If your retail stockroom is messy or poorly organized, you can lose track of inventory and lose sales, too.
It’s time to take stock, as they say, and get that stockroom organized, so you can be less frustrated and more productive. Even if your inventory storage area is quite small, you can make maximum use of it if you plan carefully. Here are some organization methods for your stockroom.
1. Invest in storage fixtures
You want everything to fit, so measure the space. Make a sketch of your stockroom to help plan where shelving will go. And go high, no sense in wasting vertical space. The kind of shelves you need depends on the types and sizes of your merchandise. Adjustable shelving will easily accommodate multiple items as well as inventory fluctuations.
Bin shelving or rotating bins may be more efficient for small, loose items.
And consider hanging racks. Many products should be hung for best display, and hanging racks are helpful for prepping items that will be showcased on hangers.
2. Put similar items together
Position your fastest-selling items where access is easiest. Your goal is to put your hands on whatever item you need as quickly as possible.
3. Use systematic, easy-to-read labeling
You need to label shelves as well as merchandise, so you can see at a glance what is on each shelf. Be consistent, or you will simply confuse yourself and misplace items, negating all your work to get organized. If you have a POS system, scan existing barcodes and make your own for items that don’t already have them. Using barcodes eliminates “manual labor” mistakes such as transposing numbers when recording stock numbers.
If you must create your own labeling system, make it as simple as possible. Assign a unique description to each item, then additional descriptors (color, etc.), then assign an alphanumeric code that starts with 2 or 3 letters of the item’s description. For instance, if you have a small clothing store, your label for a size 6 red dress might be DRR006.
Create separate, clearly marked areas in the stockroom for damaged goods and for returns that need to be restocked.
4. Lose the unsold inventory
Put it on clearance or donate it to charity, but get rid of languishing items that are taking up valuable space.
5. Add workspace
Employees need a counter or worktable where they can prep merchandise for the floor.
6. Add communication space
Install a bulletin board where you can post HR posters, store announcements, sales goals, and schedules. Install a whiteboard, too. That way employees can jot down notes on the fly about concerns, suggestions, etc. that should be addressed later.
7. Provide employee lockers
Everyone needs a secure spot for personal items, purses, etc.
8. Give it some personality
Make your stockroom more than a dismal storage center! You would be surprised by how much character a little color can bring to a room. You and your employees will be spending a lot of time here. Make it a place they are happy to go.
Make sure your stockroom is set to a comfortable temperature, too. The type of products being stored can affect required ambient temperature, but studies have proven that when it’s overly warm or cold, work suffers.
Retail stockroom organization is easier than you thought. A place for everything, and everything in its place, plus a colorful coat of paint, and you’re in business.