Improve Profitability Using Item Level Inventory Control
The best way to exert inventory management control is tracking it by item—nothing else comes close. The benefits of maintaining a laser-like focus on each item are significant:
- Tracking and reducing shrink is easier.
- Timely cost changes and precision price updates become a reality.
- Identifying slow movers, overstocked items and dead stock is greatly enhanced.
Inventory management by line item makes possible the efficient purchasing, selling and inventorying of merchandise, which taken together form a methodology known as the Inventory Triangle. Perfecting these interlinked tasks has an almost immediate positive impact on profitability, but many retailers don’t make the effort because they believe the process to be too costly, labor intensive and difficult to maintain.
Nothing is further from the truth, however…if you have the proper tools at your disposal: the technology to support and simplify recording of purchases and inventory audits by item.
- Reduce shrink by up to 50%
- Increase gross profit margins by 2–3%
- Identify slow movers, overstocked items and unsold items by up to 10%
- Improve item margins from 2–6%
- Many customers see 100% ROI in less than 12 months
The SSCS Inventory Management Control tool set combines the CDBWin c-store back office solution, point-of-sale (POS) interfaces, a hand-held terminal (HHT) scanning solution, and the Hand-Held Data Processing (HDP) program. The result is iron-clad inventory management control that builds revenues while promoting more efficient use of time and less duplication of effort. Here’s a little more information on how each contributes to the overall solution:
The inventory component of CDBWin allows you to store a detailed, editable price book containing records of all inventory items, which can be manually added, edited and deleted, or imported from participating vendors using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). When an item is changed in this electronic price book, the record is flagged to call it to your attention so you can make the appropriate changes to your retail price and maintain a healthy margin. Using SSCS poller interface software (see below) these changes can then be sent to your POS if it supports line item sales tracking.
This feature, combined with SSCS inventory reporting, helps you stay on top of changes allowing you to push them out to the POS right away, ensuring the correct price is picked up when the cashier scans an item. Outdated wholesale costs that can erode your margins are no longer a factor. You can also print shelf tags for the modified and added items you sent you sent to the POS.
In addition, CDBWin allows you to easily assign new items to their proper departments, set the minimum and maximum number you wish to carry, and and determine the desired margin for each.
Poller (POS) Interfaces
SSCS provides advanced inventory pricing control at the POS thanks to the SSCS poller interfaces. Records of additions, changes or deletions in your inventory can be sent automatically to the register using a daily scheduled task—set the task up once and you don’t have to worry about it again. Conversely, the poller interface allows CDBWin to receive item sales from the register. This keeps your inventory count up to date and—together with SSCS’s scanning solution—provides information on what is moving in your store and what is not so you can make informed purchasing decisions.
HHT Item Scanning
SSCS provides a scanning solution that allows item level recording of direct store deliveries (DSDs) from your vendors and physical inventory counts of items in the store using a Hand-Held Terminal (HHT). Once the data is captured in the HHT, it can be transmitted back to the electronic price book stored in CDBWin via HDP (see below), where the correct inventory adjustments are then made.
Hand-Held Data Processing (HDP)
Hand-Held Data Processing, or HDP as it is commonly known, receives the Direct Store Delivery and Inventory data captured in the HHT, verifying the scanned data and comparing it to your book figures before posting the transactions to CDBWin. Any variance will be noted on the Exceptions report, just one of a number of useful reports (Dead Stock Value, Overstock, Slow/Fast Movers) you can run before committing scanned items to the CDBWin price book.
Additionally, HDP can identify and resolve discrepancies between multi-pack bar code relationships contained in HDP and those currently in the CDBWin before posting. This helps keep your inventory data “clean,” and is just one more example of the sophisticated inventory control SSCS provides.