Setting your system up to manage your inventory is a critical component in getting the most out of your new POS system, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Keeping a proper inventory relies on many processes being performed correctly before this can be achieved.
Step 1: Use the POS correctly
There are a few things at the POS that need to be nailed down prior to keeping an inventory;
- Get all of your products in the system to minimize the chances of an item not scanning at the POS.
- Minimize the use of miscellaneous product keys. If an item does not scan and you allow your cashiers to ring up a miscellaneous item in its place, then the cashier must document what the product was and how many were sold. Many of our customers create a small paper document form that cashiers need to fill out when they do this.
- Make sure cashiers are performing returns properly, possibly using reason codes. Make sure you keep broken/dated product separate and when you remove product from inventory make sure to adjust it in the properties of the item. See the performing returns portion of the help desk for more details.
- If you don’t tell the system when you’re receiving goods, it cannot keep track of how many are on hand. It’s important that you’re comfortable and able to keep up with invoices to keep the inventory counts correct. Know that if you mis-receive a PO, your inventory will be very screwed up. This is why we have you start receiving orders prior to doing a physical inventory count. It gives you a chance to make mistakes before time is spent doing an actual count.
- You’ll need to set up your products so that you can efficiently receive the orders from the suppliers. This can be a fair amount of data entry. See the receiving a purchase order from an invoice section of this document for more help.
Once you’re fully using purchase orders and properly making use of the POS, you’re ready to do a physical inventory count. You can at this point either do a full physical inventory count and have your store fully inventoried, OR you can start doing cycle counts. Once you’ve completed this step, your quantity on hand should be 100% real-time (as you sell things quantities will change). You can now use reorder points to have the system automatically suggest a reorder and you will know your current inventory value (see Manager > Reports > Item > Item Value List report). See the physical inventory count section of this document for additional details.
Step 4: Cycle counts
Doing a physical inventory of your entire store is optimal, though many times it is not practical. In a lot of cases, there is too much product to count in a single session. Many customers utilize cycle counts instead. A cycle count is where you conduct a physical inventory on a section of your store at a time. It’s important to note that if you’re going to count all of your wine, you must count what is on the floor, on displays, and in the backroom for that product type.
So – instead of doing a complete inventory twice a year to make it more manageable you might do a cycle count once every other month and do 1/3 of your store each time (counting 1/3 of your store 6 times a year is the same as counting it twice– 1/3 * 6 = 2 OR 2 * 1 = 2)
Tip: Inventory spot checks
You can also conduct spot checks on products – if you run into a product that shows a different amount in Cloud Retailer than is in your store, we recommend that you go into the properties of the product and change the quantity on hand. You should set up a special reason code that tracks these kinds of changes for record keeping purposes. We also recommend that you limit access to the quantity on hand field to only a few users.
One of the great things about Cloud Retailer is the paper trail it leaves when the quantity on hand changes. If you ever look at a quantity on hand and wonder why it’s showing the quantity that it’s showing, you can run a report and it will tell you exactly why. An item movement report is one example of how to access this information.
To do this go to Cloud Retailer Back Office > Products > go to the properties of the product in question > click on the quantity on hand. Filter by the specific store in question - once done you'll be seeing a complete history of every activity that has affected this product's quantity on hand. You will know WHY the quantity on hand of a product is what it is.
You will see when it was received on a purchase order, transferred out, sold, manually adjusted by an employee, etc. Very valuable information