How to manage stock levels using EPOS systems like Trader
6th February 2017
Smart stock management is easier said than done. Every retailer knows that optimising stock levels is a key part of running a successful business, yet few have truly mastered this exact science.
Smaller, independent retailers in particular may struggle with stock control - after all, the big chains have entire departments dedicated to inventory management.
Today’s stock control systems aren’t just for chains. As the technology has matured, it’s become accessible even for the smallest independent merchant.
The integration of stock control with a feature-packed EPOS system like Trader is now the norm, meaning that you don’t need to buy two separate systems or worry about integration. This setup also vastly improves the accuracy of your stock levels.
Let’s take a closer look at how EPOS systems can help you manage your shop’s stock levels.
Overstocking vs. understocking
Having too much cash wrapped up in stock causes huge problems for businesses. Insurance and storage costs rise, while obsolescence threatens to create dead stock that you simply can’t sell. Eventually you may be forced to sell excess stock at a significant discount merely to make way for next season’s products.
Keeping too little stock can be equally damaging. Customers can’t buy empty shelves. An ‘out of stock’ notice acts as a direct incentive for customers to visit your competitors.
Stock levels in an EPOS system give you a highly accurate picture of current stock levels of every single product. Reporting functions let you comb through historical data to understand how quickly each products sells at a given time of year, allowing you to plan deliveries and purchase orders with precision.
Automated purchase orders
Furthermore, EPOS systems like Trader allow you to assign reorder points for individual products. At the end of a specified period (a working day/week), the software will check which stock levels are at or below their reorder points. Purchase orders are then automatically populated with the relevant products and quantities. The user can tweak the figures and send the purchase orders electronically. The whole process takes seconds.
This function turns stock ordering from a painful marathon into a straightforward sprint. It reduces human error, helps prevent overstocking and understocking, and frees staff time to dedicate to more important tasks.
Another key to stock management is discounting. Promotions, sales and seasonal events shift stock that’s struggling or can increase average order value. Of course, a poorly planned deal can dent your finances and cause cash flow problems.
Give your promotions the best chance of meeting their goals with an EPOS system. Look back at how previous events affected sales of certain items or product categories. Learn from what worked, and what didn’t. Examine profit margins and stock levels to determine which products to promote and the type of promotion you should run.
The stock data in an EPOS system is extremely valuable to your business, but it’s true worth is determined by how you use it.
To find out how to harness EPOS data to efficiently manage your stock, speak to your account manager - or, if you think Trader is the right EPOS system for you, get in touch with our sales team on +44 (0) 3453 403040 or 01 435 8531 to arrange a free demo.