As a physical commodities business, proper inventory management is an important aspect of the business. Counting all the items you own every day can seem boring, but it has to be done.
If the stock quantity is inaccurate, the business can lose money and fail to meet customer expectations (especially when purchasing products that do not provide out-of-stock alerts). Also, the accounting team needs to constantly revise the books to account for inaccuracies. This can lead to more tax issues than you’ve ever wanted to deal with.
Inventory Sheet Definition
Inventory sheets have different meanings for each industry. But whatever store type it is, an inventory sheet is defined as a checklist of inventory type, quantity in stock, price per item, and SKU or serial number.
The inventory sheet helps you keep track of your inventory. Based on the size of your business, this can be done by the owner or employee who counts their daily chores and makes inventory.
Things You Should Include in the Inventory Sheet
Your inventory sheet depends on you, should you wish to make it a complex or a simple one. And here are some factors you may consider including in your inventory sheet.
- The Product
You need to list all the items in your inventory sheet, including the variations. Just for example, when selling liquid beverages, the 16-ounce and 20-ounce versions each get their own position in the inventory list. You can use this as the description or the product name. For example, “16 oz. bottled water.
- The Serial Number or SKU of Each Item
Tracking of products is made easier through SKUs rather than relying solely on the product name. An SKU is a unique alphanumerical code used to identify a particular product. It represents various product characteristics such as color, size, brand, etc., and is used for inventory management for more efficiency.
Let’s say your business is selling kid’s shorts in different sizes and here’s an example of how it will be done:
Shorts, small (10)
Shorts, medium (6)
Shorts, large (7)
Shorts, extra-large (9)
Total Shorts: 32
In the example above, the company has four SKUs for kid’s shorts. If your inventory sheet doesn’t include the SKU, you’ll see that you have 32 shorts at hand. Why is this considered inaccurate? It is because someone doesn’t take size into account, so trying to fulfill an order can be inaccurate.
It seems easy to say that you need to include SKUs, but that’s right. SKUs are the basis of all the fulfillment you need to perform.
Unlike item names, SKUs can be easily identified by their exact numbers. Instead of “Shorts, small”, you can refer to SKU 28719 in the inventory report to know exactly what the product is. Check sample SKUs for other products.
Shorts, small: 28719
Shorts, medium: 28745
Shorts, large: 28765
- The Amount of Inventory Stocked
The amount of inventory in stock is simply the count of the total number of items in stock for a particular SKU.
- Price of Item Per Unit
In this way, you can know how much you will pay for each inventory unit. If you have 500 skirts and it costs $1,000 in total, you’ll pay $2 for each.
- Discounted Prices (non-compulsory)
Based on how often your business offers special offers or discounts on certain items, this can be an optional field to track and be added to the inventory sheet.
- Location (non-compulsory)
If you have multiple inventory systems, tag items from which inventory came from where. Whether you’re tracking inventory in an empty space at home or in a distribution center, it’s important to know where your inventory is before you start the order processing process. This is not an option if you have multiple storage areas.
Helpful Tips for Creating Inventory Sheet
Now that you have an inventory sheet template, here are some tips to consider when creating a sheet.
- Ensure you have a saved master template.
Templates are great for many reasons. With the master inventory template, you don’t have to create the same design multiple times. You’ll need a template in the future, so keep it handy.
- Adding of additional information that you need to know.
If you have a specialty from a particular supplier or a product made from a particular material, make sure there are additional columns to highlight them.
- Save as standard file type.
Do not save to an unfamiliar program and save it as an Excel file or Google Sheets if your company so desires. If you use a tablet or mobile device (instead of a clipboard or paper) to manage your inventory, lock the file for editing to prevent unnecessary changes.
- Don’t forget to date it properly.
Don’t forget to time stamp your inventory sheet. That way, you’ll know when you checked your inventory. If more than one person is reviewing your inventory, be sure to include a signature field so that staff can mark who reviewed your inventory.
As an entrepreneur, you have complete control and oversight of your day-to-day operations. What if you could check inventory at any time while outsourcing fulfillment and inventory management? Chicago Shipper plays an active part here.
If your e-commerce business is growing and inventory management is too expensive or difficult to manage in-house, consider hiring an experienced e-commerce fulfillment company. We can track your stock for you and take daily checks out of your daily life and the daily life of your employees.