Leadership is not a process of reflection alone but rather a balanced process of execution and thoughtful consideration. Striking a balance is crucial. Find yourself too far to the execution side and you will fail more often than you need, find yourself too far into consideration side and you will not fail because you will accomplish little in the first place.
It is with this sentiment in mind that we post a special two part article. Recently one of our community asked an intriguing question about inventory. This is not a focus of the develop a leader dot com community yet in consideration of our need to balance execution and consideration we sought the advice of an expert and asked him to respond to the question. We are very fortunate to have Norman Katz agree to lend his years of expertise on supply chain to our community. If you want to learn more about Norman feel free to contact me so I can put you into contact with him directly.
In the mean time part 1 of our response to the question:
What should an entrepreneur be thinking about as they start a new retail business from an inventory management point of view?
First and foremost, get a computer system. A retail point-of-sale (POS) system that will track inventory and sales with integrated accounting features is a must. The ability to build a customer database is preferable, but an option that may not have value depending on the type of retail business.
Find an “all-in-one” POS system where the hardware is constructed all together AND is known to work with the software that must control the different pieces of hardware: cash drawer, pole display, receipt printer, credit card swipe, etc. You may find a POS hardware/software vendor that can hook you into a credit card processing service all together.
From a strictly inventory management point of view, I’ll start with some of the obvious:
1. Inspect goods as they arrive for damages and replacements; pay your supplier invoices based on the receipt of the right goods in the right condition.
2. Cycle count your stockroom and floor inventory to determine loss: theft from customers or theft from employees. Thus, do NOT use your employees to cycle count! Do this independently.
3. Protect valuable goods in locked cases on the floor and in locked cages or secure cabinets in the stockroom.
Some good practical advice for the community, especially those considering an entrepreneurial venture into the retail sales field. In the second part of this article Norman will discuss the more strategic question of inventory levels.
If you have a question on this post or any other for that matter contact myself at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment on the blog and we will be sure to get baack with you.