To succeed in a retail business, you must have a good grasp of stock control. It’s something you must concern yourself with if you are to master your business in general. With better stock control, you can expect your profits to rise, not to mention you’ll keep your customers happier along the way. So what exactly is stock control, and how can you make sure that you are doing it right?
In this post, we are going to take a look at the basic and essential elements of stock control, so you get on the right track.
Understanding What It Is
It might be helpful for some of us to first go over what stock control actually is. Put simply, it is a collection of routines and protocols that ensure the stock is being looked after the best way possible. This includes trying to keep loss and shrinkage down to a minimum, countering waste, and ensuring there are decent modes of availability – while also finding the best possible means of storing the stock in question.
There are many different approaches that you might need to take, depending on the nature of the stock and the kind of business you are running. It helps to stay aware of the main hurdles as you try to master your own stock control processes.
It all boils down to ensuring your business has a set number of routines around stock control. As long as you have these in place, you will be able to keep your stock under control much more effectively–all while reducing loss!
At the start, you might not know exactly what kind of routines you are going to need to focus on. You might have to first try out a few – including those that we will look at here – and find out which might be relevant for your business. Then, over time you can develop them into stronger and more secure routines. But as long as you focus on the idea of establishing routines, you should be able to successfully manage your stock control. So what kinds of routines might these be?
One of the most important stock control processes is taking a stock count. By counting your stock regularly, you can be certain that you know exactly how much you have – and that will help you to find out where any losses might be coming from and how they came about. If you never know how much less stock you have than you are supposed to, then you may be at a loss as to why your money is disappearing.
It’s best to do a full stock take manually. This way, you can be sure that you know exactly how much there is. Of course, that can be tricky to do alone, and you will certainly want to find some help to make the task considerably easier.
You should also keep waste at a minimum. This will help you maintain high stock, and will spare you the financial trouble that comes with wastage. There are plenty of basic practices to help you achieve this, from using a water chiller for certain foods to ensuring your staff are trained in the proper way to carry boxes. Anything you can do to keep waste down allows you to keep a much tighter control over your business processes in general.
Shrinkage is another key point of concern. Taking control of this aspect of your business can be especially difficult to do, as the nature of shrinkage is that you don’t know where it is going. However, in most cases it is theft by staff and customers, so make sure that you are discouraging that as best as you can. You can do this by being clear that you prosecute shoplifters, and making sure that your staff are fully aware of how on top of your stock control routines you really are.
As long as you pay attention to all these things, you will be able to master your stock control in no time.