10 Powerful Steps in Retail Store Inventory Management
By Multidev Technologies · PUBLISHED September 16, 2021
Retail store inventory management is the process of ensuring that you have enough of the items that customers desire on hand, but not too much or too little. Retailers fulfill consumer demand by controlling inventory to avoid running out of stock or having too much on hand.
Effective retail inventory management, in practice, leads to lower costs and a better understanding of sales patterns. Retail inventory management tools and procedures provide merchants with additional data to help them operate their companies more efficiently.
Here are ten powerful techniques that retail stores use to manage inventory:
1. Create centralized product management:
You may manage your items from a centralized place using the e-commerce gateway. That implies that fewer people take time to manage their inventory, away from customer services, merchandising, etc. Decentralized product management costs more money and takes longer across the retail chain.
To help people identify items, provide product photos and descriptions. This step is essential when you sell online. Place them in your inventory record when you add new products. Whenever changes in information like a supplier or wholesale costs, update them. Set inventory entry policies, including who is accountable for it and when. With rich data, we will unlock the power retail inventory management system
2. Track stock location and status of all merchandise:
A customer will eventually inquire about the status of their order. It is critical in many ways to track the location and status of each product before and after an order is placed. Real- time inventory monitoring saves retailers time and money.
Multi-store retailers and omnichannel vendors may have their inventory in warehouses, distribution centers, transportation, stockrooms, and store shelves. Missed sales and revenue are a result of misplaced or overlooked products. This may be avoided by using good retail inventory management techniques. It improves customer service while also simplifying and lowering the cost of replenishment.
3. Audit your stock counts:
Even if you have effective inventory management software, you should still count your inventory regularly to make sure that what you have in stock matches what you think you have. Businesses employ several approaches, such as an annual, year-end physical inventory that counts every single item and continual spot-checking, which is especially beneficial for goods that move quickly or have stocking difficulties.
4. Sync sales data with inventory data
A retail inventory management system can combine sales and inventory information. The ideal way is to select a system that includes POS and inventory management functions on a single platform so that all of your data is stored in a single location. Make sure your retail analytics system allows you to customize your reports by slicing and dicing them. If you plan to get the data of your retail analytics, you need a system that will enable you to filter and display data in various ways. Use product data to determine when and how much to restock and when to provide promotions or discounts. They could use fashion retail inventory management software for small business to track their turns and sell through in order to avoid empty shelves.
5. Identify low stock
Out-of-stock items diminish customer satisfaction and may drive customers to your competitors. Prevent this by creating stock reports regularly that show products that are running low. Set a reorder point for your items, and make sure you’re alerted when supply levels reach a particular threshold so you can refill as needed. If you’re using a manual method, check to see which goods are sold out or at reorder points and add them to your shopping list. Purchases should be prioritized depending on their profitability, popularity, and lead time.
6. Markdowns and Promotions:
Product sales might fall short of expectations for various reasons, including a cooling trend, obsolescence, or seasonal considerations. If you provide markdowns, be strict about discounting and moving sluggish sellers so that you may produce revenue and create a way for more profitable goods. Create a promotion strategy ahead of time to guarantee that you have the adequate product on hand to fulfill demand.
7. Stock buying Procedure:
It’s time to buy the stock once you’ve established your budget and looked at what inventory is doing well.
Look to your POS system for assistance. Purchase orders are built-in into a POS like ChainDrive, so you can handle this stage from the same location you control your inventory. Verify that the items of each delivery match the order by comparing them to the purchase order. Count cartons and pallets, ensuring the product type and numbers are correct and documenting any errors, damage, or shortages. Any concerns should be followed up with the vendors. You only need to scan your goods as it arrives to add it to your management system.
8. Seamless web order fulfillment, shipping, and Returns:
Creating a smooth product flow from the moment of the order to delivery is the key to profitable web order fulfillment. When a customer order a product on your website, you may swiftly fulfill it, prepare it for delivery, and send it to the customer when they expect it. By simplifying the process and keeping each product ordered on track, this seamless flow saves you money.
When a client returns an item, inspect it to determine if it is damaged or faulty, and then send it to the suppliers for repair, write-off, or return. If the item is sellable, include it in your inventory counts and place it where it belongs.
9. Handling dead stock procedure:
Inspect any broken or incorrectly delivered items, as well as any seasonal leftovers. Damaged products or returns that were not properly accounted for are frequently the sources of discrepancies in stock numbers. If you have a return stock room, look over these goods and ensure they have the same SKUs or descriptions. Items that fall within this category should be noted and removed from stock. Return damaged or faulty products to suppliers, or document and notify them, according to their policy.
10. Analyzing sales across channels: Knowing how web orders influence your whole retail chain also means monitoring all products sales across channels, including brick and mortar. Each channel may be managed with greater efficiency and profitability.
Choose and track key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your process. Retailers must take advantage of the profitability, inventory value, selling rate, and turnover rate.
In order to achieve optimum efficiency in retail inventory management, the proper technology is required. To give consumers an outstanding shopping experience, all items must be shown in a single view across all channels and apply intelligent order management to your purchases. The right solution will grow with your company and allow for infinite expansion. It’s essential to keep track of your inventories in real-time. This is made possible via ChainDrive’s Point of Sale Software.
ChainDrive retail inventory management software for small business has a set of native capabilities for handling safety stock and cycle counts, tracking inventory in various locations, and calculating reorder points.
If you want to simplify your retail business and get your stock back on track, request a courtesy demo, and we will show you how the ChainDrive inventory management software suite can help your retail chain to the next level.