Why is Stock Control Important to a Business?
Stock control should be a priority for any business owner. When you’re in control of your stock, you'll see improvements in warehouse efficiency, better customer service and clear visibility of stock value and profit margins. Find out why stock control is important, and how you can maintain an effective system that will help your business scale.
What is Stock Control?
Stock control is having the visibility of all products a business currently
owns and knowing how to manage new stock alongside stock that has been sold. When a company has tighter stock control, they’re able to meet customer demand in a timely manner and decrease any cost that’s associated with holding stock.
Good stock control is when a business has full knowledge of every product type in the warehouse, knows the value of the stock they hold, knows what is a best seller and what is underperforming, and knows when to re-order stock for optimum efficiency.
The Benefits of Stock Control
Enhance productivity and efficiency
Wholesale distributors can radically improve their productivity and efficiency in their warehouse when they implement stock management software. Software will eliminate any time-consuming manual processes, freeing up time for employees to focus on other areas of the business.
Organise the warehouse
A disorganised warehouse creates hundreds of problems – staying on top of inventory is just one of them. When you have a clear stock management strategy in place, organising and managing the warehouse becomes much easier. From placing your best-selling products together, to arranging your warehouse by brand or seasonality, you can rearrange your stock so that it’s easily accessible. This means that your employees can find products quickly, complete the order fulfilment process in a timely manner, and in turn keep your customers happy!
Your customers will come back for more
If your customers know that your products are always available and they’ll get their orders fulfilled in good time, they're likely to return. To remain competitive and have an edge, you need to be able to meet customer demand in the most efficient manner possible, and this is where stock management comes in. You’ll have the tools for complete control over your product levels, and the power to place a purchase order for restocking, in order to maximise efficiency and sales.
Sell your products with ease using multiple channels
If you’re selling products across multiple channels such as Amazon, eBay, over the phone or in store, staying on top of and tracking these orders from all channels manually can become a minefield. With a fully integrated software, your stock control will be managed from each channel so that stock levels are kept up to date and customers are kept happy.
What Issues does Stock Control help to resolve?
Running out of stock
For a company to successfully do business, they must have the products, materials and/or services that the customer needs. Running out of stock (also known as a ‘stock-out’) happens when the product, material or service is not available to meet customer demand, and usually happens when demand is higher than usual. Running out of stock not only damages the reputation of a business, it can create large financial losses due to the lack of sales.
Stock Management software provides forecasts and trends, such as seasonality, to ensure a stock-out doesn’t happen. A Stock Management system will ensure that there is an appropriate level of stock for all situations.
The opposite of a stock-out is overstocking, and while it may seem like having a high-level of stock at all times is a solution, it comes with its own issues. The excess stock becomes tied up in the business’s capital, which could have been used in other places. Excess stock also incurs additional warehousing costs due to spacing, and in some instances the stock becomes outdated or spoilt before you even get the chance to sell it.
Removes the need for guesswork
Stock control gets rid of the guesswork in your forecasting and allows for much more accurate data when you’re setting figures. This means that the sales and marketing departments can set realistic forecasts and purchasing can order stock based on real historical data.
Helps with returns management
Having control over your stock will help you to create a clear process for when stock is returned or damaged, and will prevent the wrong stock being sent out to customers. A stock management system will help the warehouse team to correctly process the products back into the warehouse in the correct locations so that stock doesn’t end up in ‘returns bins’ and is never reissued to be sold.
Theft and missing stock
When all stock is accounted for and organised with correct barcodes or in the right bin location, it becomes a deterrent for potential theft, and it becomes harder to misplace or lose stock. A good business software will give you clear visibility of the whereabouts and status of all your products, so you’ll be able to identify any errors or misplaced products.
It’s impossible to have complete, accurate stock control if you’re relying on manually updating spreadsheets because human error and long, time-consuming processes increases the likelihood of inaccurate information. Plus, if you're looking to drive your business forward, manual stock control is not scalable. If you’re planning to expand your product lines you need a connected, reliable stock management to support you and automate processes for maximum efficiency etc.
The purpose of stock control is to reduce the costs of holding stock, while ensuring you can meet customer demand and making sure that there’s enough material for production. Businesses should always have a ‘safe’ amount of stock so that they’re able to react and cover any unforeseen issues.
Stock Control Management software not only helps you track stock levels, orders, sales and deliveries, it can help to streamline day-to-day processes, enhance communication across the business and drastically improve customer service.