It is important to take stock of your inventory so that you have a comprehensive understanding of what items you have and where they are located.
Why is an accurate inventory important?
Inventory is the lifeblood of your business, understanding what you have on hand and where you have it is key to supplying your customers with the product they want and where they want it. In the age of online and mobile shopping, brands that have accurate stock have become very successful. Customers can be left waiting for their stock to arrive past the delivery date, all because reorders were not fulfilled. These customers are unlikely to return to your store or website.
There are a lot of systems out there that can handle your inventory for you, some better than others. At Retail it, we have experience working with some of these systems and have selected what we believe to be the best of breed. These systems give us the ability to perform stock takes using a simple handheld scanner that links back to the software directly over WiFi, which in turn then allows us to perform reports on our inventory.
What to do when you don’t have an inventory list?
To understand how to keep track of what you own, you must take stock of your inventory as regularly as possible. Having systems in place to help with this process can help a lot, but if you fail to take stock of your inventory often you could be losing many products and missing reorders of your popular items.
The most common reason for the loss is simply not having an inventory list. Another reason for the loss of items can be a lack of sufficient labelling.
Keeping track of your inventory is extremely important as more and more retailers move some or all of their business online. Offering accurate inventory to your customers saves on disappointment and loss of customer loyalty. If customers have a bad shopping experience online then they are less likely to visit your store and/or return to your site.
How to create an inventory list for your store
You can always have a running spreadsheet with your inventory but a better solution is to have a system that is built and designed to keep track of and report on your inventory. Having systems that communicate with each other where inventory accuracy is important is becoming more and more popular, which in itself can introduce complexities. We can help navigate this by helping you pick the right inventory management system and integrating this with any other software platform you use such as Ecommerce, warehouse management or an accounting solution.
Organising your inventory
There are multiple ways to approach inventory organisation, and many steps in carrying out the task of stocktaking. However, there are some key processes to keep in mind.
Preparational tasks need to be done prior to starting your stocktaking process. One of the most important steps is to know when it will be carried out, and who will do the task. Also, depending on your chosen method of how to stocktake, you will, or may follow a different approach on the day. One key step here would be to compare your count to the latest figures in the system once the count is complete and to count every necessary item. After your count is complete, ensure you find out how much your stock is valued. Once this is verified, upload it to your inventory management system. Reorder stock that is running low whilst identifying and resolving any discrepancies.
Should you have any questions or queries about stocktaking or about how technology can simplify other areas of your business please feel free to contact us. We have a retail solution waiting for you.