5 Ways to Manage Inventory with a POS System

Clothing Store POS 300x207 - 5 Ways to Manage Inventory with a POS SystemInventory control should be a top priority for retailers. Unfortunately, many operators do not maximize the inventory management potential of their point-of-sale (POS) systems.

Here are a few tips that can help you better control your company’s inventory with your POS system.

 1. Purchase the Right Products and Quantities

Every entrepreneur wants to run a highly successful business. One way to do that is to make sure you push your top-selling items by giving them the proper floor space and keeping the right number of product on the shelves. A POS system can help you see what’s selling and what’s not. Plus, it can help you make sure you always have the proper amount of stock. In addition a good POS system should be able to tell you whether you are overstocked or understocked on products based on your current sales trends. A quick report can help you easily make ordering decisions.

2. Centralize Online and Offline Inventory

Shopping online and offline are two totally different experiences, but the amount of inventory available is typically the same no matter which way a shopper decides to purchase. A good POS system, can centralize your inventory and track in real time what is available to the customer both online and offline, as well as synchronize customer loyalty data between platforms.

3. Manage Shrinkage

Controlling shrinkage (inventory loss due to damage, theft or poor tracking) can be difficult. Consider these stats according to the National Retail Security Survey (NRSS).

Inventory shrinkage amounted to $44 billion in losses for retailers in 2014.

  • Shoplifting (38%)
  • Employee/internal theft (34.5%)
  • Administrative and paperwork errors (16.5%)
  • Vendor fraud or error (6.8%)
  • Unknown loss (6.1%)

Tracking your inventory with a point-of-sale system can help prevent shrinkage. Many businesses don’t have proper inventory controls, thus, they cannot tell if products are missing. If a business owner does not know if inventory is missing, there is no way to know if investment in anti-theft and other measures will be beneficial. If merchandise is stolen, a POS system can tell you that the item can give the necessary information to make better business decisions. It can also create employee accountability. Employees that know inventory is counted will be less likely to steal. In addition, there is less of a chance for human error when your automated POS keeps track of your stock and purchase orders.

 4. Analyzing Sales History

There are times when you should use your intuition, setting your inventory stock levels is not one of them. Use your intuition to figure out what new products to bring into your store, and what types of products you should sell. After that, use real data from your POS system based directly off your sales history to decide which items continue to get premium floor space and which items go on clearance to make room for better selling items. A good point of sale system should help you make these decisions.

5. Maintaining Accuracy and Improve Efficiency

Before point-of-sale systems stores business owners had to manually track inventory. That means managers had to make sure the written records were correct by walking through the store, counting every item and writing it down.

Today, when you receive the items that you’ve ordered, you can check that the amount listed on the purchase order matches the number received and that it also matches the amount on your POS reports. This process will help keep your inventory accurate on your POS system. This can simplify and significantly save labor hours.

It’s easy to see that inventory management is key to any retail or restaurant business. Keep in mind these simple ways to utilize a point-of-sale system for maximum success with your inventory.