The only way to have a proper handle on the volume of merchandise or products you sell (or go missing) in your place of business is through inventory control systems.
Instead of “kickin’ it old school” and physically counting every single item in your store every day or week, an inventory control system does the work for you!
My guess is you’ve already got plenty on your plate and don’t need the extra burden of having to perform a physical inventory every day, week, or even month. There’s an “app” for that!
Ok, so it’s not as simple as an app on your smartphone. You will need to integrate it into your existing software, or simply purchase an all-in-one system. The second option is where most businesses start these days.
In terms of the foundational aspects of setting up a business, purchasing a POS system with inventory control software already built in is commonplace.
Unless you are operating on an extremely low-profile level and have very little in the way of physical merchandise you sell, you should equip your business with an inventory control system.
You need to have one in place.
It makes no difference whether your system is as simple as writing inventory reports on the back of an envelope (which we wouldn’t recommend) or by using sophisticated radio frequency identification systems.
Small businesses who don’t have a lot of physical merchandise on hand can easily keep track of their product levels by using a spreadsheet.
Perform daily or weekly counts of your product and enter it into the spreadsheet.
Keep track of incoming product purchases as well as merchandise sold on the same spreadsheet.
I would recommend setting it up to calculate your product levels for you. This way when it is time to restock your inventory, all you have to do is refer to your spreadsheet.
It will do all the math for you and you will be able to see exactly how much you need of each item in your inventory. It will make your ordering process go much quicker and smoother, trust me!
You can also set it up to calculate if you have enough raw materials on hand to fulfill the business you anticipate for a given time period.
For example, using the correct spreadsheet formula, at the beginning of your week you can enter in what you expect to sell during the week and it will calculate for you whether you have sufficient product levels to achieve your projections.
Think about how much time this will save you! Having a system in place which automatically does all of the math calculations for you will be very helpful.
This type of inventory control is especially cost efficient for small business owners because it helps them avoid having to invest in systems and training of their staff (if they have any).
Think about how much time it would save you if all of your orders were automatically placed, as well!
The biggest problem in using this type of system is the possibility for human error. If there is one miscount or miscalculation when entering information into your spreadsheet, it will cause inaccuracies in your data output.
Hopefully this doesn’t happen to you. If it does, it will take some time you most likely can’t afford to spend figuring out when exactly the problem occurred and how to correct it.
You could invest in a barcode inventory control system. Businesses who employ this system have a much easier time keeping track of their inventory levels.
Every product is assigned, tagged with a barcode, and is scanned into and out of your inventory through your scanner on your POS system.
This system will significantly increase the accuracy and efficiency of managing your inventory. Your POS system is used to scan items in and out of your inventory.
The system will keep a running account of your inventory levels and you will be able to review sales data reports so you can see what is selling well and what isn’t.
If those new razors you ordered last month aren’t selling quite as well as you thought they would because beards are awesome and men don’t shave these days, you can purchase beard grooming products to sell in the coming month instead.
I know I would buy them (bearded man speaking).
This is valuable data to have which can save you money and make you even more!
One other more expensive example is radio frequency identification systems. These have really taken inventory control to new levels of preciseness and efficiency.
This type of inventory system is ideal for companies who move thousands of items through their doors. Because of the sheer numbers involved, this technology is best suited for these larger capacity businesses. This may be your business, so this information could apply to you.
The way it works is your warehouses are set up with sensors in each section of the warehouse. When items with an RFID tag on them pass the sensors, the transfer of those items in or out is calculated into your inventory management software.
Because RFID technology has a range of 40 ft. up to 300 ft., it greatly increases the accuracy of inventory movement and levels in your warehouse.
It’s probably fair to say if your business is at this level, the suggestion to use “old school” methods of physical counts would might bring on a panic attack for even the most capable business owner.
We don’t want to do that to you. So we’ll simply suggest you look into RFID for yourself. The payoff is worth the investment.
Trust me, panic attacks are no joke! And this is one reason inventory control systems were were created and are developed. This and, you know, freeing up your time and accounting for all your goods.
Give us a call here at (888) 510-9871 or visit our homepage to see the incredible, streamlined inventory control options we have for all types of businesses.