10 ways you should be managing stock and sales across several jewellery shops (including web-stores)
If you’re running more than one jewellery retail shop or have an online store as well, it’s easy to lose track of where stock is, what needs to be ordered, what stock has been sitting around too long and where stock needs to go when it comes in. Then there’s the problem of entering stock purchases into each store’s system so that you know exactly what the stock is worth at all locations.
And what if you want to see what stock is in another store, do the shops have to check with head office first? And then how do you transfer stock from one location to another? Does your current system even allow you to do that?
And then there’s stocktaking – hard enough as it is – how do you know what staff should be looking for?
There’s plenty of room for error if your stock system isn’t truly integrated for multiple stores.
So what should you be doing for your jewellery stores?
Here are 10 ways you should be looking to take care of your multi-outlet operation.
- Use standard stock numbers across all stores
Some systems may assign a completely different part number when transferring stock to a different shop, leading to confusion, errors and disparate reporting.
Ideally, you should have a system where all part numbers are generated at head office and distributed over the network to all stores.
- Give any store the ability to look up stock in any other store
If shop staff can instantly check where stock is available without needing to check with Head Office, it keeps the customer warm and retains the sale. Staff should have the ability to request a stock transfer should the customer wish to proceed with the sale. Your branch can allocate a sale from stock, wherever it is held.
- Centralise ordering for all stores
You need an instant view of stock cover and replenishment needs. You should only need to order stock centrally or by store based on pre-defined stock levels or on sales activity to ensure adequate cover is always held. This provides ample control yet simplifies the monitoring and ordering of predictable lines.
- Maintain a single point of stock distribution & pricing
To keep it straightforward, you should only need to enter one invoice (in original currency – no need to manually convert) on head office, then price and distribute data and product to stores, including new tickets for existing stock which has increased in price. There should be no need to enter stock on each store system, making it a much simpler and more controlled process.
- Make it easy to transfer stock between branches
You should have a system that makes stock transfer easy – helped by having common stock numbers and SKUs. This in turn gives you a full audit trail, and enables email requests, in-transit options and discrepancy management with the option of updating of accounts. You should have visibility of your stock whether it is at a shop or in transit. Can you integrate stock movements with your accounts?
- Work from one integrated set of accounts
Why try and work with separate accounts for each store unless they’re integrated? There’s no need to manually complile everything, all your individual business location data can be reconciled and available at any time. Your system should give you an instant overview of your total business – physical stores, online stores, customers and sales – whenever you need it.
- Analyse stock performance
You ought to be able to get reports on what your best and worst sellers are, how each brand performs, and break this data down by department, supplier, category and price band, This is critical Business Intelligence.
- Obtain a full and instant analysis of all store performance
You must be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses at both company and location level, and be able to report on selected branches within your group. Even handier if you can get this information on the move so if you’re not at head office you still have a handle on what’s going on. Sales from the tills should be synced to head office automatically.
- Reduce the stocktaking burden
Let’s be honest, it’s not everyone’s favourite task, but shortening the time taken and improving its accuracy will keep staff happier and make you more profitable. Look for a system that allows multiple simultaneous stocktakes.
- Update prices and information from suppliers automatically
You can save hours of typing and eliminate errors by using a system that can import stock information, images and prices automatically. Why have every store spend time doing the same thing and risk errors, confusion and incorrect data? Even better if you can import web descriptions! Such a system would mean any updates are reflected across all stores and web stores automatically – no local input required. Data import should be simple and effectively free.
Now take a look at your current system. Is it giving you this flexibility, or allowing you to work faster and smarter? If not….
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