Thinking about switching to a new POS platform? A store is only as successful as its inventory, so here are five essential features your point of sale and retail inventory management software should provide to help you maximize sales, increase margin, and manage inventory effectively:
To prepare for buys, track performance, and strategize both in the moment and for the future, retailers need to be able to report on data that's applicable to their products. If you’re selling toys, category will be relevant, though size most likely not. If you’re selling a single designer’s footwear, sizing is essential, though brand is not. Custom fields allow you to publish and track the data essential to your business, and weed out irrelevant fields. Create such for print, season, collection, fabrication—whatever attributes are most meaningful to your store. Springboard SmartFields can be created when inventory is added to the system, and allow you to have complete control over the simplicity or depth of your merchandise data.
Retailers should be using their retail POS software's reporting tool to do far more than track sales. Use filters and the custom fields you’ve created to create your own inventory data reports:
- Refine by location, net sales, and margin % to identify your most profitable locations.
- Report on brand, style name, and color with current inventory and cost-on-hand metrics when deciding which products you are most invested in and therefore should be the most heavily marketed.
- Look at net sales for any collection of products at any point in time when making buying decisions and negotiating discounts with vendors.
- And any other combination of filters, groups, metrics you need to make strategic decisions!
Between custom fields and custom reporting, retailers can hone in on their data with Springboard’s unlimited filtering options to analyze the information that's most impactful to their business. Run reports for any given date or range to compare data over time, or run them in real time. Save reports to the cloud for easy access, share the URL with others, or download them as Excel or PDF files.
Partial & Full Inventory Counts
While the frequency of full inventory counts can vary greatly depending on size of your store, seasonality and staffing, performing one full Physical Inventory at least every three to six months is generally recommended. Quicker and more manageable, partial cycle counts should be done weekly, or, as soon as a discrepancy arises—meaning your inventory management system states that you have an item in stock when it’s nowhere to be found on the sales floor or backstock.
Springboard Retail’s Count feature allows you to freeze a store’s inventory in order to perform a physical inventory check of a location, and then provides a list of discrepancies to address post count. Select your store location and enable filters to count a certain brand, season, style name, category, or whatever groups you’d like to refine by. Or, freeze an entire store’s inventory for a full physical count.
Are poor performing products eating up space on your sales floor? Is one product doing well in one location, while failing in another? Whatever your motive, inventory transfers are a great way to quickly move merchandise between locations to meet customer demand and get rid of stale inventory. Keeping an eye on the balance and stock of inventory is essential to keeping the most profitable inventory—and enough of it—available, and knowing when it’s time to initiate or request a transfer.
With inventory transfers comes the inevitable risk of transfer discrepancies, and resolving them as soon as possible is critical to avoid misselling products or promising customers things you do not have. Springboard’s transfer management feature includes a discrepancy feature that highlights any errors right away, but it’s also important to frequently run two additional discrepancy reports:
- Negative on Hand: Bring any products with negative inventory to light. An inventory on hand issue means you could be misselling products and therefore incorrectly altering inventory levels.
- Post-Cycle Count: Report on inventory quantites previous to the count and your actual number to confirm that the data matches exactly what you have on your books.
Inventory data is key when it comes to making quick decisions for your retail business, and your POS and retail inventory management software should be able to deliver this data and allow you to run comprehensive reports in real time.
To learn more about inventory control strategies, download our complementary Retail Inventory Report and learn valuable tips and techniques from the experts!