Stock loss can have a huge impact on a company’s bottom line and the majority of it comes from human error, accidental damage or, sadly, theft. The last 12 months have been some of the most difficult in history for retailers across the UK and for the general public at large. It is in times of uncertainty, stress and hardship that stock loss not only increases but has the biggest impact on a business profit margin when it can least be absorbed and tolerated.
So, as we open up to the public again after what feels like a very long time away, what can you do to ensure that human error, mistakes and even theft are kept to a bare minimum?
Processes and procedures
When you welcome your team back to the store and prepare them to face the public, it could help to start with the very basics – if processes have changed due to Covid, make sure they know them, understand them and can work to them.
Even if they haven’t, run a reminder session on what needs to happen and when – after all, it’s been a while!
Make sure they feel safe to carry out the day job
It’s also important that they feel safe, secure and ready to do their job, so ensure that dialogue over how you’re keeping them safe always runs alongside any discussion on processes, procedures and getting the job done.
Things are going to start moving quickly in the retail sector when lockdown is lifted. If you’ve had to recruit new staff members to prepare for reopening how do you make sure that they have enough knowledge to minimise any stock loss in those early days? Introducing a buddy system could help, pairing up experienced team members with those fresh faces to ensure they know what to do and the importance of getting it right.
Give your experienced team a refresher on your stock taking do’s and don’ts and let them lead the way. It will also allow those returning colleagues to feel some ownership over the process.
Check in with your Team
If your staff have been furloughed or on severely reduced hours, they can’t help but have felt the impact of that in their personal lives. Whether they have struggled financially or emotionally, checking in with your returning colleagues and checking where they are at, how they are feeling and what support they may need to return to the workplace can help reduce some of the risks of stock loss as you re-engage them in the workplace.
It will be more important than ever in 2021 to have a tight handle on your stock management and to ensure that stock loss is drastically reduced to deal with a potentially busy and high pressure year in the retail sector. If you would like to talk to the team about getting your processes right and ensuring your team are motivated, give us a call on 01637 874609 or visit https://www.abacusvaluers.co.uk/our-stocktaking-services.