Take control over your inventory before it takes control over you!

Scanning at the register

Scanning at the register

Do you know how much money you have tied up in inventory? Or the quantity of each item currently on hand? Can you name your fastest movers or the dead stock wasting space on your shelves?

If the answer any of these questions is “no” it’s time for your inventory to learn who’s boss!

Limited shelf space and limited budgets make it critical that convenience store operators use data analysis to see and understand what’s going on in their inventory. Every dollar you invest in excess stock or items that don’t move is money that can’t be used elsewhere to grow your business.

To tame your inventory and make it work for your business, here are a few suggestions:

  • Record all deliveries.
    Diligently record all deliveries from your wholesaler using EDI or other item level methods. You have to know what is being delivered at the item level so you can set your margins and identify the true state of your inventory.
  • Take physical inventory.
    Taking physical inventory periodically allows you to identify shrink. Knowing the amount of shrink in your stores—which items are sneaking out the door and how many—will help you plan well to combat this unwanted behavior.
  • Scan at the register.
    Scanning allows you to record item sales at the right price in detail quickly, making it easy to determine what moves and how often.
  • Use a leading back office software program.
    All the item level detail in the world is of limited use without the right back office software solution to manage it. Such a system will give shape and meaning to the raw data you accumulate, helping you identify winners and losers and the right pricing points to maximize profits.

The above steps will help you streamline your operation and get control back over your inventory. Get rid of those boxes of Screaming Yellow Zonkers that have been gathering dust since 1994 and make room for the items your customers really want. Keep just enough of each item to last the delivery cycle with a little extra to handle an unexpected surge in demand. Use your back office software to its fullest potential. Increase your bottom line.

For more information on this subject:

Lotstein, Mark, “How Item-Level Inventory Pays Off”, CSP Magazine Feb. 2013: p. 30. Print

Bixby, Betsi, “Five Ways to Stop Wasting Cash in Inventory”, Convenience Store Decisions Apr. 2013: p. 21. Print

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