Let’s face us, most of us have things we would rather be doing than wading through inventory management processes and checklists. It can be time consuming, complicated and downright dull. However, there are ways that you can streamline your inventory management to make it significantly quicker, easier and stress free.
Here are five hot hacks that will revolutionize the way that you approach inventory management.
1. Liquidize slow-moving stock
It isn’t possible to perfectly predict the popularity of some stock and sometimes certain items just don’t really sell very well. However how you deal with your stagnant stock is important; after all, it is taking up valuable space in your storeroom without making you a dime!
There are plenty of different approaches that you can take to get your slow-moving stock shifted. These include product bundling at discounted prices, flash sales and, if your store allows it, placing your slow-stock by the doors as your customers enter and by the check out when customers leave. This means that your stagnant product will be the first and last thing your customers see before they pay, increasing the likelihood of a sale! The important thing is to get the stock moving in whatever way works best!
2. Be space savvy
The very first lesson in inventory management is keeping your stock tidy and well organized. Not only will this help you find stock quickly, but it will significantly streamline the re-ordering process.
Being tidy and well organized is especially important if you have limited storage space. After all, 250 bottles of lilac shampoo take up quite a lot of space! The more space you have the more you can stock, so clever planning and utilizing every square inch is vital.
The store itself is just as important as behind the scenes and you should try and make the most of all of your floor, wall and even ceiling space! Visual merchandising through inventive displays of products can be extremely memorable and help maximize your opportunity to sell. However, this doesn’t mean you should cram your store wall to wall with products. Instead aim to find a balance somewhere between a thrift shop and an art gallery!
3. Adopt a cloud based POS system
Okay so we had to sneak it in here didn’t we, but its true – one of the primary benefits of a cloud-based POS system is immense,unrivalled inventory control. Forget counting boxes and manually uploading the data from your flagships store – oh and your 3 other branches – to a complicated spreadsheet system.
Oh no, cloud-based POS systems such as Hike offer comprehensive inventory management including automated updates across one store and all of them. You can even set up automatic re-ordering when your stock levels hit certain levels.
Want to see what is selling, what isn’t selling and when your peak sales periods are? All these features and more are available at the touch of a button. Hike’s inventory control reduces the likelihood of error and saves countless man hours.
Don’t just take our word for it though. Check out our free trial and see for yourself!
4. Simplify the physical counts
Unfortunately as awesome as a cloud-based POS system is, there will still be the odd occasion where you will need to do physical inventory counts. Before you start groaning let us just share with you this top tip… break it down!
Yes, instead of tackling the entire inventory in one mammoth session why not take the opportunity to do partial stock counts of specific lines of products or specific areas of the store? This makes the job much more straightforward and significantly less time consuming.
For example, why not allocate specific days to specific products such as Mondays could be for men’s shoes, Tuesday’s for ladies shoes and Wednesday’s for children’s shoes. It really is that simple. Alternatively why not think counting the stock in areas where you spend the most time. If you spend your Friday mornings out in the ladies footwear section helping browsing customers, you could stock take during your quiet moments between shoppers.
Simple, smaller chunks of counting can help you to incorporate inventory management into your day to day schedule, reducing the need to close early or stay late.
5. Don’t be a loser when it comes to loss prevention
Whilst it would be lovely to believe that every person who walks through your door has the intention of paying for their purchases, the reality is that the retail sector loses more than $10 billion per year through theft alone.
Although one or more missing items of stock each month may not seem a huge deal, the amounts quickly add up and put you out of pocket at the end of the year. And if you are considered to be a high risk business – for example selling food or clothes, then the chances of being hit by thieves is even higher and failing to take loss prevention seriously can be a serious concern for your bottom line.
Stores often keep high risk items behind front counters or well within sight of cashiers, but thieves are getting smarter and the distractions are getting bigger. Figuring out a robust strategy for your store will be vital to keeping hold of your high risk items! If you loss prevention strategy is proving ineffective for certain items, then perhaps you would be better to strike them from your inventory list altogether!
So there you have it, 5 hot hacks that can make managing your inventory a doddle. What are you waiting for? Get your stock sorted today!