SafetyCulture Summit 2021
The basics on retail inventory management and tools to utilize for a better system
Published 12 Oct 2021
Retail inventory management is the systematic technique a business implements to ensure that there is enough product stock in store, and in other retail chain areas such as a warehouse, to meet customer demand.
Retail managers know the pain of having insufficient inventory in store, the waiting time for reordering stocks, and the possibility of product spoilage and loss. This is why integrating the right retail inventory management process is important to achieve smooth retail operations.
Retailers that handle perishable inventory will need to take extra steps. For example, when a retailer such as a grocery store is caught selling an expired product, they’ll have to pay a fine and face legal and compliance issues. This will also have a detrimental effect on the business’ image and reputation. Retailers that stock perishable goods can utilize accessories to monitor product quality and quantity. SafetyCulture Sensors can retrieve real-time data on temperature, humidity, gasses and air particles present, air pressure, and other factors in the area where retail goods are stored.
A good retail inventory management system will save your business from poor retail performance and extra costs.
The difference between retail inventory management with other inventory management systems is that the scope of the prior does not include wholesale inventory and other areas of the supply chain.
Essentially, retail management starts with having physical inventory of the products. These stocks can be located in the warehouse or in stores. As warehouses are often utilized by larger businesses, a common challenge faced when using warehouses is that it can lead to stock inaccuracy and lack of visibility if there is no proper communication between the retail store managers and warehouse managers. Retailers can employ warehouse inventory management to create an overall effective retail inventory management system and process.
Retailers should track inventory as often as they can. This can be troublesome if the system is not only manual but also conducted on paper. Problems such as inaccurate inventory and product waste or loss can occur when inventory is not constantly and timely checked. One of the best ways a retailer can avoid these is to implement a digital retail inventory management system which can track real-time data of the inventory’s quantity and quality.
Digital inventory management tools usually work on computers but more modern technology for inventory management allows the use of mobile devices such as phones and tablets that are easier to carry and less likely to get lost or damaged (compared to paper) during an in store inventory check. Another advantage of using a digital inventory tool is that media files can be uploaded and data is automatically available on the retailer’s inventory management system.
Stay ahead of potential low retail inventory by following these tips:
Retailers know the pain of a manual inventory management system. It’s time to take advantage of simple but intuitive digital tools such as iAuditor. This app can come with smart sensors perfect for retailers that sell perishable goods such as the grocery, pharmacy, and convenient stores.
Coles, the Australian supermarket, utilizes iAuditor to conduct efficient processes such as retail audits and inspections. The business was able to use data insights for transparency in the entire corporation as well as to identify trends that can point to opportunities for improvement. The retail system has improved so much that today, this app has been rolled out across 760 Coles branches.
Streamline retail inventory management processes and empower your employees to provide high-quality products today with iAuditor by SafetyCulture. Get visibility in your retail businesses along with these features:
“iAuditor empowers us to give the customers a shop that they can trust, and gives us the ease and simplicity to let stores really get ahead of the game to deliver on opportunities to improve.” — Simon McBurney, Senior Delivery Analyst with Coles
Experience the benefits of having a great retail inventory management system and process with these retail checklists and templates:
As a researcher and content writer for SafetyCulture, Erica is tasked to contribute to the expansive information available on the website. She makes sure that her content contains correct and timely sources for various industries. Her goal is to help spread awareness and create a culture of safety in the workplace.
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