In the first of three articles, Patrick McDermott, Managing Director of www.stocktaking.ie, advises The Hardware Journal readers on better stock management practices.
Sales equals money and you sell your stock. It is therefore a priority that you give your stock the respect it requires as you have paid to place it onto the shelf its currently sitting on, regardless of whether it’s selling or not. So let`s discuss how it can be better managed.
In this series of three articles, I will outline how to manage your stock as efficiently as possible. Before we start on this journey, it is important that we provide a health warning and outline that we are speaking here in general terms. A suggestion may/ may not be suitable for your exact business requirements but it is, in general, a method for working forward to achieving best practice, and the holy grail of stock control – stock levels on your Point of Sale (POS) system that are correct and trustworthy
Through these articles I hope to assist you in:
In these three articles I will outline
Although my company delivers stocktakes, let`s start by saying, a stocktake is not the starting point. It is a point in the future that you must work towards.
All too often, businesses think that by having a stocktake their stock control is now in order. It’s not. In a lot of cases it is a process of satisfying the “accountant” who requires a year end valuation of stock for financial reporting. A dreaded process that creates procrastination and fear and “Is it that time of year again?” response.
Where we want to get to is having stock so well managed, that when you run the report on your POS, you know that the figure is correct as you have the internal processes to back it up and keep it constantly updated.
So, what are those internal processes and how can they be implemented?
Before we go there, we must first look at why stock control in hardware and builders merchant premises sometimes doesn’t work.
The main reasons that efficient stock control does not happen is because of inefficient systems around the following;
Within each of these areas, there are several reasons why they do not work and it almost always comes down to:
What does efficient stock control look like for your business?
This is your goal for your business and only you can decide it. It could be having live – stock information on your POS, it may be to have parts of your yard stock on the system as this is your highest value item area, it may be your paint section that you want to have a full product range fully available. You decide.
To achieve this goal, you must have a plan, with a date of completion as to when the goal will be achieved. You will then set milestones for the future on what you will achieve, who will achieve it, and when.
Before you start going hell-for-leather in tidying store rooms, barcoding product, and possibly repeating failed systems of the past, you should consider;
Think about the above ahead of the next article, where we will be discussing how we go about creating systems that last, and how to communicate them with your team, for if they are not on-board, then you could be fighting a losing battle.
For more information on how you can optimise your store’s stock management systems, visit www.stocktaking.ie, Ireland’s leading provider of outsourced stocktaking services.