Inventory management in a retail business environment is always a difficult and time-consuming exercise if followed through traditional means – manual checking and accounting data. There is also ample scope of errors which can lead to complete failure of business strategy.
There is a lot of Point of sale software tools available in the market today for various retail business applications, and retailers in India are overwhelmingly using such readymade or tailor-made tools to manage, not only their store inventory, but also the front-end and back-end business operations successfully.
A recent survey has revealed that about 80 per cent small businesses across the world use out-dated systems or practices in managing their inventory. The latest POS technology has given retailers of all sizes dependable and sustainable inventory management solutions suitable for their trading environment to safeguard their business interests. There are four ways a retailer can reduce the risk of losing business due to erroneous inventory management system.
Wasp Barcode Technologies’ survey said that the data collected from most of the small businesses revealed that they use bad or risky information when it comes to inventory management which can harm their business prospects. It says, only 16 per cent of small retailers use inventory control systems/software while seven per cent don’t even know how to track inventory. Also, majority of shop owners admitted that they still use spreadsheets or pen and paper methods to check or track their inventory.
Imperfect inventory management can be one of the top eight reasons for a small business to fail. The best way to lessen the errors and increase the accuracy of inventory data is to follow dependable and sustainable inventory management system.
Real time data
Having real time data on the availability of stocks in your store and warehouse is always beneficial for better business management and planning. Inventory management systems can track physical locations of merchandise accurately.
Most of the retailers use outdated methods such as accounting software, spreadsheets or pen and paper methods that are untenable to track the real-time availability of goods, items in warehouses and shipping details. Dependable inventory management software can help track availability of goods, purchase, schedule and outgoing and incoming merchandise which help owners to avoid theft and human errors.
Usually based on barcode or RFID technology, the technology can let the owner or mangers know the exact location of items and prevent unauthorized movement of goods out of your location.
Paperwork errors can be problematic and can affect the supply chain badly. Even the most efficient and experienced store employees can make mistakes while using spreadsheets to record and track inventory and sales data. Studies show 88 per cent of spreadsheets can be erroneous and can affect sales prospects.
With a perfect inventory management system, every item, whether raw materials or small products like screws or pen, is digitally recorded complete with pricing, tracking labels, photos and any other relevant information.
Mobile and cloud computing
Inventory management can be done effectively through smart phones as well. These using mobile phones one can scan barcodes and store the data in the centralized data base such as on cloud computer to save time, money and errors. Cloud computing allows instant updates and tracking of vital information.
Continuity refers to relation across inventory audits and lists, which will help the business to grow continuously. Another advantage should be that inventory management tools should be easy to operate by anyone. For example, if a person handling inventory happens to be out, the same system can be handled by someone without any protocol shift or confusion.
Shift to POS system with good inventory management software to manage your business effectively.