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When you’re a retailer with many products to sell, stock replenishment needs to become a critical part of your business strategy.

If your customers come to your store and find empty shelves, they may not be willing to stick around. In fact, it’s estimated that depending on the product that’s unavailable, up to 43% of customers will go to another store to buy the item.

So, what do you need to be aware of when you’re responsible for managing stock levels within a store or chain of stores?

 

1. Too much stock is as bad as not enough stock

 

Stock replenishment is a balancing act. Too little, and you run the risk of bare shelves. Too much, and you not only will find stock goes to waste, but you need extra space to store it all.

It’s important to monitor stock levels closely, both on the shelves and in your warehouse.

 

2. Make sure staff scan the right barcodes

 

When staff are on the tills, they may be tempted to scan an alternative barcode to save time. This can cause issues with stock replenishment as you won’t know which items you are running low on.

You need to remind staff that they need to scan the correct barcodes to ensure accurate stock levels.

 

3. Adjust stock levels to suit specific requirements

 

It’s essential to think about special occasions and holidays when considering stock levels. You may sell 100 units during one week, but ten the next.

Similarly, different stores in different locations will have different needs. For example, a branch of a supermarket chain in an area with a large Polish community will need to have more Polish groceries available on the shelves.

 

4. Know the point when you need to reorder

 

Whether you do this manually or through software, it’s important to know when low stock levels will trigger you to place a new order.

As an example, if you have twenty units, you may decide it’s time to restock the shelves when there are five units left. Don’t wait until there is only one product left, just in case there is a delay in placing an order.

 

5. Keep a (manual) eye on your stock levels

 

While having inventory software is critical to identifying stock levels, it’s essential to do regular manual reviews as well.

Customers could take an item off the shelf, decide they don’t want it and leave it somewhere else in the store. An item could be damaged on the shelf, making it unsellable. Items can be shoplifted or accidentally removed from the store. You will need to factor all of these scenarios into your stock replenishment strategy.

The best way to do this is to get your team to do a sweep of your shelves to make sure stock levels are acceptable.

If you haven’t got the time or resources to do this, our team of Shepherds is here to help.

 

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