While many retailers assume the largest source of inventory loss is from customers, there is a significant amount of loss that occurs from employee theft as well as human error. All of these factors can be more effectively monitored and prevented through the use of retail inventory management software.
The purpose of retail inventory management software is to be able to track and locate inventory throughout the retail company. This includes stock in inventory and on the floor, as well as receiving, sales and transfers of inventory between locations.
There are several important aspects of any type of retail management software. The more advanced systems can be instrumental in ensuring inventory levels are maintained, avoiding out of stock issues and also preventing over-purchasing of materials.
For all types of inventory management from receiving through to customer sales, having an individual employee login for each person will be critical. This, in itself, is a deterrent to employee theft, but it is also critical for the management team to identify trends, to provide feedback to employees, and to have a clear management picture.
It is not uncommon in multi-location retail outlets to have human error result in pallets or cases of stock being held at one location, virtually lost within the system. At the same time, there may be stores where this inventory is sold out, resulting in lost sales and potentially lost customers for the future.
By implementing an effective retail inventory management system, store managers can immediately get on the system and track down inventory across all locations. This also prevents over-ordering of seasonal items by more effectively managing the in-stock inventory.
Any retail management system for inventory should be integrated with POS and supply chain systems. This allows for a comprehensive, real-time picture of where all stock is at any given point in time.