Builders’ merchants: how to optimise your stock levels

The retail sector is a highly competitive one, and the difference between success and failure can be a matter of fine margins. Nowhere is this more apparent than in your stockroom.

29th May 2015

Maintaining control over your stockroom and optimising stock levels will help you to maximise profitability, reduce wastage and improve customer loyalty, but it isn’t always an easy process. How can builders’ merchants gain control of their stock levels with the help of point-of-sale software?

First: get to know your stock levels

Before you can optimise your stock levels you’ll need to determine exactly what you have in stock and where it’s kept. Are you currently aware of what’s in your stockroom, what’s out on the shop floor and what equipment is being leased by customers? Do you know when the next stock order is due, and what it contains? What about the products that have been ordered or reserved by customers? Gleaning all of this information requires a detailed stocktake – a time-consuming process and one that’s likely to be compromised by human error. That is, however, unless you make use of stock control software. Trader allows you to quickly and efficiently scan product barcodes to update your stock database. You can view products by category, including department, group, subgroup and status, painting a far clearer picture of your current stock levels and future needs. Get to know your stock levels better and gaining control of your stock will become that much easier.

Second: deal with surplus stock

Surplus or ‘dead’ stock can be a significant burden on builders’ merchants and other construction industry retailers. Stock that just won’t sell should be seen as money locked away in your stockroom where it can’t do any good. Once you’ve used your stock control software to gain a better understanding of your stock levels you can identify any dead stock and work to get rid of it. If your business is part of a chain or group, dead stock can be redistributed to other locations where it’s in greater demand. If your store is an independent, then the solution could be to introduce a promotion or two in order to shift unpopular items. Trader can be used to manage and apply promotions at the point-of-sale, making them more effective and providing customers with superior service.

Third: give your customers what they want

Stock control is just as much about what you need as what you don’t, however. Optimising your stock levels means keeping a sufficient supply of products to meet demand, and for that you need detailed customer information. The point-of-sale data provided by Trader builders’ merchant software will allow you to anticipate and respond to sales trends, adjusting stock levels in order to meet increased demand. Trader can even be used to automatically generate purchase orders when stock runs low, ensuring that you never run out of a your customers’ favourite products.

Gaining control of your stock can save your business money, increase profitability and improve customer loyalty, so why not invest in your own copy of Trader stock control software and start making a positive change today?

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