Are the items in your convenience store generating profits? Understanding what items are selling and when helps convenience store retailers make informed purchasing decisions and maximize sales with limited space. Using automation means you can do this important analysis frequently, and take real-time steps to improve store efficiency and increase your bottom line.
Item-Level Inventory Tracking
Item-level tracking focuses on individual products, as opposed to category-level tracking which provides information on broad categories that may include multiple products, possibly selling at different rates. Tracking at the item-level identifies which products are providing a profit and which are not. By tracking at item-level, retailers have the control to:
- Order the right amount of product to avoid overstock or out-of-stock items
- Manage and minimize shrink
- Take advantage of financial incentives by sharing item level scan data with distributors
As mentioned in the blog “10 Trends That Have Become Industry Standards”:
Grocery stores have tracked their inventory at a detailed item-level for many years, and in recent years, convenience stores have begun to adopt this approach as well. As a result, more and more convenience stores can now see the true velocity of their merchandise with item ranking reports, turn reports, and powerful inventory controls to ensure the right product is in the right place at the right time.
Centrally managing suppliers and authorized items for each store is critical to control inventory costs. To do this effectively monitor invoice costs and margin management in real time, as soon as the data enters the system at the store upon delivery. While your store manager may not be in a position to argue over the cost, once it is in the system, your merchandise manager and payables clerk can automatically be notified that an invoice was entered with a cost higher than the pricebook cost. At this time, they can contact the vendor and investigate the cost discrepancy. (Read Making Informed Decisions with Your Data to Boost Profitability)
In our recent blog, “Ask the Expert – C-Store and Petroleum Insights from Tracie Nall”, Tracie talks about how the desire for efficiency is driving change in the back and home office. One of the ways to make stores more efficient is to increase automation of time-consuming processes like inventory tracking, ordering, pricebook, etc.
Hand-held terminals that integrate with your pricebook, like ADD Systems’ eStoreScan, help to streamline operations. Scanning deliveries, transfers, write-offs and inventory counts can improve inventory accuracy and reduce data entry errors.
Reporting can give you incredible insight when it comes to inventory. Understanding the true velocity of your merchandise with item ranking reports, and reordering merchandise based on sales data means higher inventory turnover ratios, less spoilage and larger margins.
To stay competitive and grow, retailers have to monitor inventory with a close eye. Understanding your customers and product movement, while being aware of your margins will keep you on the right track for growth and bigger profits. For more information on how to understand your customer and build a better inventory process, read our article, “Use Data to Drive Sales”.