Setting up a retail inventory control system for your store can be very tiresome but also rewarding if you do it right. You have to keep shipping documents at hand and have an organized inventory to be able to track product names, numbers, and UCP codes easily. This helps you know when you need to unload stock or order more items and it might even help you organize a pick list for customers. What inventory control does is preserve a certain level of input for a product at the lowest cost to you to help you create supply solutions, cost solutions and point solutions. This will help you serve your customers better and also earn more money in the process. Retail technology has gone far enough that different inventory control methods already exist for retailers. There is no best inventory control method; all you can do is to find the one that works for you.
These are the control methods you can adapt for your store:
- Fixed Order. This is the most basic of inventory control methods, where inputs are kept at a fixed level and delivered on a fixed time frame, from weekly to monthly depending on the one using it. This method has the advantage of being simple, but it is also not very flexible to change. If you deal in home appliances and such, where sales normally stay at a certain point, then it’s okay. But if your business deals with the sale of items which might see a certain peak at some point, for example newly-released music CDs, then you might have to adjust it accordingly.
- First In, First Out (FIFO) method. It controls the store’s inventory with a strong focus on when the goods, etc. were received so that products, especially perishable goods, are placed on the shelf when they need to be so they don’t end up being wasted. This will help you lower the level of waste and spoilage and will help you save on costs that might have to be shouldered by your store.
- Just in Time (JIT). It causes a very low inventory overhead and cost. In this inventory control method, you only ask for deliveries of parts and supplies at the time when they are needed. Making use of this would require a great degree of trust in your suppliers and the people under you who have to deal with the supplies, since delays and errors might spoil your business. If you got your employees from a recruitment agency and don’t know them personally, at least find out if they can handle working quickly with the supplies, especially if they involve parts that have to be set up.
- Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). Here, you make use of a microchip with a transmitter inserted behind the price tag on your products to physically track these products. Hand-held devices can scan these microchips at set periods of the product’s life cycle. The inventory overhead cost is higher than other systems, but the work is more efficient and secure if your point is to be able to know what happens with all the goods you have in stock.