We’re all human; we have good days, bad days, stressful days and… sick days! Those are things that we all have in common, so it will come as no surprise that stock loss is often as the result of human error, mistakes and even theft (from both customers and staff members).
The impact of stock loss on a business’ bottom line really can’t be underestimated, especially after the seemingly never-ending turbulence of the last two years. Remember, an item of stock that is ‘lost’ can no longer be sold, which means that you’ve paid for something without selling it. Making a loss on any item means that the margin on the remaining stock becomes tighter.
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. After two of the hardest years in history for retailers and their customers, the instability being created by the war in Ukraine and the British public adjusting to ‘living with Covid’, the human factor is critical now more than ever.
So how can you ensure that people aren’t making small mistakes that turn into large problems?
Safety is Everything
For some, the removal of all covid restrictions in our society can feel incredibly unnerving. It’s especially hard for those in the retail sector who are public-facing, which makes it vitally important to make sure that your staff feel safe, secure and ready to do their job.
Make sure that any talk of process and procedure and ‘business as usual’ includes measures you’re taking to keep them safe. Stressed out and fearful staff make mistakes. They can also miss things, so make sure your policies are always fresh in your mind if they are returning part time or have been away from the business for any period of time.
Processes and procedures
Your team may have changed significantly during the last two years, and you may also have staff in and out due to self-isolation or sickness as we adjust to living with Covid. When you welcome staff back to store and get them ready 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 – to make sure everyone’s on the same page.
If you’ve recruited new members of the team in preparation for business as usual, it’s really important to make sure they have enough knowledge to minimise any stock loss in their early shifts. It could help to pair up newbies with more experienced members of staff to ensure everyone knows 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 empower them to bring new colleagues along for the ride.
Check in with your Team
The last two years have taken a toll on each and every one of us and the geopolitical landscape of 2022 can be unsettling to say the least. There’s never a bad time to check in on your staff, especially if they’ve been off sick, to see how they’re feeling and what support they might need to get on with the job at hand efficiently and effectively.
We said last year that it ‘will be more important than ever in 2021 to have a tight handle on your stock management’ It’s hard to overstate the heightened significance of that sentence here in 2022!! 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.