Using the right technology to improve your stock control helps to streamline your business, reduce costs and ultimately increase productivity – and profit. Before investing in the latest technology to manage your inventory, we’ve put together three essential things to include on your checklist:
Stock control software saves time and money
Stock control systems track and facilitate supplier purchase orders, deliveries to warehouse or stores, allocation and replenishment, markdowns, stocktakes and transfer of stock across your company. A specialised system that deals with these processes end-to-end ensures that you have the right tools to manage stock throughout your business.
A stock control system is essential for ensuring that you have accurate stock data. Manual systems and keying in of barcodes are prone to data errors or shrinkage, which can be time consuming to deal with and also result in unhappy customers, which in turn affects your brand reputation. The correct stock to meet demand, and technology that enables you to access product information and process sales means you have a seamless process and can serve your customers quickly and efficiently.
The initial investment really pays off once you start experiencing the benefits of the correct solution.
Plus, the right vendor and system will make it easy to add new stores and product lines, without having to worry about investing in additional IT systems as your business grows.
Connected stock control for the best customer experience
Stock control software is great for checking inventory, what’s in and what’s going out. But for true inventory management, you need connected systems. Whether a customer purchases online or instore, if your back office systems are connected you can fulfil orders or meet customer demand at the right location, making the best use of your stock.
With an accurate overview of stock across your retail estate you can ensure that you do not have surplus stock sitting in your warehouse or the incorrect store. Staff in store can check for particular product lines, sizes and colours on a customer’s request.
With accurate reports you can quickly identify hot sellers or less popular lines across different channels, ensuring that you merchandise and manage stock levels appropriately. Tracking returns as they come back into stock also ensures that you manage inventory without wastage.
Stock control systems for informed decisions
Accurate reporting and business insights give merchandising teams the correct figures for planning and reordering. Stock control software is essential because it also enables the business to keep track of sales trends. They give you detailed information so that merchandisers are able to plan and reorder according to demand. Furthermore, you need to be able to forecast how much stock cover you have, so that you can re-order at the correct point, allowing for supplier lead times.
Your stock control system may also provide information on customer purchase history, which will enable you to create customer loyalty programmes, or run targeted promotions on particular lines.
Lastly, if you have a slow moving line, your stock control system can help you to markdown end of season stock so that you have less capital tied up, improving profitability.
Stock control software helps you monitor the health of your business
Monitoring your stock inventory shouldn’t be a siloed operation. Adopting automated, stock control software integrated with sales and order systems gives you complete control of your retail estate.