27.10.2020

Stocktake: Implementing Stock Control in your Venue

Written by Kadence Edmonds

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It’s the term that can bring up mixed feelings for employees, managers and business owners: Stocktake. 

But no matter how it makes you feel, stocktaking has a huge impact on running a successful business. It impacts on effective Inventory management, whether you are a retailer or restaurant manager.  Having accurate stock figures to rely and report on allows for better evaluation of your business as a whole, helping you to remain profitable by ensuring stock moves efficiently, increasing sales, and maximising profits.

Usually, the stock you hold should match your digital records.  However if these records aren’t audited by physical stock counts, then over time they will become inaccurate due to discrepancies like theft or spoilage.  One tool that most business owners have on hand to help with stock control is their Point of Sale System. Epos Now has a powerful built-in inventory management solution.  Read more on how POS systems and Inventory management work together here.

What is Stocktaking? 

Stocktaking (or stock counting) is the process of manually counting and recording all of the stock on hand your business currently has. It allows you to have an accurate record of the physical stock your business has, so you know what’s been sold, what hasn’t and what may be unaccounted for. 

Although not the most exciting aspect of business, having accurate quality and quantity reports is a vital part of inventory management.  

Types of Stocktaking 

Periodic stocktaking: This is the process of performing a stocktake at the end of an accounting period or on a set time basis i.e. monthly, quarterly etc. 

Annual Stocktaking: Some larger businesses only look to stocktake annually or when financial reports require documentation of asset totals.  

Spot Checks: These can be carried out at any time on smaller sections of stock when record discrepancies are discovered. 

How the procedure of stock taking looks varies widely depending on the business. For example, the stocktake process in retail will differ greatly from a hospitality venue. 

So let's take a look at some steps to get started.

Organise your Stock and Store Room

This is a great opportunity to organise and sort out your stock, especially when you have a storage room that may be a little out of control and cluttered. It may seem like a daunting task at first, especially if you are fully stocked, but sorting the products out will save a lot of time in the long run. Working out an effective way to categorise excess stock is key to making sure you account for all items correctly and efficiently.  

Choose the right time

Another equally important aspect is choosing the right time to perform a stocktake. Counting is an extremely time-consuming task, so making sure that on the day selected you have the right resources available is crucial. 

Pick a time of day that isn’t too busy like early in the mornings or late in evenings, depending on your venue. Or choose to perform it on a day your store is shut like a weekend or a public holiday.  Make sure there are ample staff rostered on to help out if you have a lot of stock or numerous storerooms.  

Another factor to consider is your stock levels. To save some time, it might be beneficial to do a complete stocktake when stock levels are lower than normal. Organising to conduct a count prior to receiving a large stock order could make the stocktake much quicker to complete.

Count Existing Stock Levels

The next step to completing a stocktake is counting. And while counting stock is super tedious, it is the most crucial part of the entire process. 

During the counting process, details are extremely important. If you are a retail store and sell shoes that come in a variety of colours and sizes, you do not want to count the stock as one figure.  You want as much information on each product as possible, so from the reporting and ordering side you will always know exactly what is on hand.  So this is where you have to count style and sizes individually. 

Example: Record exactly how many red style 6445 there are and how many in each size. 

It may seem overwhelming but the pay off will be more than worth it.  These details will help you to pinpoint high selling colours, varieties, sizes etc. 

Don’t guess stock amounts

The whole purpose of a stocktake is to get accurate counts on all stock levels, so don’t allow guessing. Although the process may seem repetitive, mundane and timely, it’s crucial that counting is completed in order and correctly. Importing a one, two skip a few stocktake count will cause more problems and take more time in the long run. 

Enter these figures into your system

Now for the next fun part in implementing stock control, entering your stock levels into your POS system.  This isn’t that hard to complete, just requires a little time.

If this is your first official stocktake, you will need to disregard any stock figures in your system that may have been added but not effectively updated. 

See our guide on how to perform a stocktake in Epos Now here.

You can look to manually enter your stock numbers by using the products description or searching for the SKU that relates to the product.  Regardless of how you choose to input the data, taking the time to properly put your counts into your system is a high priority.

Automate your inventory

After successfully completing your stocktake, your inventory records will now be up to date. This means you can look to implement automations that will help to decrease the number of out of stocks at your business.   To keep your stock levels relevant in your POS system, you just need to enter purchase order levels and perform 

The impact of out of stocks can be overwhelmingly negative and with competition high, businesses can not afford to risk a drop in customer satisfaction. 

TIP: Implement automatic reordering levels in Epos Now so you can be alerted when stock reaches the minimum quantity on hand. Once set up you will receive prompts that alert you when stock reaches its low threshold. 

Additionally this is important to shop owners who may have limited cash flow, you don’t want money tied up in products that move too slow.  Want to read more on our cash flow tips, click here.

Although implementing stock control in your venue can be a time-consuming task, in the long run, it has many benefits.  

How to stocktake with Epos Now 

For a full guide on how to complete a stocktake with Epos Now, click here.

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