Let Your Inventory Work for You

Developing a reliable inventory management system can save money and stress for retailers.

September 21, 2021

This article is brought to you by POS Nation. POS-Nation-Logo-Main_225.jpg

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Do you know how many chocolate bars you have in stock, both on the shelf and in the storage room? If you don’t, you could end up running out or over-ordering. “The biggest issue I see retailers doing is not keeping on top of their inventory count,” said Spence Hoffman, vice president of sales and product development for POS Nation. “When a retailer doesn’t have a reliable system in place for knowing what stock is in the store, he ends up either tying up cash with re-orders he doesn’t need or missing out on having best-sellers available to customers.”

For a retailer who hasn’t paid close attention to inventory, Hoffman recommended starting with a cycle count. “It’s time well spent to do a shelf-by-shelf inventory count,” he said. “Then block time after each delivery to update the inventory to stay on top of it, otherwise, you’ll wind up right back where you started.”

For the retailer who is opening a new store, taking the time to carefully build an inventory database will pay dividends in the long term. “Make sure you have all the product codes uploaded into the management system, then create categories with as many subcategories as possible. This will make knowing what to order in the future that much easier,” Hoffman said.

Next, the retailer should devise an organized floor plan for the store, and finish with marking shelves with price labels and barcodes. Finally, have a plan to count inventory at least twice a year.

Remember, Hoffman said, the main goal of inventory management is to make sure customers have their favorite brands and products on the shelves when they want to make a purchase. Thriving convenience stores use the reports generated by inventory management systems to make purchasing decisions and track sales trends.

“Don’t forget that a POS system is more than a way to connect inventory with a cash register,” he said. “A good POS system will support a cycle count function, allow you to enter threshold reminders and notifications, and track items based on suppliers—all the things that can help make a retailer successful.”

This is the first installment of a two-part series about how POS systems can help retailers manage inventory and scan data reporting. Click here to register for a free webinar, “C-Store Management Trends and Best Practices,” on September 28 at 2 p.m. ET.