What is a stocktake in a retail business and why does it matter?

At stock take (or stocktake as some write it) is the process of counting the stock in your business.

Government regulation requires businesses to maintain an accurate stock on hand count / value for taxation purposes.

Smart business owners and managers do their stocktake throughout the year, on a rolling basis, rather than an end of financial year rush.

Here’s what a stock take will tell you about your business:

  1. The value of your stock.
  2. What stock has been stolen since you last counted your stock.
  3. Opportunities for change in the business.

While not directly from the stocktake, there are other benefits of accurate stock on hand data for the business:

  1. Which suppliers perform best and which suppliers perform worst.
  2. What is the return on floorspace from stock by category.
  3. Is customer theft an issue.
  4. Is employee theft an issue.

So, doing a stocktake is valuable for a business. Here at Tower Systems we see from experience that a stocktake is central to the success of any retail business.

Let’s make the stocktake easy.

No, we are not talking about cutting corners or avoiding important and vital work for the business. Rather, we have a stocktake process that could save you time and help you know what you need to know today.

While doing a stocktake of the whole business is the traditional way, if you break it up and do sections of the shop when it suits, you could, through a rolling stocktake process, have more accurate data with a lower labour cost for the counting of stock.

The Tower Systems POS software lets you do part of the shop if you wish. That could be a shelf, an aisle, a section of the shop or even a single item. Of course, you can do a stocktake for the whole store too.

By doing a stocktake of a section or segment of the business, you can concentrate on high moving items, items more likely to be stolen or for some other reason. You can also schedule these sectional / spot stocktakes in a way that suits your labour availability. Finding half an hour to do a section in a daily roster could save the business money compared to bring people in especially to stocktake.

Having worked with 3,500+ local retail businesses for many years and participated in many stocktakes across a variety of product categories, our advice is that the rolling stocktake approach is usually more time efficient and financially beneficial to a business. This approach does provide you an earlier indication of possible theft challenges.

Good POS software gives you stocktake flexibility and this helps you drive value for your business.

Now, some quick fire stocktake questions, which we answer from the perspective of the Tower Systems software.

Can my shop be open while I stocktake? Yes.
Can I stop and start the stocktake? Yes.
Can I use multiple terminals to stocktake? Yes.
Can I use a hand help PDE or PDA? Yes, many brands are supported.
Can I use a laptop? Yes.
How long will it take? It all depends on your products, store layout and staff training. Time improves as they go usually.
How often should I do a stocktake? Once a year for the whole business or weekly in manageable time bites if doing the rolling approach.
Will you train us? Yes, we have excellent self-serve and one-on-one training resources and options.

Too many retail business owners continue to use external stocktakers. In our experience they are a waste of time. Your business data is a valuable asset. Do the stocktake in a way that respects and nurtures that asset. This is why doing the stocktake using your POS software is a smart business move.

Tower Systems sales queries: sales@towersystems.com.au or 1300 662 957.

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