Running out of stock is a frightening situation every retailer wishes to avoid. 50% of customers will not return to a shop which repeatedly runs out of stock because they may assume you might be out of stock even when you might have restocked. Stock-out can be a major factor for retrogressed sales, low outcome of customers and can even lead to the failure of your business. This is why retailers need to closely monitor their sales and stock pattern to prevent stock-outs.
Keep a digitized inventory system
If you are still avoiding the use of technology in your business in this fast improving technological world, then your business is heading towards a fall. Digitized inventory is a computerized system which allows a retailer to enter and monitor their stock data. It also subtracts from the data as and when sales are made. Some systems even alert retailers when their stock goes below a specific number. This system thus presents stock data to the retailer to enable them make decisions concerning their stock. Digitized inventory system is here to aid you in monitoring your stock and if you are yet to jump on this, do so now. You can’t afford to lose customers.
Practice regular stock counting
Due to theft, practice regular stock counting even when using a digitized inventory system. This is just to be assured that the numbers on your computerized system matches the numbers on the ground. Doing regular stock counting is first going to deter any kind of theft and also going to inform your stock situation to enable you to make good decisions on restocking.
Manage Cash Flow
Managing cash flow can be really difficult for retailers, especially retailers who have a lot on their business plates. Utilities, salaries, debts, maintenance and other costs can take a toll on your cash flow if not properly managed. Capital for stocking of goods should be separately handled from other funds. Do not use your capital to do other things other than buying goods for your shop to prevent running out of cash when it’s time to restock.
Communicate with suppliers
Communication and a good relationship with your suppliers is very key in preventing stock-out. Communicate your stock pattern to your suppliers so they can be guided in delivering your products to you in the right quantity and good time. Also create a strong bond between you and your suppliers to ensure that during scarcity of products, you would still be supplied with your goods. Retailers should ensure that they pay all debts they owe their suppliers to enable suppliers to also provide them with their products.
Order in a timely manner
You can use a digitized inventory system or practice regular stock counting, manage your cash flow and do all the above but if you don’t order your products to restock timely, then you are back to square one. Final point of restocking is making your orders after having all the stock information you require. Possibly make your order for restocking a week before you run out of stock to ensure that the products arrive just when they run out. During festivities, do well to plan and order a bit earlier before scarcity sets in.
“Out of stock” should be a thing of the past after going through this article. It is time to win back all the customers you lost and to make more profit. A quick reminder; keep a digitized inventory system, practice regular stock keeping, manage your cash flow, communicate with your customers and finally order in a timely manner. Cheers to businesses free of running out of stock.