Did your mom ever tell you, "Clean up this mess" or "Do not leave that lying around?” Welcome to every Saturday morning of my childhood. Looking back at it now, much of mom’s advice can and should be applied to securing inventory storage.
Securing inventory storage
The bottom line: a store needs to know the location of its inventory. Not just some or most of the inventory, but all of it. Such inventory would include the location of saleable, damaged, and the dreaded missing inventory (AKA shrinkage, looted, shoplifted, pinched, etc.). It turns out mom was right, and cleaning up on a regular basis is a good business practice. In this blog article, we will discuss processing damaged stock and not counting it as a part of your regular inventory:
Cleaning and organizing inventory
If your inventory is clean and organized, it will be much easier to locate, count, and notice any missing or damaged items. When the inventory is unorganized and scattered in many different locations, it is much easier to have items stolen without anyone noticing. There are many simple but effective ways to organize inventory: racks, numbered bins, overflow locations, return to vendor bin, damaged items, etc. As an alternative, there are companies happy to sell you layouts and inventory organization items. Help is never more than a signed check away.
Processing damaged items
Inventory can be damaged in shipping, receiving, delivery, or somehow mysteriously on the sales floors. It is important to take note of damaged inventory, pull it out of saleable inventory, and process it through your sales system. Quality control during receiving allows the damaged item to be shipped back to the vendor for replacement or credit. If a customer lets the store know they were delivered a damaged item, then it has to be shipped back to the store and then possibly back to the vendor. The vendor may allow damaged items to be shipped back after receiving, but will probably only do so if the store can prove it was received defective. Separating the damaged items from saleable inventory and processing the return to the vendor or write off in the sales system helps the company have accurate inventory counts.
So in conclusion, I’ll tell you something I’m sure you’ve heard a thousand times: listen to your mom. Turns out she had some good advice: "Clean up the mess" and "Do not leave that lying around". These two pieces of advice alone can significantly assist with securing your inventory storage, reducing shoplifting and increasing customer service. Oh and who can forget: "Wash your hands before you eat". Thanks, mom.