Today’s post on inventory management is taken from an article posted on Small Business. The article focuses mainly on inventory management for retail clothing stores, but the tips and practices outlined in the article can easily be adapted to any retail environment.

If inventory is effectively managed costs can be controlled, inventory shrinkage can be handled, and customer’s shopping experiences can be enhanced. Let’s take a look at a few of the tips from Small Business:

The most vital asset to a small retail store is its inventory. Accordingly, effective inventory management is critical to managing costs, measuring shrinkage and improving the customer shopping experience. Thus, management can implement various inventory management practices such as continuous sorting and organizing, regular physical counts, electronic loss-prevention tags and scannable bar codes on price tags.

Employees should continually sort and organize inventory. In a retail shopping environment, customers can be expected to handle merchandise. This can result in items being reshelved improperly or even misplaced. Accordingly, it is important for staff to continuously maintain an orderly appearance on the sales floor. This improves the overall shopping experience.

Periodic physical counts of inventory should be conducted. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, inventory shrinkage can occur. This can be because of lost, damaged and misplaced merchandise, as well as theft. Thus, to actively manage losses, a physical inventory count should be conducted on a regular basis. This supports inventory valuation and keeps tabs on losses as they occur. If inventory counts are consistently lower than expected, theft could be a problem that should be addressed by management.

Electronic loss-prevention tags can be attached to individual inventory items – this is a common method to prevent theft and accidental loss of inventory. These tags are easily attached to merchandise and can be a highly effective deterrent to shoplifters. Typically, they are activated by sensors near the storefront, so that the alarm is sounded if an inventory item exits the store.

Scannable UPC bar codes on price tags can be implemented. To have access to real-time inventory information, management should implement scannable bar codes on inventory items. This allows for continual updating of inventory on hand, and it provides a basis for comparison when conducting a physical inventory count. Also, scannable bar codes facilitate sales discounts and price checks at the register. Thus, this method of inventory management is the industry standard.

Inventory management is a cinch with the Iconic Mobile Retail System. Drop us a line to learn how Iconic can help your business cut costs, reduce shrinkage, and increase your ROI.




Photo Credit: Modern Inventory Management, from How Stuff Works