What Is An Inventory Control System?

Your retail business relies on how efficiently it’s run, so it’s worth understanding how inventory control systems work, and why having an accurate, reliable system is a critical part of your business
min read
Retail Express
October 17, 2013

What you’ll learn:

  • Why inventory control is so important for every retailer
  • How inventory control systems work to maximise your sales and reduce business costs
  • What features to look for in your inventory control system

What Is An Inventory Control System? And Why Is It So Important For Retailers?

Choosing the right inventory management and control tools are critical to ensuring your retail business doesn’t just survive, but thrives in a fast-paced, omnichannel retail landscape.

If you’re able to set up a workflow that allows for you to streamline your turnover, fulfilment and replenishment, your customers can access the products they want, where and when they want — and your bottom line will thank you for it.

While it’s always best to start off with a good system already in place, it’s never to upgrade your inventory control system in order to streamline your operations and increase your revenue.

Let’s dive into exactly what an inventory control system is, how it works and how it benefits your retail business now and in the future. 

What is inventory control?

Inventory control is the process of having complete visibility of your inventory and the ability to forecast your future stock requirements.

Reviewing your inventory is something that should be done on a regular basis where you can evaluate the following key inventory reports:

  • What needs to be replenished
  • What is quickly selling out
  • Which items are slow-moving
  • What stock is due to expire soon

Understanding how your stock is moving can help you reduce the amount of wastage and helps you make inventory order decisions based on the products customers want.

What do inventory control systems do?

‍Rather than opt for a manual or labour-intensive method of stock monitoring, employing an inventory management system will give you a transparent, real-time view of your inventory so you can properly balance the flow of stock across your stores and channels.

You’ll want to look for a powerful system that doesn’t just give you a view of current stock in store now, but includes additional features that’ll help you streamline every aspect of your inventory control:

  • View deliveries that are due to arrive and when they’ll arrive in real-time
  • Automate the reordering of fast-moving items to ensure that there’s always a ready supply for customers to purchase
  • Easily search for supplier and customer information from the back-office or POS
  • Quickly search for specific items in your specific store and across other stores and channels (e.g. your eCommerce store or marketplaces)
  • Update changes in price and product descriptions in bulk
  • Generate reports instantly to view sales performance, high and low selling stock and popular categories.

How inventory control systems empower you to expand your retail business

It’s always a dream to expand your operation over time and see more customers interact and love your products. As this expansion takes place, and you explore adding more stores to your chain or alternative selling channels like an online store or pop-up shops, you might worry about how to efficiently communicate between each channel.

And that’s where a cloud-based inventory control system that works with your back-office and POS software becomes the tool you need to keep your channels communicating with each other, and your retail business thriving with each additional expansion you make.  

Retail Express’ cloud-based software solution combines a streamlined inventory control system with powerful POS, back-office, eCommerce and marketing tools to centralise your business operations across any channel, anywhere and anytime.

Looking to keep control over your inventory as you expand? Book a personalised demo with one of our retail experts to be taken through every Retail Express software feature that’ll work with your specific needs.

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