Since your inventory is what defines your business, utilizing proper inventory management techniques is key to its success.

Keeping track of what items are in stock, what’s selling, and how these things affect your bottom line is crucial. The most basic inventory management techniques boil down to three things: 1. How you catalog inventory 2. How you track quantities and 3. How you leverage sales reporting. This blog post shows you how to keep track of what items you have in stock, which products are selling, and what products are affecting your business using ShopKeep’s point of sale software.

Catalog your Inventory

Keeping your inventory organized, which includes entering key details about your items, allows you to maintain inventory levels and understand the impact of specific items on your bottom line. Let’s start by entering details about your stock items. In ShopKeep, your Items List contains all of your stock items. It also includes Cost, Margin, and Quantity on hand. From here, you’ll want to select an item and click through the tabs to manage its settings.

There are a few fields that are particularly useful when applying inventory management techniques. On the main page of an item, you can assign Categories and Departments to specific products to track similar items together. Use reports to view and sort for insight into how particular categories or departments are doing, such as Sales by Department, which we will cover later. Enter the UPC code in the UPC field, or use the SKU number. Both UPC and SKU numbers help you differentiate between products and can be utilized if you scan items to ring up purchases.

A UPC is a barcode that appears on the packaging of most items and is created by the manufacturer. Enter this number in the UPC field on the main item page. When using the barcode scanner for items without a UPC, use the SKU number, which is generated by your ShopKeep BackOffice. When you print labels using ShopKeep’s label printing, the SKU is the number that will appear under the barcode.

Now let’s take a look at the Additional Details tab to learn how to manage more advanced inventory tracking fields. In this tab, you’ll be able to set Reorder Triggers and Recommended Orders. These features are a smart way for you to ensure that you never run out of any key inventory items. For the Reorder Trigger, you should enter the quantity at which you would like an item to appear on the Reorder Report. Then, set a Recommended Order amount so that you and your employees know how much to order to get back to fully stocked.

Use the Cost field to track how much a specific item costs you to sell. Entering cost allows you to track margins and learn how much you’re making each time the item is sold. Just make sure that the item is set to Track.

Tracking Inventory Quantities

Proper inventory tracking is essential to ensuring appropriate stock levels. Let’s talk about how to track quantities of your store’s items using ShopKeep. Use the Track Inventory field from the items page to designate whether items should be tracked, or untracked in your inventory. Tracked items are deducted from an item’s quantity on hand when sold. For untracked items, the quantities will not be deducted from your quantity on hand. The untracked feature is primarily used for made-to-order items. This helps to avoid negative quantities in your inventory list. If quantities move into negative counts, it will lower your stock value.

Receiving and Adjusting Inventory using ShopKeep also ensures accurate quantity counts. Receive Inventory to replenish stock items with low amounts. If you make a mistake while entering stock levels or receiving a shipment, update the information using Adjust Inventory.

Viewing Reports

After your product details are entered, you’ll be able to run comprehensive reports and learn the specifics of how your items are selling. To see this data, visit the Analytics Tab from your BackOffice to see available reports.

The Sales by Item report is an informative, succinct way of displaying which of your items have been sold the most, both on a sales quantity and volume basis, along with item-level detail that includes net sales, margins, and more. Use Sales by Department to view the data at the department level. You can use the information to determine the impact each item or department has on your business. Successful businesses often put their most popular items on the first page of their register button layout so they can ring them up quickly and easily during checkout.

As mentioned above, the Reorder Report is also found under Analytics. By running a reorder report, you’ll be able to see the items that need to be ordered as well as the supplier, current quantity on hand, recommended order, and other information about each product.

After reading through these inventory management techniques, we hope that you’ve learned that selling a lot of items is just one of the first steps to running a successful business. If you use these inventory management techniques to their fullest extent, we think that you will be able to take those next steps and keep running an even more successful business going forward.

Coretta Stembridge

Coretta Stembridge

Coretta Stembridge is a Product Documentation Specialist at ShopKeep, the #1-rated iPad Point of Sale System. She enjoys sharing helpful, in-depth information about hardware and software through the ShopKeep Support site.