I had so much fun writing about Mr. Miyagi’s top 10 inventory management tips I’ve been itching to do another list of quotes by a fictional character. This time it’s a truly unlikely one – Homer Simpson. What does he have to do with inventory management? You might be surprised. With Homer, a lot of what you get is reverse psychology. He says one thing, does another and expects something else entirely from everyone around him. Keeping this in mind, let’s have some fun delving into Homer Simpson’s top 10 inventory management tips! Homer: Every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive? 1. Translation: You should replenish your inventory to balance what comes in and goes out. Homer is comparing his brain to a warehouse. He has a finite amount of space to hold information, so he has to empty some of it to make room for new bits of information. Ironically, that’s just like an efficient warehouse. It takes a lot of information and planning to keep products from sitting idly in a warehouse. You should definitely use inventory management software to keep your “brain” functioning properly. Homer: I think Smithers picked me because of my motivational skills. Everyone says they have to work a lot harder when I’m around. 2. Translation: Working harder doesn’t mean you’re more productive. You should eliminate things that get in the way of productivity, such as an inefficient inventory management system. Good inventory management software should help you save time by integrating with QuickBooks, and using barcodes and readers to track products. You can also delegate more inventory responsibilities to your employees to help them accomplish more in less time. Homer: Just because I don’t care doesn’t mean I don’t understand. 3. Translation: Understanding your inventory shows your customers you care. You should care about how you manage your inventory, and you should understand how it works. The reason you should care is because it directly affects your customer service and your bottom line. The reason you should understand it is because you can control it and get it running smoothly with some hard work. Customers are more likely to do business with your company if you keep the right products in stock. Homer: The three little sentences that will get you through life. Number 1: Cover for me. Number 2: Oh, good idea, Boss! Number 3: It was like that when I got here. 4. Translation: Passing the buck doesn’t help companies grow. Number 4 of my “Top 10 Myths About Inventory Management” is “I should keep managing my inventory the way I always have.” This doesn’t work because if you keep doing things the same way, you’ll never get a better result. Making excuses might seem to help in the short term, but it never leads to lasting success. All this does is push the responsibility of making key decisions onto someone else. As a small-business owner, you must take responsibility and do whatever it takes to bring your company to the next level. Homer: Well, it’s 1 a.m. Better go home and spend some quality time with the kids. 5. Translation: Set your priorities and use your time wisely! Managing your inventory is important, but so is marketing, customer service, hiring, training and other essential duties. Balancing all of these essential tasks isn’t easy. Your time is precious. The good news is that inventory management software frees up a lot of time, so you don’t have to wait until 1 a.m. to start focusing on your employees or customers. I hope you’re enjoying this fun take on inventory management. As with my Karate Kid post, I’m going to cut it off here and post the next five Homer Simpson inventory management tips in another post. It would just be too long to say everything I want to say in one post. Until next time! The photo of Homer and Bart Simpson is the copyright of FOX, and it’s used in compliance with fair-use copyright laws.