A common problem among retailers is inventory shrinkage caused by damage and theft. This damage means losing billions of dollars annually. Inventory damage is a real issue that can affect the bottom line of the business.
I came across a blog about factors that contribute to shrinkage of inventory when I was paying my Spectrum TV bill. The blog revealed that these factors include order fill errors, misplaced stock, theft, damage, shipping errors, poor record-keeping, etc. To prevent this loss, you must manage your inventory much efficiently.
Read on to protect your inventory from damage:
1: Plan It Out
To reduce the stock damage, the first thing to do is create a solid plan. For that, you will have to interact with the warehouse staff to gather all the information about the inventory. Ask your staff to provide the damaged stock report forms to get a clear picture of the issue.
2: Hold Regular Meetings with Your Warehouse Staff
Arranging regular meetings with the staff is the most efficient way of handling the stock safely. Remind them of the procedures of unloading the cargo safely, stacking best practices, and warning them of the dangers of unsecured cargo. These meetings will serve as helpful reminders.
3: Weatherproof the Warehouse
A lot of stock can end up getting damaged due to changes in weather conditions. For instance, heat can melt away plastic and humidity can make the packages soggy. If the moisture gets inside the box, it can damage the product and lead to significant losses. This calls for weatherproofing the warehouse to keep your stock in good condition.
4: Communicate Policies
I am sure you have warehouse policies and they are hanging somewhere in the warehouse. Sticking the policies is not enough. They must be communicated with your team. There must be a policy for managing purchases, returns, authorizing discounts, accessing valuables, restocking, handling damaged products, bookkeeping, the accuracy of entries, and consequences for not following the policies.
Each of your staff members must be aware of these policies. To ensure that, conduct frequent meetings. Ask questions to access the knowledge of your staff and provide regular training.
5: Monitor the Valuable Items Closely
Every stock has valuable goods and extra measures to protect them. These valuables must be given access to authorized employees only and monitored closely.
6: Rearrange the Warehouse for Better Productivity
If you are ending up with a good amount of damaged stock, this might be a sign to consider reorganizing the inventory. Always stock the items by weight and shape.
Line up the heavier items in the front on the lower shelves so that they don’t have to be moved around. The lighter items, on the other hand, must be stored in the back and on higher shelves. See what works out best for you and arrange the inventory accordingly.
7: Use a Point-of-Sale (POS) System
A point of sale system great for business. Normally, it is used as a cash box but you can also use it as a tool for managing the flow of the stock. Use this POS system for tracking your transactions and check the authorization of your employees.
Make sure the system allows discounts, refunds, and voids. The activities must be carried out by the managers only.
8: Level Up the Security
The best way of leveling up the security of your warehouse is to have a shoplifting policy in place. Again, these policies are not enough, these procedures must be communicated to all staff members.
Another solution is to install a CCTV system in place. If the thief fears they will be caught on camera, they won’t steal from your warehouse in the first place. If a surveillance camera is beyond your budget, the alternative solution is to install mirrors in the corners and less visible areas. This will allow your staff to monitor the hidden areas and keep intruders at bay.
9: Keep the Warehouse Clean and Tidy
Last but not least, a simple way of reducing the risk of accidents and stock damage is keeping the warehouse clutter-free. Wooden chips, tapes, plastic wraps, and boxes must be handled with care. They shouldn’t be left lying around in the warehouse. Install large bins throughout the warehouse to get rid of the scrap and keep the warehouse tidy.