David, I can sympathize with you about tracking inventory at all
times and the stress it can cause. During the work day its almost
impossible to keep track of stock. The advise I'm writing here is
from working for several jewelers before I went out on my own. A
couple of the ideas were mine and a couple were thought of by others.
Concerning tracking of stock from when it comes into the store I had
alwa ys found that the fewer "lists" that have to be checked every
night, the bet ter. I had a set of 8 lists (by sku or part list), for
"stock in, repairs, ho lds, stock out (leaving the store), memo
goods(jewelry), Diamonds and loose ge ms (store owned and
memo,organized by gem type, weight and color/clarity), misc, case
stock". I found that the best strategy is to get everything into the
case's that you can. The 'case stock' list is the only one with
subdivisions such as bridal, the twelve birth stones, anniversary,
gents, clearance etc...
every morning the stock is counted as it is put into the cases and
counte d again before it is pulled for the evening.
take for example the bridal case- opening count is 174 pieces and 14
piec es were sold with 5 memo pieces sent back to the supplier while
10 new rings were put into stock that arrived last week. closing
count is 164! the fi rst step is to finish the other counts and
usually the missing piece will sho w up. In this example the repair
count was 1 over. A solitaire was transf erred to repair for a broken
prong and the salesperson forgot to change the cou nt sheets. A
simple method that is quick and easy as the staff is only coun ting
actual pieces unless there is a discrepancy.
The Idea of a chip in the trays is great for tracking empty slots as
any thing else get to be way too labor heavy. this works fine as
long as the daily counts are being done. The idea of an inventory
person might be ok but what will they do when they are done
counting? Will they cross train as sales? what does there payroll
and benefits cost? Will you have 2 in ventory people so every day of
the week is covered? hoe will an extra person or 2 affect your
bottom line and profitability?
The gem sign out lists should be by salesperson name(not initials),
sku, weight , color and clarity. and initial when its returned to the
safe. MAX OF THREE GEMS OUT AT ONE TIME! I found that this extra
writing only take s a few seconds and can almost entirely eliminate
confusion later about ind ecipherable handwriting.
The only person receiving and shipping for the store should be one of
the office staff and there should be a log book in the safe for
ship/rec. th is will eliminate questions when goods don't show up
when they are supposed to.
These are the best ideas I have that work well and do not affect the
payr oll budget very much and still keeps the focus on the client
walking in the door and not on complicated store Procedures, Are they
perfect? no, but they work 95%+ of the time. this adds about 10-15
minutes to each end of the work day for each staff member which is
much less then adding a new employee.
Best of luck, Jerry