Small business owners spend 400 hours on stock management annually


Small business owners in the cosmetics, beauty and alcohol sectors are spending an entire working day managing stock control and order fulfilment every week. That’s over 400 hours per year that could be directed at business development instead.

New research, commissioned by ABM, also reveals that storage problems are the top struggle[1] for small business owners – beating accounting[2] and HR[3] to the top of the business matters causing a strain.

The UK’s start-up scene has been growing exponentially in recent years and despite the challenges that the pandemic brought to many businesses, it also drove the launch of new ones, mainly operating from home. Data from HMRC shows that in March 2021 more new businesses were created than in any other month since records began in 1989[4].

ABM, one of the UK’s leading providers of aviation services and integrated facilities solutions, commissioned the research as it extends its logistical support outside of the aviation sector; looking to support small businesses operating with limited space to help solve the issue facing entrepreneurs looking to scale their business venture.

The research, which was conducted with 360 small business and 160 specifically in the UK cosmetics and alcohol sectors, which launched during the pandemic, found that a quarter are storing stock at home. A further one in 10 say they’ve had to sacrifice a room in their home for product storage and admit they are now at bursting point.

Jim Niblock, ABM Aviation Operations Director, says: “It’s positive to read reports of a jump in businesses starting up and helping our economy bounce back. However, as these businesses look to grow, they will inevitably face challenges when it comes to space if they are still operating from their home.

“If growth is a focus for 2022, then taking back those 400 hours spent on stock management every year will be key, and we’re well placed to help small businesses achieve that new year’s resolution!

“We are able to handle complex situations in both the retail supply chain and direct to consumer.

Our IDC can offer a solution and help entrepreneurs who want to scale their business, particularly in the cosmetics and alcohol industry where careful product storage and efficient order fulfillment is key.”

ABM’s International Distribution Centres (IDC) based at London’s Heathrow Airport and Manchester Airport, provide inventory control and reporting with real-time view of stock levels, a warehouse management system, order processing and tracking and a dedicated pick and pack operation and team.

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