Did you have to close your shop during the lockdown? Are you having trouble managing your stock storage system effectively?
Let’s face it, the last six months have been difficult for many businesses, especially market traders and small retailers. It also hasn’t helped that no markets were allowed or shops couldn’t stay open until late not to mention the cancelling of so many festivals.
Any number of these factors may have resulted in you having to store more stock than usual which is a challenge in itself. And, with Christmas just around the corner, it would be in your best interest to take heed of these simple stock storage tips if you don’t want to lose any money or sleep for that matter.
The Importance Of Effective Stock Storage Practices
Stock storage is the unsung hero for many businesses as it doesn’t always get the attention it needs considering customers rarely even think about it. However, effectively managing stock is crucial to ensure that you keep the right amount of stock in a safe place ready to be moved or shipped at a moment’s notice.
For many, the stockroom acts as the heart of store operations as it’s often where the management office is located. It’s also where you store your extra stock and receive shipments where the staff can catch a glimpse of new inventory. If you follow good stock storage practices, an organised stockroom will help you greatly but if you don’t, it can turn into a nightmare.
Successfully Managing Your Stock
Whether it’s the Christmas season or planning for next quarter, retailers typically order stock in advance. They mostly base the numbers on previous sales figures but it’s not always that simple as things can go wrong.
One example is a surplus of goods arriving when you least expect it which means you could be in real trouble if there’s not enough space. Keeping that in mind, effective stock storage can save you loads of money so it’s important to get it right.
Everything rests on storing your goods correctly to avoid damage so you can either re-use the items or sell them. This applies to non-perishable goods and any type of stock that will still be popular next season. The process is quite simple really – if you stored last season’s stock properly, everything should be in good condition to go back on the shelves.
Stock Storage Tips That Will Save You Time And Money
Whether you have a stock room at your premises or renting a self storage unit, there are ways to improve how you store your stock. From adding more shelves and packing items correctly to utilising the ceiling and reinforcing boxes, here’s what you can do.
Use Vertical Storage And Pack Things Properly
Instead of focusing on the floor space, stockrooms or self storage units often have fairly high ceilings so make the most of the vertical space. The more you can pack onto higher shelving or racks, the more floor space you will have. This is always good for staff but remember to get sturdy stools and ladders to make it easier for them to access the higher shelving.
An often overlooked safety tip is to store your heaviest goods as close to the floor as possible. This makes it easier for staff to move things around while preventing collapses and significantly reducing the potential for injuries. Not to mention saving yourself from having to face expensive replacement costs if something breaks.
Put Popular Items As Close To The Entrance As Possible
Help the flow of goods and the performance of your floor staff by placing the most popular items near the front. This way they can easily find an item and take it to the floor. If you have items that are selling incredibly well, use two shelving slots instead of one. This method makes it easier to run your shop and can also help track your sales trends.
Consider An Inventory Management Software Package
It may not be a necessity for everyone but inventory management software can help keep your stockroom super organised. A good stock control solution can accurately predict the number of goods you need to order along with a specified date. This means your stockroom will never have an abundance of stock you don’t want or have a short supply when it’s needed most.
Use The Right Storage Equipment
Many different types of storage equipment are available to turn your stockroom into an organised haven for merchandise. However, the choice of shelving, racks, drawers, bins or cabinets will depend on the type of items intended for stock storage. Whatever your products, we highly recommend investing in mobile storage units as it allows you to maximise the space between using moveable storage.
Be Organised And Label Everything
A vital requirement of effective stock storage is creating an organising system of where to place your items. Once again this will depend on your business but a few examples include separating products by department, colour, size or style among others. It’s up to you to make a decision but when you do, try to stick to it and remember to clearly label everything, especially in a large stock room.
Good Lighting And Climate Control
A climate-controlled stockroom is important for most businesses as it helps keep products in excellent condition. It’s also better for your staff who will be working there for long hours and the same applies to good lighting.
A well-lit stockroom is important as it creates a safer environment for staff and will help keep them awake so they can perform accurate stocktakes. Poor lighting can easily result in items going missing which will affect your bottom line.
Keep The Stock Room Private
Your stock room should only be accessible to staff as customers could get injured due to negligence and you don’t need unnecessary legal action. Another factor to consider is that an open stock room could lead to theft of merchandise and even personal belongings.
Stock Storage Mistakes To Avoid
Too often items get damaged due to not following stock storage best practices. Whatever you are selling and storing, make sure everything is packed correctly and avoid the following at all costs:
- Don’t fill a box until it is too heavy to lift safely
- Spread heavy items over a few smaller boxes
- When using a self storage unit, don’t pack heavy items on top as they could cause damage to the boxes and contents underneath
- Don’t pack items that you might need first underneath boxes that are intended for long-term storage
- Be careful what you wrap in newspaper as the ink can smudge and stain some items
- Never use boxes that have previously been stored in damp areas as they will buckle and break
Recommended: ‘Do’s and Don’ts Of Packing Boxes’
A clean, dry and secure self storage unit can help whether you’re a big retailer, small trader or home businesses. For a small price, your goods can remain in excellent condition ready for next season. If using an on-site stock room, make sure it is ventilated, well-lit and only use quality packing equipment and materials.
It may seem counter-intuitive to spend money on a storage unit when times are tough, but it could save you in the long run. Space Centre Self Storage provides quality, affordable self storage units in a range of sizes at convenient locations in Stroud, Bristol, Gloucester and Stonehouse.