Most salon owners would agree that managing inventory can be quite tedious and cumbersome.
Almost every salon owner has entered the inventory room at some point in time, only to find that a specific product has gone out of stock. Such situations can hurt your business and might leave you with some very disgruntled customers on your hands. Customers generally visit a salon for some self-pampering. Naturally, in these cases, they end up feeling disappointed.
Inventory management is a delicate balancing act. You have to try your best to be adequately stocked with your retail and treatment products to meet your customers’ needs. At the same time, you need to ensure that you do not end up blocking your capital by overstocking products or, worse, incur losses because the products have expired.
You need to keep hot sellers well-stocked and come up with various plans to get your slow-selling items moving. You must also ensure that you track your inventory, audit the numbers regularly, and replenish it on time.
It’s no wonder then that all salon owners dread the inventory management process. However, thanks to technology, we now have highly affordable salon inventory software solutions that can make it a smooth and hassle-free process. These solutions help you manage your inventory easily while also maximizing your profit.
How do you know it’s time to take the plunge and get yourself a salon inventory software? Here are some signs that your salon could benefit from one.
Signs That You Need a Salon Inventory Software
1. You haven’t used some products for over 60 days.
There are two reasons why this might happen. Your turnover is not consistent as it should be, or you have overstocked the product.
Either way, you need to optimize your inventory management strategy to ensure that the products on your shelves keep moving.
2. You find it difficult to manage your inventory.
There is nothing wrong with tracking and managing your inventory manually. However, it is a time-consuming process that requires a lot of effort, which could have been utilized by focusing on your core business and your customers.
Doing a physical count and updating inventory forms weekly or every quarter can quickly become quite tiresome. However, salon inventory software solutions can automate your salon inventory management processes. These systems streamline the entire process of optimizing your stock levels.
Here’s how a salon inventory software can help:
- It allows you to have real-time access to inventory levels.
- The software lets you compare the projected usage of products with the actual usage easily in just a few clicks.
- These solutions ensure that you order products only when you need them so that you don’t overspend on items that don’t sell fast.
- With continued usage of the salon inventory software, you will be able to project the quantity of inventory you may require for any number or a combination of services.
- You can also rule out foul play or discrepancies by comparing the physically audited product quantity against the expected levels.
- These salon management software solutions alert you in advance so that you replenish your stock in time and never run out of your fast-selling items.
3. You can’t decide how much to order.
One of the most complex tasks for any salon manager is ordering just the right amount of inventory. To ensure the smooth salon operations and profitability, you need to have a clear picture of how much stock you need to order.
You don’t want to sell out entirely before you reorder products. Based on the turnover rate, you should always have enough products to last you until such time that you replenish them. In most cases, it’s best to have supplies for a month or two in hand, at any given point in time.
Another essential thing to bear in mind when deciding how much stock to order is your budget. Inventory is the second-largest company expense for most salons, and it is crucial to have a tight grip on your budget.
A common mistake most salon owners make is that they walk into a store and order items instinctively, instead of sticking to a budget.
Here’s how a salon inventory management software can help you decide how much inventory you need to order:
- Salon inventory management software gives you a real-time status of your current inventory level for each product and the number of items used in the previous month. With this data, you can quickly determine the number of products you need to order.
- Layers of approval can be created in the software to ensure that you are not exceeding your budget. For example, you can have a system where every purchase order requires the approval of the owner or a finance manager to keep track of assigned budgets.
Thus, you can maintain transparency and easily manage your inventory ordering process every month.
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4. Have No Clue When to Order
‘Just-in-time’ inventory management can significantly enhance the profitability of your salon. Knowing when to place orders is a crucial aspect of inventory management.
Most of the time, salon managers are confused about how often they should order products. When you attempt to follow a ‘just-in-time’ method of inventory management, even the day of the week on which the order is placed matters.
After reaching out to many salon managers, we found that most salons order their products on a weekly or biweekly basis. However, one must be careful to factor your sales volume, shipping charges, and the supplier’s minimum order value when you decide the frequency of your order.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you decide when to order your stock and how a salon inventory management software can help:
Order items before you run out of stock.
A salon inventory software gives you a real-time status of your stock levels. It also sends out alerts in case you are about to run out of certain products. It ensures that you don’t lose revenue by not being able to sell products or deliver treatments.
You don’t want to over-stock products as well.
A salon inventory software can help you determine the exact amount of stock to order so that you don’t end up blocking your capital without getting anything in return. It will help you figure out when to order and help you avoid any losses resulting from expired products.
Now that we’ve discussed how a salon inventory software can help you and your business, you must also be careful to choose a solution that is the right fit for your salon, from the various options available in the market.
Ideally, a salon inventory software should be able to track your product inventory in real-time, be compatible with your point of sale system, and maintain an accurate inventory database. The system should also produce detailed reports on sales and future trends so that you can make inventory-related decisions easily. The best salon inventory software solutions can improve your salon operations and save you a significant amount of money.