Managing inventory is critical for retail success.

One of the most important processes for any merchant is to monitor their inventory levels. Many of us have experienced the feeling of walking into a store to get the latest must-have item, only to be told they were out of stock. In some incidents, this is just a case of high demand for a new product and it will pass soon. In other cases, however, this happens because businesses are not aware of what they actually have in stock.

This can swing both ways as overstocking can also be a problem. Extra product not only takes up space but is also a waste of resources that could have been used to stock different products that are selling better.

A recent LinkedIn discussion focused on one such hardware business that has found itself with an abundance of hand tools that it is having trouble moving. This raises the question — how should they proceed to get rid of these products?

The first thing to do is know what is overstocked. Hand tools have no expiration date and will always have a market, though it is dwindling because of power tools. However, this means that the company can try multiple promotions because there is time to move the products. It’s not like we are dealing with a two-week time frame to sell overstocked milk.

This means sales on hand tools, package deals or offering a free item with the purchase high priced one, like a free hammer with the purchase of a power drill could be experimented with. We are closing in on spring cleaning time where many people will start home improvement projects and will need the right tools to do this.

In the end this all comes down to knowing what products you have and what sells. An upgraded point of sale and inventory system can help provide retail reporting to ensure your business is working smartly.