Inventory management is the system of keeping control of the goods available and sold, along with managing stock. Inventory management is a complex and time consuming process and is usually one of the top priorities for pharmacy retail decision makers.
Unless you have a very specific and slim product mix, there is a high chance that you may end up spending lots of time just tracking inventory.
Inventory management is vast and covers many aspects of the pharmacy retail business. Here are a few components that are part of the management system; – inventory forecasting, pricing, cost of storing inventory and replenishing exhausted goods, managing space to store inventory, shipping and return/exchange processes and policies, demand and sales forecasting, and inventory status.
So, why do pharmacies require Inventory Management?
With retail pharmacy becoming ever more important and ecommerce penetrating into the market, it is very important for a retailer to have product availability. If a customer doesn’t find what he or she needs, they will simply move to another pharmacy.
Inventory management helps manage the time to deliver by always having a ready stock of products. There is a also a high chance that purchases will be uniform through the year, but buying patterns will change; festivals and holidays will see a boom in purchase, whereas, the end of a financial year can see a dip in buying.
Pharmacy Retailers may want to hold back goods during a price or stock revision, to increase demand or offer discounts. Of course, there is the uncertainty of customer behaviour which is hard to predict and is important to maintain inventory for scenarios like these.
Inventory Management will enable pharmacy retailers to:
- Focus on optimising your pharmacy product range. A narrow inventory leads to improved stock management, lower warehouse costs and reduced purchase costs which leads to better cash flow and also minimises the possibility of goods expiring or becoming harder to sell.
- Although creating a lean inventory is ideal, this may be a hard task to achieve. With increased competition in the pharmacy retail market, pharmacy retailers are rethinking and realigning their product lines to be more relevant and appealing to buyers. This often involves, diversifying the product ranges as it is believed to increase revenues. Do keep in mind that the introduction of newer products often kills the older products on shelves. Optimise before you diversify.
- Use an inventory management system with most repetitive tasks being automated. A digital inventory management system will allow retailers to keep track of selling, ordering, shipping, delivery information, finances and costs involved. The system will help predict demand for product based on inventory status, historical data and user inputs.
Inventory Management in Retail 365
There are a lot of Retail Management systems that offer inventory management features. However, Retail 365 is by far the most feature rich system which offers a suite of tools that offers:
- In-depth and real time insights into the inventory, covering what the consumer purchases and how you replenish your stock through the supply chain. Ultimately, delivering the right goods at the right time and at the right cost.
- Product performance indicators with the ability to forecast which can take into account seasonal factors.
- Easy viability to keep track of sales, costs, margin and discounts and providing on-demand or timely reports.
- A reduction in the chance of fraud either by a customer or by an employee.
Unlike many competitors, Retail 365 is a cloud based system which offers on-demand and real time inventory management.
Pharmacy Managers can now access their business ERP from virtually anywhere in the world, even using their own personal devices!
The cloud based system provides for your set up to stay simple initially and dynamically scale along with the business, a growth model many recommend.