February '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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24 || P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 6 STITCH SOLUTIONS number, the color, the sizes, and where the inventory is stored in your business. It does take a few moments to create the spreadsheet, and you have to develop and maintain the habit of updating the data regularly to keep the information accurate. But, using this tool you will find that you order less duplicates and no longer waste time hunting in several places. If you would like an example of a spread- sheet, email me at and I will send you one that you can edit to meet your needs. If you use industry software to track and manage your orders, many of them have some sort of inventory tracking tool built into them. Either way, the key is to have access to information outlining exactly what you have and how to put your hands on it quickly. If using a computer to track your inventory is more than you need, use stackable plastic bins to contain and organize your goods. Look for ones that you can see into best, even if the sides are not totally transparent. Create notes on oversized index cards in a thick permanent marker and list what is in each bin. Slide the card into the front of the bin where you can read it at a glance to know which bin to open. Sort products by category, e.g. sweats, headwear, jackets, golf shirts, microfleece, etc. You can even take it one step further, placing a card inside the bins with the price for a quick reference of what to charge. While having lots of bins does take up more space, you will find that it is more efficient to break the inventory into smaller groups. TOO MUCH STUFF—NOW WHAT? After the holidays, you may have inventory that you are not quite sure what to do with. You have several options, but no matter what you do, ideally you will be able to convert these goods into some- thing useful for your business. Liquidate samples. Make a bargain bin that is highly visible for your customers. Once a year, make a big splash about having a sale and feature your extra inventory as your door-buster deals. This will bring in the bargain hunters, but it will turn this inventory into cash

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