Like every successful business enterprise, managing inventory is essential in running a business productively and efficiently. Similarly, successful schools should emulate their business counterparts in this regard.
Why is it important to manage inventory properly? When a school maintains an inventory, the school makes a choice of purchasing products at a fixed price with the aim of selling them at a marked up price from the buy price. The objective is to move these products quickly so that the school can earn profit and recoup the expenses of buying the product. They can identify fast moving stocks and replenish them immediately. Failure to account inventory could mean loss of income for the school and should be prevented at all cost.
In order to avoid the scenario of having slow moving inventory, here are 5 ideas to effectively manage your school’s inventory:
1. Ensure all products are tagged and assigned a unique number.
Accounting for all of the items in your inventory is crucial because this allows your school’s store admin to be aware of products you have (or do not have). Not having proper and efficient inventory system makes it harder to sell long standing products and will sit longer on the back shelves to be forgotten. In order to prevent this, make sure all products are tagged and assigned a unique number.
Many POS systems like Store 4 Schools have built-in inventory management systems that will help with the task of assigning a unique number for each product with the use of a compatible barcode scanner. Whenever shipments arrive, make sure that products are scanned and properly tagged.
2. Perform regular inventory audits
Conducting inventory audits regularly is another way to control your school’s inventory effectively. This is the time when you and your staff discover discrepancies in the report as compared with the actual products on your shelves and rectify them on the spot. The longer you or your store manager defer and postpone initiating inventory audits, the more likely errors will occur thereby making it harder for everyone to reconcile what products you actually have versus what you have on paper.
3. Keep accurate records and be consistent
As a result of performing regular inventory audits, you and your staff now have accurate records you can be confident with, which allows you to run much needed reports for financial analysis as well as give you a real-time snapshot of what products you have on hand, what products needs replenishing, what products need selling, and so on. On the recording part, make sure to remain consistent especially when categorizing or classifying your items. This way, you can account for the products in the same category. For example, under Food, you may have a subcategory for light snacks and under that, you may include products like potato chips or cookies. This seems tedious at first but organizing your product category meticulously will help you when it’s time to do your inventory accounting.
4. Generate reports regularly
Similar to other POS software, Store 4 Schools allows you to run reports that will help your store maximize profits while minimizing costs. Some of the reports include:
- Projecting future product replenishment according to past sales (by assuming modest or conservative projections)
- Identifying your store’s product bestsellers vs. product duds and organizing them accordingly. You can decide how much discount to offer for those products that are shelved the longest or, as a last resort, write them off as a loss if you can’t unload/sell them.
- Analyzing your store’s financial statements by running a profit/loss report and sales revenues report. These reports are very helpful in evaluating whether your school’s store is profitable or not, who among your sales staff had the most sales over a given period, and what were the top three major expenses for your school’s store.
5. Backup data in case of emergency
It’s not only important for your school’s store to keep accurate records but equally as important, to back up the data in case of emergency. If you need to keep paper records, also include digital versions of those same records on external drives and/or back them up in the cloud. In case of Store 4 Schools, it has its own servers and backup the stored data every night.
The importance of managing your school’s inventory effectively cannot be overstated enough because having a well-run store inventory equates to a successful and profitable school store. Having the right tools such as Store 4 Schools online system can help you keep track and manage your products efficiently. Check out our website and try our demo. We’d love to hear from you!
Based in Orange County, CA, Software 4 Schools was founded in 2008 by Ben Star and Michael Buss who were teaching at that time and who wanted to make the school dance’s ticketing run efficiently and record sales and attendance accurately. They developed their own software and hardware and have since branched out to address other tasks that their fellow teachers and school administrators find tedious and take the most time out of their days. Click here for more information.