It can be easy to think of stocktaking as just numbers on a spreadsheet; inventories, sales and orders. In reality an effective stocktake can provide a business with so much more, from increasing efficiency and profitability right through to ensuring decisions are made based on a rich and thorough range of information.
There can be no better way to make decisions than having learnt from the past, so here’s three ways accurate stocktaking can help you understand what’s been happening and use this to increase your efficiency and profitability.
Understanding buying patterns and volumes
No matter what industry you’re in, there’ll be patterns and themes to how and when people buy your products. For example, if you were to supply garden furniture you’d find that the majority of your sales would occur in Spring and in particular on days on which the sun shines. If you were offering winter apparel then the shorter, darker and colder days are going to be where your coats, hats and other winter warmers fly off the shelves.
Despite having the complete opposite seasonal trends these two offerings do have something in common; they both need to understand how much to buy and when to buy it. The reason? If stock is too low, it can lead to lost sales due to fulfilment issues, whereas on the other hand, too much stock and you can potentially leave yourself trying to divest of it at a fraction of the margin you’d hope for.
Stocktaking can give you accurate information on how much has sold and therefore lead your decision making in the future as to how much needs to be purchased.
Understanding geographic trends
If you run a business with a regional, national or even international coverage, you’ll understand that different people in different areas will inherently have diverse buying habits.
The larger your geographic coverage, the greater these can become; for example, if you offered products across the UK and to Spain, Germany and France, you’d likely find that the difference between localised buying habits and those on the continent would be wider than if you had stores across Devon and Cornwall.
Stocktaking can help you to understand how much sells and where. With the continually rising costs of distribution the savings that can be made by having the right products in the right place can be substantial and significant.
Understanding leakages in your processes
Sometimes things go missing; whether that’s as a result of shoplifting and theft or through issues in your distribution network and paperwork. Any stock that’s missing is costing you on your bottom line, so it’s vital that you can make decisions on your processes as and when they need to be made. Whilst extra security in a store will initially cost you money, if there’s an understanding that it will cut the soaring costs of petty theft way beyond the cost of implementation, the decision becomes far easier and palatable.
Stocktaking gives you the information you need to identify these issues and tackle them head-on, and ultimately solve problems you perhaps wouldn’t have otherwise known existed.
For more information on how our experienced stocktake solutions can help your business please give us a call on +44 (0)1637 874609 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.