Cover Image Inventory

What is an Automated Inventory System?

Danielle Collard
28 May 2024

How many times a week do your staff count all the products you have on sale? How many times do they come to you to tell you you’ve run out of a best-selling product? Odds are, if you have an automated inventory system, that number is significantly lower than those businesses that rely on manual stock control.

But what does it mean to have an automated inventory system and why is it more relevant now than ever before? 

Stop and take stock     

An automated inventory system is a computerized method of inventory tracking that works within your EPOS to maintain, update, and monitor your inventory. Any good EPOS will have these built in, but the functionality and range of what the system can monitor will vary.

Inventory and purchase order software tends to appear in a designated section of the EPOS Back Office with pages for making purchase orders, completing stock takes, and moving stock. However, the software will be actively working all the time with every channel of your business to ensure all sales and stock activities are registered in your overall figures.

The benefits of automated inventory control are extensive and have significant impacts on every aspect of the business. 

Let me count the ways

Saving over-stretched staff

With your EPOS programmed to notify you when products become low on stock, and to have your orders saved and ready to go whenever you need them, staff are freed from the necessity of stock management.

A business that may have needed stock levels checked multiple times weekly may be able to reduce them to a fortnightly or even monthly task. Staff are then better able to focus on other business needs and to spend more time with customers.

With both inventory and order management automated, these stock counts are simply cautionary and corrective as human error will still occur, causing wastage. 

Reliable reputations

When attempting to judge the merits of manual vs automated inventory systems, it is easy to see the shortcomings of a manual system. Maintaining control over stock across multiple sites and sales channels process becomes near impossible without automation.

For instance, integrated online sales are automatically deducted from an automated system in real-time, making it impossible to sell products twice and be forced to disappoint customers.

For larger businesses and businesses with supply chain issues, greater knowledge of products you can’t currently sell can help inform the choices you make with online inventory advertising. With modern online marketing, having real-time data on inventory figures can help you better spend your budget and more accurate product information.

In these ways, inventory automation protects businesses from the reputation-damaging moments when they cannot deliver sales and services that a customer expects. The business runs smoothly and managers are given advance warning of shortages, even when trading online, on multiple sites, and in multiple forms.

No matter your industry, retail or hospitality, Epos Now's tills are tried and tested time-savers.

Benefit from:

  • Integrated card payment systems
  • Quick and easy product management
  • Flexible reports on everything from stock levels to staffing
  • Hundreds of apps to adapt your system to your business needs
  • Expert support to ensure you get the most out of your produce

Retail      Hospitality


Inventory procurement: how it all works

Purchase orders are an extremely quick way of using your POS system to put together a daily, weekly, or monthly order. They can be processed in a number of ways and so can be worked around your pre-existing system.

A purchase order is a record of what products you are buying from your suppliers and is a safe and secure way of ensuring that you get what you need.

For example, Epos Now purchase orders for each supplier are kept on the system as drafted, which will be a list of products and quantities you need, ordered (for when you’ve called your supplier), or received. This gives you the opportunity to amend your order if you change it at any point or if your supplier is unable to deliver all products, or if you reject part of the order.

This means when the order comes in, amendments can be made quickly and the inventory can be updated at the click of a button. For larger businesses, purchase orders are recorded at specific locations, so all stock figures are separate, viewable, and can be moved if stock is needed elsewhere.

Standing purchase orders can be duplicated each week and amended as the EPOS documents its history. This means an automatic monthly stock purchase order can be compared with last month’s, adjusted, and received.

Epos Now’s morning stock update emails also allow a record of any low stock to be sent to a business email address which can quickly be added to a purchase order so no product needs to run out. Users have the freedom to determine how high or low a minimum amount needs to be, so non-perishables can be stored in numbers and the stress of checking on them can become a thing of the past.

Epos Now and never be caught short

Epos Now’s expansive stock functionality ensures any business can be fully prepared for any eventuality. With all of the abilities mentioned above and more, there will be no need to stress about shortages. Your business will be ready.

Epos Now’s product matrix allows stock control on every variety of every product. It provides a master products feature that allows a product to be sold in multiple forms and amounts without issue, and a multi-site manager that provides stock control in as many branches as you can bear. Your inventory management system will be integrated, smooth, and will cover your back.

The Epos Now staff feature will give you control over who can view and edit your stock features, so your data will always be safe. 

Whether you’re on the lookout for the best software, or a new hardware solution, our expert team will walk you through the program before purchase. Contact us or find out more about Epos Now’s automated inventory system.

Liked this blog? Check out our additional retail resources including our 'How do barcode scanners work?" blog. 

With it's own in-built inventory system, Epos Now can streamline your business processes better than ever before, leaving you free to spend more time building your business.

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