Inventory control refers to a variety of different areas of a business. Mainly the following: technological system and software required to manage inventory, the goal of reducing overhead without hurting sales, and loss prevention.
The last of these answers three basic, but very important questions: When, Where, and How Much?
When did you experience the loss, where in your inventory did you experience it, and how much of a loss did your business sustain?
This applies to every type of business that sells a product or service directly to customers, whether the business is a small gift shop at LAX or an upscale restaurant on the top floor of a highrise in New York City.
Every business that sells products directly to customers or provides a service to them has an inventory that must be kept up and must also be accounted for.
There are a number of different ways to keep your inventory levels where they should be.
Every business should have a POS system which keeps track of what is sold and what is still in stock. That isn’t to say if you like doing things the old fashioned way, employing a physical count of inventory levels, your business will not succeed.
Manual inventory control isn’t the most efficient use of your time, however, and the possibility of a mis-count is more likely if you do it this way.
Not many business owners have the time or manpower these days to use this method. It takes much too long and is not a money saving option. The labor costs would most likely be too much for most businesses.
There are plenty of affordable options for POS systems which will do this work for you and will save your business money in the end. And we offer them!
Instead of personally having to count every item in your store or assigning an employee to do it, a well implemented POS system will keep a running tally of your inventory levels.
You can either print out the inventory reports when it’s time to fill your orders and restock your shelves. Or, you can let the the system automatically order for you, if this is a built in function of the POS!
Another great way to help you keep a handle on your inventory is through various forms of loss prevention.
Unfortunately, there are some dishonest people out there who have no qualms about taking things which are not theirs to take. Whether this be (God forbid) your own staff or the customers who frequent your business, dishonest people can exist in any level of business, internally and externally.
In fact, a recent study we conducted revealed to us, on average, 75% of employees steal from their place of employment.
There are many different ways you can prevent this from happening, or at the very least, minimize it as much as possible.
Installing surveillance cameras is one of the most effective ways to combat theft. Placing one near the cash-out area will serve as a deterrent to thieves and will help you identify wrongdoing.
Obviously, no one wants to think of their employees or staff in a negative light, but one thing a business owner can’t afford to do is simply rely on someone’s word. Video surveillance is for your protection and your employees.
It could prove to be the difference with an employee being suspected of wrong doing. If you can identify through video surveillance where the losses are happening, you will save yourself from losing money and also have relieving proof of an employee who may have been suspected of something he or she didn’t do.
Some POS systems include the technology for both inventory control (including automatic ordering) as well as employee tracking. These together will prevent much theft.
Having tags or sensors on your products can prove a deterrent for thieves also. There are many different types of sensors and many different ways of placing them on your merchandise.
If you choose to employ the use of inventory tags on your merchandise, you will also need to ensure you have the proper detection gates at the front of your store. These sensor towers detect when an item being taken from your store has a sensor still attached and an alarm will sound.
These are helpful for deterring thieves and also a way for your clerks to remove missed sensors for customers who have already purchased their items. While it may embarrass the customer in the moment, they will be grateful it happened before they drove home and then realized there was still a sensor attached.
Most of these sensors are made to be very difficult to remove without a proper sensor detacher tool. Your customer more than likely won’t be able to remove it on his own and would have to return to your store to have it removed. Obviously, this is something both you and your customers wish to avoid.
Sensor tags can be very useful as a deterrent for thieves or dishonest employees, but they are not a cure-all and thieves have various methods for getting past them. They are very helpful however, and can go a long way in helping you keep your inventory reports matching your stock levels.
These are a couple of popular and effective ways to maintain inventory control. It is critical for any business to not hemorrhage losses of their inventory. A properly implemented inventory control system will do the trick!
While there isn’t one way which works best for every business, there is one way which will work best for yours. We’ve found our unique advanced data tracking, including inventory, and employee management, has worked wonders in plugging up money leaks for businesses who have partnered with us.
Talk with one of our helpful team and we’ll help you pinpoint an inventory control system which works for you. 888-510-9871