When you see or hear the word “inventory” what do you think of? Is it a chaotic day spent counting and scanning everything in the pharmacy once or twice a year? If the answer to that question is yes, then it might be time to rethink your inventory strategy and take a different approach.
While the once or twice a year approach to taking stock of inventory has it’s benefits, there are also a lot of drawbacks. Especially in a small or independent business, getting a more frequent snapshot by actively managing your inventory will help you to understand trends and identify problems. Then you can use that knowledge to make changes as their needed, not 6 months down the road.
Here’s how it works. Instead of inducing mass panic and spending an entire weekend counting inventory once a year, break your pharmacy down into departments or sections. Then on a rotating basis, have someone verify inventory, confirm correct pricing and completely recover that section. Pretty simple right? And only a small resource commitment each day to get it done.
Now that you know how it works, let’s take a look at why it works.
Keep the shelves stocked and accurate – Not only does a regular inventory and recovery rotation allow you to check on inventory, it helps you to keep things clean, stocked and accurate. It’s simple to pull items from back-stock to fill empty spaces, face shelves and make sure that product is getting ordered when stock gets low. It also allows you to confirm on a regular basis that the pricing on the shelf matches the pricing in your POS system.
Understand key sales trends – It’s one thing to look at a report that shows you what’s selling, and another to look at a section of the store that’s doesn’t need recovery week after week because no one is shopping it. Reviewing reports is an important necessity but that weekly or even monthly touch to each section can’t be beat.
Identify shrinkage– Even when you’re managing ordering through your point-of-sale using a min/max or replenishment ordering process, you still need to ensure numbers are accurate on a regular basis. One of the biggest reasons for this is identifying inventory shrinkage. Knowing about shrinkage can help you to know whether you need to monitor employees for proper checkout procedures or be on the lookout for theft in certain areas of the store.
Bringing it all together – The last key to making this all work is figuring out how to manage it all without causing headaches for you and for your pharmacy staff. This is where the wireless handheld application from RMS comes into play. Check out this fact sheet to see how our latest inventory management application and handheld device can help you to easily manage inventory related tasks and more.