How To Manage Your Inventory

Published Date
01 - Feb - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Feb - 2005
How To Manage Your Inventory
A bold statement, but one backed by hard fact. As an example, we look at how a chemist can benefit from it, in terms of both time saved and the hassle avoided

In order to switch over from manual inventory management to software-based management, the first step is to list and catalogue all supplies. From there onwards, you only need to catalogue and sort when new supplies arrive.

The cataloguing process is just a matter of entering data into a computer. In this example-the chemist's store-the fields to be entered may be:
  •  Name of medicine
  •  Category of medicine (e.g. Cough Syrup)
  •  Amount currently in stock
  •  Cost per strip / bottle
  •  Date of manufacture
  •  Expiry date
  •  Location of storage

All the details you entered for each item are encoded into a unique bar code, which the computer will print out using a bar code printer. All you have to do is stick these bar codes on each medicine box / bottle.

A customer hands you a doctor's prescription. All you need to do is punch in the medicine name into your computer.

The computer informs you of the following:
  • Whether you have the medicine in stock
  • How much you currently have in stock
  • When the medicine expires
  • Where in storage is it located
All you need to do is finalise a sale and the computer prints out an itemised bill with the name of the medicine, amount purchased, cost per strip / bottle, and the total cost

Once you have gathered all the medicines that the customer was prescribed, you just use a bar code scanner to read the bar code and finalise the sale. Totalling is done automatically, and the software automatically reduces the inventory by the amount of goods sold

The software also helps you develop a balance between supply and demand. It keeps a track of what sells more and what doesn't sell at all, in order to ensure that you never have an excess of one product or too little of another. It can also warn you when a batch of goods is nearing expiry, so you can order fresh supplies in time.

The inventory management software helps you keep a track of what you have sold and what you have bought. It will give you an overview of your sales figures in a snap.

You can also keep tabs on your suppliers, comparing cost versus efficiency per supplier

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