Anyone with any retail experience will know that the stockroom is an essential part of operating your retail store. A poorly managed, disorganized stockroom is a recipe for missing stock, damaged items, lost sales, and ineffective employees. On the other hand, a well-organized stockroom means you can keep better track of your inventory, make more sales, give better customer service, and have efficient employees.
So, how do you organize your stockroom properly? Let’s go over a few best practices.
If your stockroom has high ceilings, start stacking. Invest in some high shelves or racks and pile as much stock as you can on the higher shelves. This will free up space on your floor and give you and your staff more space to move around and get work done. Just make sure to have a few sturdy ladders and step stools around for easy access.
While keeping most of your stock on higher shelves is a good practice, it’s best to keep your most popular items within reaching distance. Items that you’ll need to restock frequently should be kept towards the front of your stock room and on the lower shelves for the easiest and quickest access possible. This will make daily operations more efficient when your staff replenishes fast-selling items throughout the day.
Need help identifying your popular products? Oliver POS reports help you understand which products sell and which don’t so that you can organize your stockroom effectively. Here are a few other ways reporting tools to help you run your business.
When planning out your stockroom organization, keep in mind the weight and fragility of your products. Keeping heavy and fragile products closer to the floor will prevent damaged products if caused by accidental drops and make it easier for your employees to collect them. Lighter or less fragile items can be stored on the high shelves.
The best way to keep your stockroom organized is to conduct inventory audits regularly. Some businesses will conduct one massive audit every year – however, this can be ineffectual, as it’s time-consuming, and often the discrepancies are impossible to track. Instead, conduct daily, weekly, or monthly audits of smaller inventory segments to keep track of it throughout the year. Make up a schedule and assign inventory audits to your employees during slow times. Staying on top of your inventory will help prevent missing stock and will help keep you organized.
Here are more tips on how to improve your inventory management.
Inventory checks become significantly more convenient when you have a mobile POS like the Oliver Go. With your POS in the palm of your hand, you can take your entire inventory into the stockroom with you for easy check-ups. Oliver POS is fully responsive on any device, including your smartphone and tablet, even without the terminal.
Read more about the benefits of mobile POS systems here.
Good inventory management software is key to staying on top of your stock. Many small businesses are still keeping track of their stock with a spreadsheet – which is fine, as long as your stock is minimal. However, this method is time-consuming and prone to human error, and not very scalable if your business grows. You’re also far more likely to over-purchase and end up with dead stock that won’t sell or under-purchase and miss out on sales.
Investing in the right inventory management software will make tracking your inventory quick, easy, and convenient, giving you more time to focus on other important aspects of your business. Here are our top picks for inventory management for WooCommerce.
It’s essential to have a workspace in your stockroom, where employees can prepare items before going out on the sales floor, unpack newly shipped inventory, and package items that are going out for shipment, delivery, or pickup.
For the most efficient stockroom, create a system to keep your stock organized and label accordingly. As previously mentioned, keeping your popular stock towards the front of your stockroom and keeping heavy or delicate items on lower shelves are some practical ways to organize your inventory.
Taking your system a step further by creating an organizational structure will help your staff locate stock quickly and easily. You can do this by creating subcategories for your items and allocating specific shelves or areas. For example, during my time working in a clothing boutique, we kept all of our tops at the front of the stockroom and kept them organized by colour, then size so if we were looking for something specific, we could grab it quickly. Bottoms and one-pieces, which we sold less frequently, were stored towards the back of the stockroom.
Make sure you train your employees on how the stockroom is organized and managed. Labelling the stock areas will help keep employees working efficiently and is useful for new employees when searching for products. In addition, labels should be easy to read from a distance, so your staff can find everything easily.