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CHECKLIST: Things to Keep in Mind for Effective Stock Control and Inventory Management

Tanuj Rastogi August 27, 2018

Gone are the days when retailers used to manage their inventory in a spreadsheet. With the rise of digitalisation in retail and the introduction of new technologies and software, it has become much easier for retailers to operate their business.

However, small retailers operating on a tight budget still record their inventories in a hand-made worksheet. By doing so, they are consuming more time in digging through files, manually writing product status and most importantly they do not get alarmed about potential stock-out situations.

As a result, their business suffers!

Let’s understand this situation appropriately with the help of an example.

“Jonathan has just started a small supermarket store in Perth, just a few miles away from Alex’s supermarket store. Being a new retailer in the area, it becomes important for Jonathan to attract more customers towards their store to drive sales. However, he is not able to do so because Alex has been serving customers in the same region for past 10 years. One day, due to some internal fault, Alex’s inventory management software shut down, affecting the store’s sales as the staff could not track stock details in a timely manner. This results in loss of customers as well within a few days. Further, this situation turns into a competitive advantage for Jonathan as now customers are coming to his store to find the products they were not able to find at Alex’s store due to a stockout.“

This example clearly depicts the importance of inventory management and how it can affect the sale of a retail store. So, if you don’t want to be another Mr. Alex, it is important to deploy a robust inventory management system to manage your stock and sales efficiently.

Nowadays, shoppers have the privilege to choose from a number of retailers. As there are endless options, it becomes difficult to choose one. However, finding the right product at the right time plays a critical role in a customer’s buying decision. To ensure a great shopping experience and keep customers happy throughout their journey in your store, it is inevitable to manage your inventory effectively, keep track of stock levels and avoid stockouts.

Let’s determine factors that should be kept in mind to streamline the stock control process and reduce shrinkage.

CHECK DELIVERED STOCKS

The first and most important point to ensure effective inventory management is to check the delivered stock. Many times, retailers face situations where suppliers send them incorrectly packed product orders and without checking it, retailers place the product on the shelves. Most of the times in such cases, retailers lose their sales and credibility.

BE AWARE OF EXPIRED PRODUCTS

Delivering expired products to customers may result in legal fines and raise a question on your integrity. So, it is essential to keep track of expiry dates of products in order to clear the stocks before they expire. Once are aware of the products that are going to be outdated soon, you can sell them fast by lowering their price or pairing them up with fast or highest selling inventory. If you are unable to get all your products sold before their respective expiry dates, simply remove them from the shelves and replace with fresh ones.

CREATE PRODUCT LABELS

If you want to keep your warehouse organised and operate at peak efficiency, label all your products. Each product in a stock must have a label which should include the product number, quantity and basic details like vendor name and other important information. It helps in identifying products easily which saves your time and effort. You can also use barcodes for labelling. Moreover, to ensure easy and accurate barcode scanning, it is important to choose an efficient and compatible scanner.

You can opt for POS solutions from reputed brands like vend POS bundles, Kounta bundles and Retail Express bundles. These bundles contain essential POS hardware including scanner, which contribute to effective stock tracking and point-of-sale operations.

SET THE TIMELINE FOR RESTOCKING

No two businesses have same peak hours. There is always a difference in times when their sales increase or decrease. As a consequence, the curse of stock-out situations at one store becomes a boon for the other. This is the reason why retailers need to actively look after the products that are selling fast and fill the shelves with new ones. Furthermore, it is necessary for a retailer to predict the time when the minimum stock will get exhausted and then restock accordingly.

PRIORITIES MATTER

The total sale usually comes from 40% of products. So, rather than focusing on restocking all products, try to keep tabs on products that generate more sales. Prioritise management operations like stock-level monitoring, forecasting and reordering of the products that got sold out.

FINAL THOUGHT

For every retailer, it is essential to invest their time and effort strategically in operations that contribute to inventory management and drive maximum benefit. Scrutinise each product available in the warehouse, update the stock, restock sold items and check all inventory before delivering it to the customer.

Inventory control is paramount to your business success. If you don’t maintain a good hold on your inventories, you are bound to face a major drop in your sales. After all, retail is amongst those competitive markets where downfall happens in the blink of an eye. Don’t let inventory shortage and stockouts influence your sales, customer experience and business credibility.

Looking for a high performance, low running cost inventory management solution? We offer a wide range of POS Bundles that combine various POS hardware and consumables like paper rolls, thermal paper rolls together to help you avoid the hassle of buying hardware separately.

Get in touch with our expert today that will suggest a compatible yet functional POS system for your business.

Tanuj Rastogi August 27, 2018
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