Inventory loss prevention is key to profit preservation. Profit preservation is the difference between succeeding and failing. Regular physical counts are the answer. Item level counts will either give you confidence that your losses have been minimized or show you exactly where the loss is occurring item by item. Point of Sale system quantities can become inaccurate over time as a result of process breakdown. Inventory audits that produce results that can be uploaded to the Point of Sale system can square up your POS and help ensure order accuracy.
At Monarch, we understand all aspects of the liquor store and c-store operation from purchasing, to stocking, to merchandising, to the Point of Sale system. Understanding the nuances of retail operation ensures that we can identify and count the inventory accurately.
It’s unfortunate, but in today’s world we must have alarms on our homes, and cameras watching our doors because locks aren’t enough. The same is true at our place of work because we sell a product that so many people enjoy! If our product walks out the door unnoticed (or wanting to be unnoticed) this causes more than a moral dilemma and a bad day, it hits the bottom line. You have goals for your store managers when it comes to inventory loss. It is a great day when loss can be held to under 1%, but how do you know what your loss truly is? Accidents happen and bottles break, returns can occur without getting recorded, orders are delivered, but don’t match the invoice. How do you know what your loss actually is? How do you distinguish between a process breakdown and theft?
Monarch can help by providing services that periodically capture your inventory value by department (Liquor, Beer, and Wine) so that you can compare it to your book balance. Variances between the physical count and the book balance will provide a high-level flag. If it has been a while since you have done this, it is likely your book balances won’t match the first time, but Monarch can help you identify the root cause. Alternatively, if you use a POS, you can perform a periodic count at item level, to compare what you actually have to what the POS thinks you have. This solution will flag specific items in your store that need to be investigated. This more granular approach with the item level analysis is often preferred by those that can track quantities in their POS.
That depends. You’ll want to choose a schedule that’s right for you and your store. If you have a high volume of sales, doing a physical inventory quarterly or monthly may bring you the best results. If your traffic is less, an annual inventory may be enough to give you the insights you need. If you chose a recurring inventory, Monarch’s scheduling desk can set up your dates in the system well in advance so that you know those times are secured. You’ll get reminders and updates as well.
There are a number of signs. Do your book balances seem off? Do you have high-volume/low-revenue days? Does it seem like you are ordering too much or too little? These could all signal that there’s something wrong in your inventory. Whether it’s loss, or an incorrect invoice, or a problem in your POS, a physical count can give you some insight into where the issues are.
Monitor your inventory. If that’s through regular physical counts, give us a call! If that’s extra steps that you and your staff need to take on a daily basis to track when deliveries come in, when product moves from backstock to the floor, and when it leaves with a customer. It’s all about being aware and paying attention.