Just in time inventory management

Many small businesses struggle because they order too much stock, before knowing whether customers will actually want to buy those items.

Often small businesses will order lots of stock so they can deliver quickly to customers, but these business often struggle later on trying to sell things customers don’t want to buy, or offering discounts to eliminate unwanted stock.

However what many small businesses don’t know is that many suppliers be able to help you coordinate last minute (“Just-In-Time”) ordering or even better, some wholesalers can arrange Direct-To-Customer on your behalf.

Just-in-time ordering is all about waiting until the customer has placed the order before buying stock or inventory. This keeps your stock levels to a minimum and simplifies your business, whilst also making it easier to manage profits.

Just-in-Time (JIT) ordering is different from the Just-in-Case (JIC) ordering model where stock is kept in the storerooms, ready to be sold instantly to customers and manage periods of high demand.

Definition

adjective

An ordering system where materials, components or retail products are delivered immediately before they are required in order to minimise storage costs and prevent a surplus of stock that customers simply won’t need.

Benefits

  • Best option for small businesses, wanting to minimise risk
  • Great option to ‘test-and-learn’ different product offerings to your customers
  • Avoid holding onto stock that you can’t sell, or need to sell at discounted prices
  • Reduced costs by minimising warehouse storage
  • Many wholesalers now offer Direct-To-Customer shipping

Issues

  • Can impact the customer as delivery times are likely to increase
  • Potential issues with supply-chain, causing further delays