Posted on | July 7, 2014
Written by | James Laurenti
Running a business that depends on inventory management to generate profit takes a specific skill set. You need to keep optimal stock levels as the store moves through the seasons. You also need to balance speculative or investment purchases with driving inventory turns. “Buy on deep deal” and “maximize your turns” are axioms that are repeated in every store. Following one path too heavily can cause low returns on investment from big drops of product that sit unsold on the floor or, alternatively, unhappy customers who find a favorite staple out of stock.
Until recently most merchants learned these skills growing up in a retail family; fortunately the rest of us can now rely on technology to narrow the gap. By using purchasing software, managers and owners can oversee budgets and monitor activity across the business. Also, multiple buyers can collaborate on orders for different projects or different store locations by reviewing online purchase orders long before the delivery truck arrives.
E-Orders = Software Solution
A number of years ago, Beverage Media introduced custom ordering software that last year delivered more than 45,000 orders to wholesalers worth over $130 million. Stores using eOrders range from single-unit operations with only a few registers, to some of the largest chains in the tri-state area. These store owners rely on eOrders to ensure they purchase correctly for their businesses: This software will calculate the return on investment from a deep deal to compare its profitability against smaller purchases with faster turns.
The eOrder software was developed to integrate with POS systems so it can read your sales history in a way that helps predict future sales by comparing your order period with a similar period of sales. It combines your stock levels with a potential purchase to tell you how many weeks supply an order will give you. Items from your POS are matched with vendor items to show current pricing and can tell you whether a price is going up or down next month. When multiple vendors sell the same product their discounts can be easily compared.
Once you are ready to place an order, it is submitted to the wholesaler automatically, and in cases where we maintain an electronic handshake, a notification is provided to confirm which items will be on the truck for delivery. Purchase orders can be exported from eOrders either before the delivery, or the order can first be received in eOrders before exporting the completed order into the POS.
There is a lot of recent excitement about web-based product searches and ordering for the trade. However, the tools that best serve a store need access to your sales history to help predicting sales volume and recommend items to order. A software solution that breaks down your decisions on how to maximize profit while taking care of customers takes the guesswork out of purchasing.
To comment on this column or to learn more about how Beverage Media can help with
a website for your store, visit BevSites.com or contact Ian Griffith at 617-864-1677.
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