When you do your weekly shopping, you wouldn’t get home to put a carton of milk into the dry store. Storage solutions at home are created to maximise the lifetime of your food and household items. Therefore why wouldn’t you apply the same logic to your store stock room? From multinational retailers with regular stock changes, to smaller corner shops with a handful of usual stock, every business has its own unique requirements for storing stock.
From being in the retail supply industry for almost 60 years, Rayburn Trading know a thing or two about stock and some simple tips to avoid losing money due to damaged stock. Below we look at some innovative and clever ideas that can improve your stock room and also allow for a more organised workplace.
- Make The Most Of Vertical Spaces
One thing you may notice about your stock room is that, no matter what you do it never appears to have enough space. The more your business grows the smaller your stock room becomes sometimes overflowing into different parts of your store. This is not only bad for your appearance but it also puts your stock at risk of damage or theft.
Optimising the space within your stock room by building upwards to the ceiling and adding step ladders will help employees reach high spaces and make the most of your store room’s space.
The layout in the photo above is the perfect example of how space is not really used to its full potential. The shelves themselves are also very wide for what’s being stored in them. Even if smaller shelving is already installed, it can still make a lot of sense to replace it with taller shelving. Don’t wait for your storage room to become overrun with stock. Act now!
2. Safe Storage For Perishable & Dangerous Goods
It’s pretty obvious but fruits and vegetables, fresh meat, foods purchased from chill cabinets, freshly cooked food and even some medicines need to be stored in refrigerator. Many of these items will go straight out to your store however if you do need to stock up for a busy season ensure that you have a refrigerator on standby.
Do you stock any flammable liquids or aerosols in your store? Body sprays, lighter fluid and hair sprays are examples of items which need to be stored in a safe place away from anything flammable. The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) requires you to minimize the risk of accident or injury caused by storing of dangerous goods.
Cages or fire-resistant bins and storage units should be used to protect your other stock and building against damage if an unforeseen incident were to occur. It’s also advised that you keep no more than 50 litres of flammable liquids in a store room at any one time.
3. Heavy To Light, Low To High
How do you sort where items should go in a store room? Instead of just putting new stock into random empty spaces in your store room, why not organise your shelves to best suit ease of access. By putting heavier stock lower to the ground and lighter stock up higher will mean that your staff will have an easier time using the stockroom while also avoiding the risk of injury.
Think about what products are most popular and which need to be replenished most often. Focus on placing these products nearest to the entrance and at a middle height for stock to be taken easily and with efficiency.
4. Label & Organize
The steps above will give you more safe and efficient storage space to work with, however, it’s just as important to ensure your stockroom is well organised and labelled correctly. You might know where all your stock is but new employees may find it difficult restocking shelves if you do not label your stockroom. Sorting your goods into categories or alphabetically is a good way to avoid confusion and save time for both the employee and employer.
If your storeroom is already labelled, can these be improved in anyway? For instance, though you may have labelled sections have you labelled each shelving level? Are the storage boxes obvious whats inside or should these be labelled after arriving to your store? If your stock is constantly changing it’s still very important to take the time to ensure your stockroom is correctly labelled.
5. Cycle Counting Your Inventory
A lot of small retailers check the accuracy of their inventory lists by having a physically counting all of their goods at least once/twice a year during non-busy periods. In some cases the business will close for a full day and staff will be required to count and compare stock against the inventory records.
Cycle Counting is a smarter and advantageous way over conventional counting methods and losing business for a day due to counting stock. Instead of counting your entire inventory once a year, the process involves regularly counting different portions of your inventory, on a daily or weekly basis, so that every item is counted several times a year. The advantages of this will also save your staff time catching stock errors quickly and know what physical stock your store has available.