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How to improve stock control in 4 steps

As a company that manages the movement of stock, you will be fully aware of the importance of stock control in being able to provide great customer service.

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This is backed up by the fact that UK brands are estimated to be losing up to £15 billion annually due to poor customer service. We all know how annoying it is when an item you want to buy is out of stock!

That’s why we have put together 4 simple steps on how to improve stock control, which you can then implement within your own business.

1. Reduce your reliance on paper-based processes

Do you record stock levels using a spreadsheet or on paper? If your business manages a large amount of stock, then you could face the following problems:

  • Because of the reliance on your staff to record stock levels, there is a higher chance of a human error occurring and therefore data being recorded incorrectly.

  • The document will need to be constantly monitored so that each transaction is accounted for. The time that it takes for your staff to do this, could be used more productively within your business.

  • Documents are lost every 12 seconds by large organisations. If this happened to you, how would your business cope?

2. Monitor your suppliers’ performance

Whether you have been using your suppliers for many years or introduce new ones on a regular basis, it is important that you track their performance so you know that you are getting the most out of your relationship. Metrics that you can track and analyse on a particular order to find out your suppliers’ reliability include the:

  • Promise date

  • Receipt date

  • Quantity ordered and received

  • Condition in which it was received

Once you have found out which suppliers aren’t performing well and why, you can then work with them to resolve their issues.

3. Identify stock that isn’t selling

Whatever the size of your business and wherever you store your products, using space efficiently where you keep your stock is critical.

One thing to consider doing is identifying which products are not selling as much as they should. Every day that these products aren’t selling, they are taking up valuable space on your premises, which could be used for your more popular products. You could consider discounting these items to free up space quicker.

4. Invest in stock control software

Keeping track of inventory data can be a massive headache. Using fully integrated stock control software will help you manage your stock levels more effectively and will give you a complete overview of your business.

You should look for software that:

  • Gives visibility of data to inform business decisions

  • Helps you manage stock at central, regional and branch level

  • Links to other business functions such as purchasing and sales order processing

  • Is designed specifically for the distributive trades


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