Using Data to Drive Inventory Decisions

NACS Crack the Code Experience session focuses on what’s on store shelves and why
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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a small-operator workshop in which attendees were encouraged to calculate their actual gross profit percentages in key categories, Mark Wells, president of LJT Management, offered some best practices for maintaining store inventory and why doing so is important.

"We need to understand what our inventory is in our stores. How much is our dollar investment? And how many units do we have?" Wells said during a NACS Crack the Code Experience workshop titled Essential Inventory Management.

Most retailers, he said, have access to a litany of data through their point-of-sale (POS) equipment, but few take advantage of it.

"If you're using scanning management, then we have the data," he said. "What usually happens is we don't look at the data. I want our dollars working for us. Every product that's on the shelf, those are dollars that are not in the bank."

Using that data, a retailer can determine proper inventory levels and even if a product should be removed from a store.

"If you sell wine in your store, go in and do a zero report," he said. "That is, look at which wines you haven't sold in the last 30 days. Those are products you might want to shift around and give that space to some other products."

NACS' Crack the Code Experience will continue through Dec. 4.

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