Stock control software can make or break a retail business. With the right software you can keep a handle on all stock aspects of your business, as well as how well your products are selling, enabling you to merchandise correctly, staying profitable and promoting customer loyalty.
At Eurostop, we’ve identified three key ways the right stock control system can help:
1. Provides an accurate overview of your entire retail estate and inventory
Key to any retailer’s business is ordering and holding the right amount of stock, in the right location. With a more accurate inventory, you have details of exactly what stock you have and where – whether in your stores or central warehouse. Along with accurate sales figures, this enables you to better estimate what you need to reorder, and how best to allocate to stores, depending on their performance, trends and to meet demand. Good stock control software will allow you the flexibility to auto replenish stock to stores against targets for core lines and against sales for fashion lines, or even manage inter branch transfers so that you do not have broken product size ranges.
A stock control system will provide facility to not only track stock through the purchasing, allocating, reordering and replenishment stages, but will also enable an automated and reliable way to carry out stock takes, helping to minimise shrinkage.
Every retailer has different stock challenges. For example, if you trade in perishables then you need to ensure you get the quantities right to minimize costly out of date surplus or wasted stock. Similarly, for fashion items, it’s vital to ride the crest of the wave of popular demand – and to know when to stop replenishing as lines become outmoded. Even if your products are evergreen, you’ll have to store them until they get bought, which unless you have good planning and forecasts, may mean using valuable storage with costs that impact your bottom line. Cover and sell through reports will provide you with the correct business insights to manage this.
2. Manage demand to keep your customers happy
It’s a well-known fact that omni-channel customers are the biggest spenders, spending more in physical stores and online than those that prefer one channel.
Being an omnichannel retailer is the key to drive extra revenue, which means it is vital to have a single view of stock across all channels. Having a central stock control system means that you can do just this; maintaining central control of product information and prices, and allocating to different channels and stores to meet demand, providing a consistent and connected customer experience.
3. Anticipate the unexpected
Forecasting and inventory management can be tricky in uncertain times. For example, who could have predicted the current Coronavirus and its impact?
In the UK, the unpredictability of the weather can make it tricky to forecast, but with stock control software and business intelligence you are one step ahead. For example, your sales figures from previous years may show that bad weather kept people away from your brick-and-mortar stores, but there was an increase on online spending.
Good inventory management is the key to navigating the seasonal ups and downs. With high-quality planning, you can optimise your supply chains to avoid seasonal disappointments – or surpluses.
Although you can’t predict the weather or changes in the economy, with a good stock inventory system and business intelligence tools, you can look at past patterns to help plan and forecast to weather the storms, literally and metaphorically. Good stock control software doesn’t give you a crystal ball, but it can help you to plan and see through uncertainty.
Isn’t it time you reviewed your stock control software? Contact Eurostop on +44 (0)20 8991 2700, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or request a call back