NCR Counterpoint Blog

Best Practices For Retail Inventory Management

Posted by Kendall Reed on Jun 1, 2016 3:45:16 PM

The goal of retailers is to get their products into consumer hands when they want it. Whether you're running an eCommerce site, a brick-and-mortar retail outlet, or a multi-channel operation, following best practices for retail inventory management empowers your team to meet customer expectations and reduce both capital spend and operating expenses. 

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Exploit Retail Inventory Management System Features

Proactive inventory management drives higher profit margins and improves customer satisfaction. A fully integrated retail inventory management system has the capacity to improve internal efficiency, drive down costs of sales, and streamline all business processes. Leverage the flexibility and power of your POS to track inventory and sales, manage customer reward programs, and simplify special promotions. In conjunction with your store inventory management policies, web-based point of sale technology lets you access real-time data to manage your business from anywhere, any time — so small problems don't become major headaches. 

Leverage Automation With Inventory Management Software 

Automation enables a more efficient, unified retail management system. Identify areas ripe for automation within your retail operation. A thorough supply chain process overview is the best approach. Examine all manual tasks and employee processes that may be contributing to excesses or shortages in product supply.

Before implementing any policy change, prioritize opportunities for improvement.

Automation enables ABC analysis, streamlining purchasing processes, and creating demand-forecasting models built on past product performance and customer demand. Accurate forecasting reduces issues with overstock/understock, storing obsolete items and backorders, and holds inventory to an acceptable level to serve customers. Inventory management software is a valuable forecasting tool, but remember to manually adjust for non-recurring special promotions, one-time-out-of-stock events, and liquidation activities.

Improve Space Utilization, Reduce Inventory Storage Costs

Understanding how to manage retail inventory for higher profits means looking at all processes within the supply chain. You can delay owned warehouse expansion, or improve space utilization, with carefully designed storage and pull centers. Consider narrow-aisle equipment and more efficient layout designs in storage and pull facilities that make it easier and safer for employees to move inventory from storage to showroom floor or the fulfillment center.

Hand Off Inventory Replenishment Tasks to Vendors

A top-shelf retail inventory tracking system helps companies manage shrink, identify products with a lackluster sales history, and keep an eye on their financial status throughout the year. Tracking inventory also makes it easier to tell if your products are going out the door due to customer or employee theft. At NCR Counterpoint POS, our solutions even let you access your inventory tracking modules remotely to monitor sales during promotions and peak traffic times. This ensures your customers have access to all the products they want, when they want them.

While maintaining an internal retail inventory tracking system is vital, handing off replenishment responsibilities to outside vendors can reduce, or even eliminate, stocking low-moving products. This can reduce storage costs and capital spend. Vendor-managed inventory (VMI) and vendor stocking programs (VSP) enhance internal inventory management policies. Another benefit is that you have tighter control over the cost of sale — since arrangements include a predetermined markup over cost and specific delivery schedules.

Partnering With NCR Counterpoint POS: Implementing a Rigorous Store Inventory Management Program 

To exploit the powerful functionality of a robust retail inventory management system, you must partner with the right technology provider. NCR Counterpoint POS understands the unique challenges retail merchants face today. Our inventory management and POS software is designed to give you greater control over your assets and financial health.

Email us today to schedule a demo or register for our next webinar to learn how to manage retail inventory with NCR Counterpoint POS solutions built to save you time and money.