Inventory Management for Event Professionals in 5 Steps
Inventory management for event profs is a large portion of any party rental company’s business strategy. When combined with a savvy marketing strategy and solid event execution, good inventory management provides savings for you in the forms of both time and money. The five main steps to ideal inventory management are:
A big question many people have when it comes to inventory management for event profs is, “How do I organize my party rental inventory?” While it can be tricky to stay organized— especially in the busy season— it’s crucial for saving your team time and headaches.
Steps to organize event rental inventory:
Separate inventory into size, categories, and types.
Store large items safely and on shelves (if possible) to maximize storage space.
Group smaller items together and store in easily accessible locations.
Keep linens and other softer items in a dust-free area.
Break down any items that need to be assembled. This is the safest practice, and also saves space in your warehouse.
Master Communication with Your Team
If you and your team aren’t on the same page when it comes to inventory management policies and procedures, your event company could face some serious issues. When people explore your website and read reviews, they’ll have an idea of what to expect.
If your event company doesn’t deliver on these expectations, you could be seen as unreliable, which isn’t the reputation you want.
You should have standard ways of cleaning, storing, and packing inventory pieces so that your clients can expect consistent service.
You can communicate with your team in-person and via email by assigning tasks and leaving notes. Event rental software makes your communication strategy as efficient as possible so that everyone is on the same page.
Finger-pointing is also reduced— if you simply shout across the warehouse, you risk a "he said/she said". Instead, having a clear paper trail of expectations makes it clear who follows directions and who might need to be let go.
Keep a Record of Ancillary Inventory
Ancillary inventory is just as important as your main inventory pieces are. Any and all sorts of straps, stakes, dollies, tools, weights, and more ensure the success of the events you put on.
These items should be kept in a safe place in your warehouse that you can easily access. You’ll want to group your ancillary inventory near the items they go with, ensuring a seamless load-in process for your team.
It’s important to keep a record of which ancillary items you have available, as well as how many you have in total. If you have a tent without the stakes, that’s no good for the client or for your business. And, losing important pieces of equipment like dollies can be very expensive.
Track Damages and Losses
The unfortunate reality of events is that inventory sometimes comes back damaged. When this happens, you’ll need to determine if the cost of fixing the item is worth it to you and your event company.
While some items may be rendered unusable, most will simply need a small fix.
Be sure to record these damages and losses. This will help with reporting on your inventory and business expenses, and will also make you think twice about renting to the same clients again!
Invest in Smart Event Rental Software
Event and party rental software makes inventory management for event profs a breeze. Instead of misplacing pieces of paper or relying on word-of-mouth communication, you and your team can find everything you need in one place.
Inventory management software facilitates communication, allows you to keep important handling and care notes or assembly instructions together, and keeps your event company organized.
While adding a cost might feel like a negative to your bottom line, avoiding mistakes with clients and keeping your inventory usable for longer will save you far, far more money.
Remember, organization and communication are the most important parts of inventory management. When you keep track of everything in one place, your daily processes and end-of-year reporting is made much easier.
With these five steps, you and your event business are on track to a more successful inventory management strategy.
Carmen Bodziak is the Marketing Associate for Goodshuffle Pro, a party and event rental software company dedicated to empowering those in the events and decor industry. She also currently oversees theGoodshuffle Blog.