Patrick is delighted to be providing his third and final article and you can view his earlier two articles here.
Regarding “best in class” lets first think of, “what is best in class?” what do you think of? Hold that thought, we’ll come back to that later.
Firstly, specific to your stock and the control of it.
Assuming that you have your stock on your EPOS, and all is scanning correctly, staff know how to use it, and you are confident that stock is now easier to manage. It is now time to ensure that you have in-place a robust procedure that
ensures that your stock is managed as efficiently as possible. You need to have a system of control for your current stock in place. This means that you need to count it on a regular basis. The purpose of this count is to bring your stock
levels up to date on your EPOS and to know what level of shrinkage is occurring. To do this, you do not need to have a wall-to-wall stocktake each month.
I recommend to stores that they need to have in place a system that fits in with their own internal systems of accounting and capabilities.
If that’s through one or four annual stocktakes wall-to-wall then great.
If that’s having a weekly stocktake on your highest value lowest margin items, then brilliant.
Just note: a count of any stock, is only as good as the action taken afterwards once the results are known.
Know how to get a result. Be certain that the variances are trustworthy. Act accordingly.
Taking action once a result is known is the most important part of any stocktake.
If you don’t have the time to do an analysis after the count, then you may need to think if it is time well spent. There should be a cycle-counting schedule that needs to take place across specific departments. I would focus on where the money is. What is the highest value and what is likely to go missing/unaccounted for.
You should work towards knowing:
Do this, one department at a time. Momentum will build and results will be achieved, be patient.
Back to “best in class” and what it means.
There is no right and or wrong answer to this as it depends on where you currently are and where you want to go and what you want your business to be.
When I think of best in class I think of a business that is:
Note I didn’t state an actual tangible result, simply because there isn’t one. It is the responsibility for each business to state in their plan (remember from Article 1) what they want to achieve.
That plan is to achieve certain things and it serves a purpose for your business. Once that purpose is served, it’s not over. It is updated with a new plan. A revised plan.
Your stock makes you money. Respect it, so that shrinkage is kept to a minimum and profits are maximised.