organize a clothing inventory?

Some steps include registering products, classifying items, monitoring stock movements, maintaining good relationships with suppliers, preparing for seasonality, providing employee training, evaluating physical space, and establishing minimum and maximum inventory levels.

How can I categorize inventory items?

You can categorize inventory items by size, gender, model, color, or any other relevant criteria.

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