As many of you already know, before I niched down into pipe and drape, I was an event designer. Being an event designer has so many moving parts and required hats, so it’s no wonder that I didn’t enjoy it. The organization requirement was outta this world! If I wasn’t 110% on it all the time, my whole life fell into shambles…especially when it came to tracking my inventory.
I tried 3 different methods to keep things organized and while some worked better than others, it still drove me a little nuts.
My first method, which is common for most newbies in the event world, was the manual method. What I used to do is keep everything in totes and color-coded. I would section all my specialty fabric together, then sequin followed by my color arranging from light to dark. I ended up hating this method because there was no automation, so I had to be sure I kept things current otherwise I ran the risk of booking an event that I didn’t have enough linen for. In other words, I had solved the problem of not being able to find what I needed…but…I still had no clue how much that I had without actually counting (and remembering) these numbers.
Using a spreadsheet was my next method. I basically created a simple excel document that showed me how much I had of every fabric. This solved my previous problem (which was nice), but it wasn’t very streamlined. When things happened to a piece of fabric, I had to remember to adjust the numbers. It just wasn’t very streamlined and it still relied on my manual effort of counting, recounting and updating.
My third method (and most favorite) was finally investing the time to set up an inventory program. Personally, I like Square not only because it’s FREE to use, but it’s also very innovative. I love that I can add photos of each item, download reports on my inventory and I also get emails when anything is running low! This has saved me so many times because it takes out all the guesswork. Trust me when I say that I have gotten the low inventory notification and I would have had no idea unless Square said something!
All in all, tracking your inventory is an essential part of event design and really any other company. Your inventory represents your current assets and without knowing what you have, you don’t know when it’s been lost/stolen, when it’s time to buy more and what you are capable of doing without buying more.
If you enjoyed this post and you want to know more about tracking your inventory, be sure to check out my video on this topic and subscribe to the channel for more draping tips and business tips.