Managing Your Inventory

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Today, one of the biggest challenges in retail is managing the inventory. To continue being successful, make sure you have an accurate account of the merchandise and that you keep an organized item inventory. Also do not let the inventory get too low, which can cause a loss of sales, or too big which can cause lost time by having to move around excess product. There are also ways to cut back on losses of inventory through retail theft, which causes loss in profit.


Managing Inventory

Retail inventory management uses processes and methods to keep track of stock in retail businesses. It should be able to keep up with store markdowns, collect data on sales and inventory by keeping track of SKU numbers. Also it should be able to track and manage the entire inventory, evaluate how some merchandise does in sales and allow you to review your inventory accurately.


Remember, the more percentage of your product on the floor, the more efficient your inventory plan is. Take a walk through your store daily to see what’s selling and what’s not. If something isn’t selling, move it to another location to try to facilitate sales. Avoid stock “going out of date” by rotating your stock when you have new deliveries of that product. Also make sure your stock is rotated in the stockroom as well.


Type of Inventory Systems

There are different types of inventory systems to invest in. Point of sale terminals automatically update the inventory at checkout. Job costing and inventory systems work by updating computerized levels of inventory. If you use bar codes and readers, then every product which has a bar code with the item’s information in the code will tell you how many are left in your inventory. Electronic Supplier Product catalog will update the inventory automatically through the internet or a media disk.


One of the most important things to remember is to always remove the merchandise from the system as soon as it is sold. Also, inventory management should be delegated to several individuals or departments. By delegating the inventory to smaller groups, the person in charge of that group will have a better understanding of what is in stock and how a certain item is selling.


Loss of Inventory

One of the biggest losses of inventory is through theft and loss of retail products. Some preventive measures which can be used are not giving the same password to every cashier. By having different passwords and logins you can keep track of who was on what register and when. Have you or your managers check and initial any transactions which were voided or cancelled. Make sure your computer and security systems are password protected with only trusted employees having access to them. Match your sales figures with the current inventory report every day. Use security cameras in the back storage area as well as in the store. Only use clear plastic garbage bags to make sure no inventory is being hidden inside and going out with the trash to be picked up later by a dishonest employee.


To prevent loss of products, rotate your stock. Have a system with vendors to return old items. Also, make sure employees are trained in the use of forklifts so as not to damage skids. They also need to use caution when stocking items so as not to damage them and in not placing fragile merchandise where it can be damaged.


By managing inventory, you keep track of your inventory needs, ordering exactly what you want and knowing what merchandise is in your backroom. When you have a successful system, you can meet your customers’ demands without a problem.


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