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Wiccandove

Inventory management

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Inventory? ... What inventory? I've spent the last 30 years chasing my backlog but never quite catching it.\

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I am finding this thread more interesting as it goes along. Mostly as I guess I am supremely unorganized compared to most here or at the very least have less of a drive to become as organized as the desire here seems to express.

It seem to me that it is an extreme expense of time to track ring stock. I am not saying it isn't worth it. I just am not sure if it would benefit me.

I have basically one method. Once I begin using a ring size in any given metal/color I designate a container that gets labeled for that product. I then keep it full or at least full enough that I feel I have enough supply to deal with any short notice desires. Some products will graduate to larger containers as demand increases. So that takes care of my stock maintenance.

Figuring out my cost per item of materials is(as I stated in a previous post) pointless based on my pricing, but I will add some insight that led me to that. I will use for example my most expensive item that is not made of precious metals. By expensive I mean for the materials not the price for the customer. The most costly single non precious metal jewelery item I sell is a glow in the dark H-P 3-1 bracelet paired with AA. For 16g 1/4" at about 70 rings the items cost me under three dollars to make before labor. I can make just about any weave out of any other metal available(other then precious) and sheet it three times for good measure and still be under that cost. Now forget that I flat rate my less elaborate bracelets at $20. Just for giggles say I didn't care so much about the time I put in and flat rated them at $10. I could still make a %700 or more return on my materials. Trying to micro manage the material cost for me in the end is time I could actually make more product and much less confusion to the customer. I can certainly understand if you are purchasing more unique clasps or findings that you want to account for. That makes sense. Many such items cost more then the rest of the materials combined.

My question is how much will it really help you once you know it costs you 26 cents in stainless, 38 in copper, 84 in Niobium, 30 in AA etc, to make the same bracelet. Add in an 11 cent clasp or a 20 cent one. Will you be pricing so close to your cost that the customer will see the breakdown and know that the $6.77 they paid is for?

I am impressed with the organization some people are capable of. I sadly lack in that department and suffer from an extreme case of messy as well. I easily have more then a million rings(low-balling for the sake of sounding less insane) and I am certain there is no chance I will bother counting them. I only estimate how much I have on any give type when I have a particularly large item to make and wish to make sure I can easily fulfill the order.

Edited by Borealis Metal Works

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Borealis, you're not alone.

I learned almost immediately that unless my rings start costing me more than $.20 a ring,(meaning silver and niobium), it wouldn't really matter in the calculation of costs. The majority of "cost" is in labor, and quite frankly, counting out rings takes more time than it does to link them. And counts aren't 100% accurate anyhow.

I'm currently on hiatus for the summer from working on mail, (I have some other projects I'm anxious to do in the field of woodworking), but I'm pretty good at keeping track of the number of rings I have in stock. I know I'm out of my bronze 18ga 1/4", and probably will require about 2000 more. I know I have gunmetal 16ga(17-18ga) 10mm ID rings in quantities around 4000, approximately 5,500 gunmetal 18ga(19ga) 6mm ID rings, and 4,740 gunmetal 18ga(19ga) 8mm rings, and probably 1,000-500 brass rings in 18ga(19ga) 5/32" ID, and probably 2,000-3,000 steel 18ga(19ga) 1/8" ID rings I have yet to sheet for a project. I also have some 18ga brass rings in the 1/4" size that I have yet to use up.

That's my inventory ATM. I know it because I can estimate how much I've used from how much I've ordered, and because I typically only order 3-4 sizes per gauge in 3-4 materials/colors, and am currently hoping to switch to smaller when I start up again.

THAT'S the inventory that matters to me.

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I don't keep track of my ring stock, other then a rough balance of what I have on hand in my head. I DO however run the numbers on materials cost for my products. I have a spread sheet for all my standard peices (something like 85 designs) with normal rings counts of each. I work primarly in silver. With what silver prices have been doing for the last 2 years this has been an essential guide to keep my products profitable. I also put what I feel is a normal time for me to make the product on the list. The other essential thing on this list is your clasps, earwires and other findings used in production. all that stuff adds up.

That being said. I do not price things based on the spread sheet. It's only a tool used to help me determine which price bracket to place things in Or if I make it at all. I found a bracelet design i really liked in aluminum but because it took me nearly two hours to make one i didn't add it to my product line. The numbers didn't work.

Jewelry is very much a market based on percieved value, not actual value.

armor folks, I have no clue about that market, other then I don't want to be in it.

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I don't keep track of my ring stock, other then a rough balance of what I have on hand in my head. I DO however run the numbers on materials cost for my products. I have a spread sheet for all my standard peices (something like 85 designs) with normal rings counts of each. I work primarly in silver. With what silver prices have been doing for the last 2 years this has been an essential guide to keep my products profitable. I also put what I feel is a normal time for me to make the product on the list. The other essential thing on this list is your clasps, earwires and other findings used in production. all that stuff adds up.

That being said. I do not price things based on the spread sheet. It's only a tool used to help me determine which price bracket to place things in Or if I make it at all. I found a bracelet design i really liked in aluminum but because it took me nearly two hours to make one i didn't add it to my product line. The numbers didn't work.

Jewelry is very much a market based on percieved value, not actual value.

armor folks, I have no clue about that market, other then I don't want to be in it.

It completely makes sense when dealing with silver or any metal that can dramatically change your cost from day to day.

I am very much with you on knowing the counts for finished pieces. Despite maintaining ring stock I will still order supplies in full to replace sold inventory.

Knowing what I need to replace twenty of the same bracelet, or a couple hundred scale flowers helps prevent being short on the ability to replace inventory.

For me as well there is some desire to visibly see just how well any individual design supports itself with sales.

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I'm guessing I'm an oddball on this subject. I don't care how many rings I have for a very easy reason- I don't give a rat's a$$ about it. I still have all contents of my very first TRL order that's NEVER been used. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm gonna use those 3/8" AA rings for. I have been making my own jump rings lately, building up my stock like what Utopia-Armoury has. (Saw a pic of it over at devArt) Imagine all your supplies fitting into a tiny Art Bin tackle box...everything but the pliers and mandrels have their own baggies. ^.^

I am like Borealis in a way- I'll notice I'm running low on something so I'll order more. Once I start selling I'll probably have a better method than I do now.

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