Store keeping is the practice of supervising the inventory and keeping it secure. The person responsible for store keeping ensures that the finished goods, raw materials and other supplies are not damaged. Store keeping involves meeting the company’s operational inventory needs while minimizing costs.
Difference Between Store Keeping and Inventory Management
Store keeping and inventory management are words often used interchangeably to refer to the processes of organizing and managing the inventory.
However, there are sometimes distinctions between these two concepts. “Inventory management” refers more broadly to the planning, control and supervision of the inventory. This includes a handful of activities such as procurement, warehousing, tracking and distribution of products.
Store keeping would then refer to a subset of inventory management processes, mainly the physical aspect of storage and inventory management in the warehouse or storage space and on the shelves. Store keeping focuses on the organization, security and accessibility of items in the inventory. This involves several tasks: receiving orders from suppliers, organizing products, labeling them, doing physical counts, and handling the goods.
Now that you have a better idea of what it is, let’s look at how a retailer can improve store keeping.
Technology evolves. Certain tools are particularly useful for speeding up processes and avoiding errors. Even if you already have good inventory management or point of sale systems and the best equipment, it is relevant to review them and stay informed about the latest technologies. There may be other softwares that would better meet your needs than what you currently have.
The more your store grows, the more difficult it is to track inventory without great technology. Inventory management softwares are then very useful for monitoring inventory in real time and for automating certain tasks. A good inventory management system helps optimize your inventory and supply chain.
Point of sale softwares allow you to have a single source of data. With it, a retailer has all the information regarding sales, inventory and customer and supplier orders in one place. Just like inventory management softwares, point of sale softwares allow you to set reorder points. The software provides a signal when the inventory level reaches a predetermined threshold that means that it is time to place a new order with the supplier. This type of software also integrates with other platforms often used by retailers. For example, you can synchronize in-store and online sales, which allows you to have an overview of inventory in one single place.
Alice POS is a great point of sale software that will undoubtedly allow you to improve your inventory management and be more efficient. Click here to know all the features of Alice POS.
Technology is an ever-changing industry and it is vital to stay informed of the latest trends to keep pace with the industry and meet changing customer needs.
2. Have a Clear View of All Merchandise
To improve store keeping, it is essential to have a good overview of the merchandise. This includes safety stocks, slow-moving stocks and dead stock.
It is important to keep a safety stock of best-selling items at all times. This ensures that you are not caught off guard if there is an increase in demand or delays in procurement.
It is also necessary to identify slow-moving inventory and aging products and resolve the problem of these products not selling. Consider doing clearance deals to sell products that are no longer in demand. Inactive stocks, this excess stock that you are unable to sell, must also be identified in order to be able to act quickly and resolve the problem.
Stores must also keep a register of deadstock. This inventory, which has not sold for an extended period of time or has become obsolete, takes up valuable space in the warehouse. The person responsible for store keeping must ensure that excesses are avoided and that the impact of deadstock on store operations and profitability is reduced. This starts with identifying deadstock.
It is essential to organize products, for example by categorizing and labeling them by categories. There are several ways to categorize items.
The first way is classification based on the product’s characteristics. You can categorize by color, style, condition, size, quantity, brand, date you received the product, expiration date, etc.
SKUs ensure this categorization. Click here to find out more.
You can also categorize your products based on the demand for these products or based on their profitability. Products can be classified into three groups. Class A is made up of the products that earn you the most money. This group represents 20% of the total number of items and 80% of revenue. Class B represents 15% of your revenue and 30% of the total number of items. These products are either in the maturation phase or in the decline phase. It is therefore necessary to know these products and analyze the situation to know in which phase they are. With this knowledge, you can find the right solution to increase the sales of these products or to prevent them from bringing you too much loss. Class C represents 5% of your revenue, but 50% of the total number of products. These products are either in the launch phase or in decline. Action must be taken to increase sales of products in the launch phase.
This categorization allows you to prioritize products according to demand and locate products more quickly and easily in the warehouse. This allows you to process orders faster and without errors, put your energy and resources on the right products and know which of them should be sold first.
4. Implement Effective and Appropriate Inventory Management Techniques
5. Track Inventory and Performance
If you are not already doing so, it is essential to keep an eye on inventory at all times. This is done by taking a physical inventory count regularly and using a point of sale software. With this software, it is possible to track sales, the number of units in inventory, arrivals and orders. You can also evaluate the overall performance of your store. You can know your best-sellers and the most profitable products and focus on those.
During the process of hiring someone who will have tasks related to inventory management, you need to hire the perfect person and provide them with training. Employees should know the best practices for inventory management. Since knowledge evolves and best practices can change, it is also necessary to train your employees, new and old, and show them the best new practices. Employees who are well trained while working in your store make fewer errors and are more likely to follow procedures perfectly and quickly. Customers will therefore be more satisfied.
7. Constantly Seek Improvement
To improve store keeping, don’t hesitate to ask your customers and employees for advice. Customers are the ones who keep your business alive. They are in the best position to know what they want. As for the employees, they are in the field, so they know better than anyone what can make their work easier and what can increase their productivity.
Be open to feedback from your customers and employees and be willing to make the necessary changes to increase efficiency while reducing costs.
In conclusion, there are many ways to improve store keeping. Technologies and techniques tailored to your store, rigorous inventory tracking, knowledge of its products, which are appropriately categorized, and employee training are all aspects that can improve store keeping. With these tips, you are now equipped with good practices to ensure top-notch store keeping!