By Amber Koontz, Editorial Intern
When it comes to inventory, manual control is no longer practical, nor is it necessary. Technology is available to make inventory control not only easier, but also more effective.
When deciding how much of each product to carry, there are a number of factors that need to be taken into account. Ordering the same number of items weekly is not the way to stock your store. Inventory needs to be tracked so that you can know how much product to order in order to avoid excess inventory or shortages. Analytics can automatically determine the optimal re-order points for every item; you do not need to order every item in your store at once.
That being said, inventory should be managed at an item level. Managing inventory by category is not sufficient, because there are multiple products in each category and some may be selling at different rates than others.
Another part of inventory that has been made easier with technology is fuel pricing. Many retailers are now automating fuel pricing, which is saving hours on labor and helping to eliminate human error. Retailers can make changes with the push of a button using automated fuel pricing systems. These systems can provide the optimal price levels for gasoline, the precise time to change prices and they can notify you when prices change at stations in your area. This tool is indispensable to many retailers, it should be for you too.