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Home-based business: Handling Inventory and Supply Chain

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Home-Based Business: Handling Inventory And Supply Chain

One of the ways to use accessory dwelling units on your property is to make them a space to handle your home-based business. Being separate or attached living spaces, ADUs work for business owners who aspire to run their businesses from the same place they live. However, in this case, they should take notice of mandatory permits and zone requirements.

But for your business to be effective, you need to develop arrangements that include transportation from multiple locations to your ADU unit and create a functional place for their storage. To learn how to do it the best way, read this article further!


Efficient storage solutions for inventory in ADUs

What is advanced inventory management for your ADU? The first and most vital inventory features are space maximization and systematization.

When you manage inventory, start with the following:

Attach shelves, racks, and cabinets of various heights to your ADU to boost the volume of usable space. It’s a common mistake to disregard so much room in the upper part of your house, but higher shelves are great for storing items that you use more rarely.

If your ADU is not that big, it’s not a problem. All you need to do is buy adjustable furniture or furniture with embedded storage spaces. These can be armchairs with empty space under their seats or built-in shelves.

Inventory control is crucial for a small business’s effectiveness. It helps you track inventory and replenish your supplies on time. Plastic containers with stickers that hold inventory data work to keep all inventory items within your reach.

Rolling racks promote flexibility in transporting your goods, raw materials, or other inventory equipment to any place you need them to be. Also, the easier it is for you to move racks, the more usable things you can fit in a limited space.

For small businesses conducted from home, every inch of storage space is important. That’s why it’s advisable to take into account such underused spaces as the place under your staircase or spaces in the corners of the ADU rooms.

Managing inventory levels to avoid overstocking or stockouts

Your inventory management system should be logical and convenient. It consists of the planning stage, purchase, and tracking of sufficient quantities.

When it comes to planning, you need to research recent trends in your business sphere, estimate your past sales history (if there were any), and make a calculation of the necessary goods. During the purchase stage, consider stocking up a little bit in case of an unexpected increase in interest in your product.

As for inventory tracking, you have to be consistent in your inventory checks for low stock levels and replenishment. Using multiple channels, always keep in touch with your trusted suppliers to make sure delivery comes on time. Calculate how long it takes for you to order new inventory to the point of sale so that you are ready in case of shortage.

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Strategies for sourcing supplies and materials for home-based businesses

To make up an efficient small business inventory, consider the following steps:

  1. Reliable suppliers

What you have to do first is find trustworthy suppliers. To archive it, you can read their reviews or ask fellow businessmen for recommendations. These include the supplier’s ability to stick to the agreed timeframe and their willingness to respond in time.

  1. Thorough research

But a more responsible and painstaking approach includes your own research: asking several suppliers for prices, attending trade exhibitions, and negotiating discounts for large purchases.

  1. Diverse suppliers

Moreover, you can’t rely on a single supplier, so it makes sense to always have a backup option to replace the main supplier in case of termination or violation of agreements.

Tracking inventory and supply chain data for better decision-making

How does collecting data about inventory systems help retail business owners make more informed decisions? There are several ways in which such valuable information affects inventory management, and the first is that it gives you a proper understanding of increases and decreases in customer demand.

As you order things to sell, you see dates, quantities, inventory costs, etc. And with time, it helps you identify patterns in the sales data, which will foster more precise planning for how much inventory you need as a result.

Besides, this type of inventory management allows you to see how your suppliers adhere to agreements. If they arrive on time and the quality of the goods meets your demands.

As a result, you also learn about your own costs for maintaining your inventory system. By studying this information, you can make adjustments and implement more money-saving solutions.

Implementing just-in-time inventory management in ADUs

Just-in-time inventory management is one of our specialty inventory tools. It means that a small business orders goods only when needed, relying on a precise forecast of future sales. If you correctly estimate customer orders, you’ll be able to reduce wasteful time and money to a bare minimum.

So, how do you implement this approach into your inventory management system?

Managing inventory turnover to maximize profits and minimize waste

How does warehouse management contribute to increasing profits with little expense? The thing is that it’s possible only if you control the turntable and adjust it to the changing trends in the market.

Start with an assessment of what you need. Learn from both your past experience and clients recommendations as well as from general tendencies (seasonality, objective factors that can increase demand).

Then, to create a robust inventory management system, you need to sort out your inventory by doing inventory counts and putting your stuff into several categories. First of all, business owners prefer to sell high-volume goods and manage low-value goods according to the residual principle.

Other general recommendations include keeping your stock at a minimum level while developing a convenient delivery scheme that allows you to get replenishments from reliable, closely located suppliers without delays. Here also belongs constant learning from mistakes and imperfections in your strategies, researching demand fluctuations, implementing new efficient technologies, and so on.

Developing a supply chain network for home-based businesses in ADUs

At the beginning of creating your business, the most important inventory management features are accurate estimation and thorough examination. To design a well-working supply chain, follow these general instructions:

  1. Consider what kind of product you produce

Does your product require special transportation or extra storage space due to its large size or fragility? Don’t your items demand enhanced safety measures, like flammable materials? Depending on your answers, you may need different transportation methods. Typically, the closer the supplier, the better. But with flimsy or dangerous materials, you need to focus on safety measures.

  1. Search for suppliers who offer the most favorable price and terms of cooperation for you

It may take a while, but in the end, retail businesses gain according to their efforts. Remember that the reputation of your business directly depends on the ability of your supplier to deliver goods on time.

  1. Make sure your ADU can contain the inventory in question

ADUs are small spaces. That’s why it’s crucial not to clutter it. Be sure to correlate the number of items ordered with the number of storage spaces available. And if necessary, rent another warehouse or reduce your turnover.

  1. Schedule your supplier deliveries so that they arrive only when the stocks run out

Even though it is clearly cost-effective, it may appear a bit risky. But if you have several sales channels at once, it provides you with an opportunity to tune your supply chain differently for any unexpected change.

  1. Plan how to deal with purchase orders

Become a dedicated customer success manager by streamlining order management and delivery. The whole client delivery process begins with ordering an item at your shop, payment by Point of Sale (POS) system, processing purchase orders, packaging, sticking shipping labels, sending, and ends with the transportation itself. You need to think through all of these in advance. And if possible, offer a few delivery options, such as courier delivery, warehouse pick-up, etc.

Ensuring product quality and consistency through effective inventory management

When it comes to selling goods, quality checks are an essential stage you can’t overlook. What you have to do is check the goods when they arrive, while they are stored at your ADU, and before you ship them. It’s advisable to sell things in the same order suppliers delivered them to prevent loss because of expiration.

Also, it’s helpful to use small business inventory software, whose key feature allows you to mark a batch with some distinctive sign in the case of defective consignments made by manufacturing companies. Or you can just put stickers on them.

Real-time inventory tracking also helps reduce the chances of sudden manifestations of product flaws. When small businesses are aware of how much inventory they have on hand, they are less likely to overlook flawed products. Especially if you check and move your items regularly to keep records of fresh and expired ones.

Minimizing inventory shrinkage and loss in ADUs

For successful inventory management, you need to secure your business from the possibility of waste in every way possible. The key features of potent inventory management include the following:

Utilizing technology to streamline inventory and supply chain management in home-based businesses

Home-Based Business: Handling Inventory And Supply Chain

Increase your inventory management capabilities by installing the right inventory management software. As a rule, inventory management software tracks items and their basic characteristics, such as quantity, date of expiration, important properties, price, and so on. Also, inventory management software works in a way to detect a lack of inventory and give you low stock alerts.

It’s interesting that the best inventory management software is not always very expensive. Inventory management software choices depend greatly on your business’s funds and specific requirements. There are inventory management software solutions that encompass such advanced inventory features as accounting software used by business owners for recording expenses and profit.

As for free inventory management software, it’s suitable for you only if your business needs are rather small. If you have a larger turnover, you may want to make use of other inventory management software that has a 7- or 14-day free trial period. Try a few, and if you find one of them usable, it’s up to you to pay or not to pay for inventory management software costs to improve the process.

No matter what type of inventory software for small businesses you use, its advanced features boost your labor productivity at times because you save time on planning and managing this complicated process manually.

Frequently Asked Questions — FAQ

How does inventory keep my ADU business afloat?

ADU warehouse management is what makes you meet customer demand. When you have enough items in stock, ready for sale, it both improves the customer experience when they get their order fast and increases your revenue when you acquire the correct quantity of goods. The whole secret is efficiency: as little waste and loss as possible and as many successful sales as possible.

How does inventory management software work for your ADU business?

The best inventory management software improves your process in several directions at once. It helps you track items quickly when needed or find them when you accidentally lose them. It provides all employees with current data about item states (present, sold, or expired), facilitates quantity accounting, and gives visualized analytical data on future demand and past sales. More so, when you choose inventory management software rather than just keeping a notebook with scribbles, it enables you with tools to send orders to suppliers or connect with an accounting system, a payment system, etc.

Why is running a home-based business from an ADU beneficial?

ADU allows you to work from your property, which reduces costs and time spent commuting to an office. Also, as with other types of work from home, it provides you with an opportunity to adjust your timetable easily. However, in contrast to working from the main house, a separate ADU gives you extra space where you can work without interruptions or disturbances from family members. It allows you to focus on work while still staying in a familiar, comfortable environment.

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