Keeping track of the inventory in a retail store can be difficult, but with the right processes and technology this becomes much more manageable. No business owner wants too much stock that will lead to inevitable markdowns that hurt profit margins in the same way that not having enough will lead to displeased customers that are more unlikely to seek their products elsewhere. It is important to strategize and come up with the right systems to be efficient for businesses small and large. There are several benefits to managing inventory to retail businesses.
One of the first things to do to really take control of retail inventory is schedule the time to do the inventory count with staff on hand. Do this after hours to the extent possible to keep customers happy and have an accurate count of the inventory at the point in time that the count is taking place. After the initial count, it is time to organize! Put the inventory into categories by floors, sections, or departments that make sense. Once everything is accounted for, it can more easily be entered into databases, used in inventory management softwares, or simply better tracked manually.
It order to maximize profits and minimize losses, it is key for retail stores to do quarterly or seasonal inventory counts. In many cases, an owner or manager may opt for a software that helps make this easier - like point of sale inventory management systems. This way what is actually selling is confirmed at the point that the sale is made and it is easier to see trends and estimate where there will be surplus or shortage.
Retail stores want their inventories to be fresh and updated to appeal to their customer bases. Staying on top of the trends can be hard enough, but having to forecast and make choices about what demand will be for certain merchandise makes inventory management hard. Of course, there are ways to creatively source products and work with suppliers and makers to end up with an efficient inventory that is timely and budget-friendly.