Stocktake Tips for Busy Retailers
With the end of the financial year looming, June is a busy month for many Australian retailers as stocktakes and end of the financial year take centre stage.
Regular stocktakes can be a bit of a tedious task, but there are some distinct advantages.
- You will be aware of your margin of profit when the accounting is up to date
- It provides the opportunity to identify overstocked and slow moving products
- It identifies any poor practices and theft so you can address any problems quickly
- Reduce your back orders by seeing which products move quickly so you can reorder in a more timely manner
If it is time to count your business inventory, then here are some tips that can smooth the process.
- Lay out stock items clearly
- Identify the different types of stock and clearly label inventory
- Separate items that are and are not included in the stock take
- Account for stock that is on consignment or located elsewhere
- Make sure you have the tools needed for taking stock, such as clipboards, stock sheets, write-off sheets, pens in an assortment of colours, calculators and hand-held scanners for barcode inventory
- Keep the stock room free of distractions such as mobile phones, radios and iPods
- Be accurate. This means counting every item, even the ones in boxes marked with the number of items inside
- Check your physical count against your accounting records. Recheck any discrepancies and follow up as necessary
- After finishing the stock take, update inventory records using your accounting package
Stocktaking presents a few unique hazards, so here are some tips to help make your stocktake as safe as possible.
- Post mandatory and helpful safety and danger signs for employees
- Follow safe handling instructions for products or chemicals in the stockroom
- Do not handle containers of corrosives or chemicals if there is any cracking or leakage
- Keep walkways, stairs and staircases clear of boxes and stock
- Mop up spills immediately and use slippery surface signs to warn others
- Do not leave items on stairs
- Do not block access to safety and emergency equipment, like fire alarms and extinguishers
- Wear safety glasses when uncrating items, using a nail gun or cutting strapping bands
- Take extra care using case cutters, knives and other sharp tools
- Visually inspect boxes and other containers for sharp objects and other hazards before reaching into them with your hands
- Bend or remove nails and staples from crates and cartons before unpacking them
- Take care to lift carefully and avoid injuries when manually stocking shelves
- Use high quality step ladders and step stools to safely access higher locations
- Use trolleys or carts to move awkward or heavy materials