Good stock control is one of the hardest things to stick to. It is however one of the most effective ways to free up capital in excess inventory, reduce picking errors in the warehouse, and avoid missed sales opportunities due to out-of-stock products.

Good stock control has to be a part of the culture of a business and must start from the top down, so lead by example. It requires a continuous, concentrated effort by all departments not just at an operational level. Create standard operating procedures for all key stock areas and ensure staff understand the importance of following these.

Ensure you perform regular stock takes and spot counts. It’s better to count too often than not often enough. Create a schedule and stick to it. A complete stock take should occur at least once a year. For fast moving stock regular spot counts will ensure stock levels are up to date and accurate. Running regular reports can highlight issues such as negative stock and overstocks. Find and rectify the root cause of these issues then make the appropriate stock adjustments to correct the stock levels.

Use and maintain the lead time, min/max and optimum stock levels in your POS system. If your system has an auto ordering function, using it will provide you with a suggested ordering report based on sales history and a variety of other intelligence which should be built into your POS system.