Stockroom organisation is integral for businesses of all sizes – from small enterprises to large and complex operations. While retailers with physical stores are under constant pressure to keep customers coming back, it can be easy to only focus on the sales floor and neglect the back of house.
However, your stockroom functions as the backbone of your business and is just as important. It shouldn’t be neglected and should be monitored regularly. When managed efficiently, the benefits can include better staff performance, reduced safety risks and meeting customer demands which ultimately leads to increased sales.
Whilst developing a sophisticated management system for your stockroom can seem quite challenging, we have highlighted 5 tips that can help you keep it in tip top shape.
1) Using The Right Storage Units
Different shelving systems offer an array of specialised solutions that can help you maximise your storage space. If your needs are on a smaller scale and you need to stock smaller items, fully adjustable shelving systems could help you to keep organised. These allow you to reconfigure shelving levels to optimise space and can be used alongside garment hanging rails and bin shelving in a single adjustable unit.
If your budget is slightly more flexible, then a mobile shelving system could be very beneficial. Sometimes inadequate space can make it impossible to keep stockrooms orderly and this system can greatly increase capacity to help restore order.
2) Move Upwards
Unused headspace in stockrooms can often be valuable for storing more inventory. Most retail stores have fairly high ceilings that can be used to free up floor space and take on more products. It’s therefore vital to maximise your vertical storage space. An easy solution is reorganising your stockroom and installing the tallest possible storage units. The sooner you replace shorter storage shelves, the less time and money will be lost in the future.
If taller shelving doesn’t seem adequate, there is an opportunity to assess your stock room layout and move upwards. Mezzanine flooring provides an affordable alternative to increasing your building’s floor area or relocating. Major fashion retailer, DKNY, was able to squeeze every bit out of their storage area by installing a bespoke mezzanine. This was designed with a very high point load, enabling them to store heavy goods on the mezzanine and beneath it. Although their store had restricted access and was confined within a shopping mall, the finished results boosted space for their operations.
3) Clear Stock Labelling
While it might seem like an obvious solution, many businesses overlook the importance of using labelling for orderly and efficient stockroom management. Simple steps to improvement include categorising products by their key characteristics (size, colour, style etc), labelling individual shelving bays as well as each shelving level and using a range of visual devices. Visual devices such as signs and message boards also help your employees recognise directions, find products and share information (via Storage). Such signage should be as professional as possible to entice and encourage employees to adhere to them.
4) Prioritise New Items
Retail businesses know how essential it is to keep the most popular stock front and centre for easy access. Regular rotation to keep your stock fresh will avoid old or obsolete items from taking valuable space for better investments. An easy way to get rid of stock which isn’t performing as well is through discounting, sales or even charitable donations. The new space can be used to store products which your customers genuinely want, making it easier to keep stockrooms organised.
5) Stockroom Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
Having clear KPIs is critical to every business. Measuring and monitoring the objectives of your business against your stockroom will indicate how well your inventory is performing. In retail, KPIs are particularly important, such as days of supply, stock to sales ratio, sell-through percentage and gross margin return on investment (via Action Storage). Using a system that enables you to keep on track of such metrics alongside the above organisation tips will keep your stockroom running at peak efficiency.
Hi-Level is one of Europe’s leading mezzanine floor suppliers. With over 28 years experience, we specialise in commercial and industrial premises throughout the UK and Europe.