Getting the most from a stocktake

The fear of a pub stocktake
Take the fear out of a stocktake

“Oh no, I have to be up early for the stocktake tomorrow!” – a familiar cry heard from many a licensee. None of us really like the inconvenience but my advice is to embrace every stocktake because they produce a wealth of information which can substantially reduce your costs and so boost your profits. Naturally it is vital to know if stock is going missing through wastage or, heaven forbid, theft. Every stocktake will highlight these issues, prevention of which I cover elsewhere. However, a major concern should be stock control. Being aware of exactly how much of each product you are selling over a given period enables you to only hold stock of what you are likely to sell. Minimum stock keeps more of your money safely in the bank, where you want it to be!

Stocktake results allow ‘order to’ levels to be set for all items. For example. weekly sales of 36 bottles of Super Pils means that you probably need at least, say, 2 cases of 24 most of the time. Simply deduct whatever you have in the cellar from your minimum requirement to form an effective order. Setting the ‘order to’ level for all goods allows your staff to place accurate orders without supervision, leaving you free to concentrate on other matters. Standard minimum stockholding is around 12 days worth of sales leaving a small amount of stock at the end of each week but also catering for most occasional unexpected surges in sales. In addition, stock rotation becomes so much easier – no more out of date, unsellable goods.

The most important information from your stocktake will be the achieved profit margin (GP%) for both the overall business and specific product lines This is such a useful business tool for your business projections. You will see your most popular lines, perhaps raising the question of whether you should be charging a little more for the most popular products. You will also see any anomalies, where goods are under-priced, missing profits or maybe overpriced, slowing sales of a product.

Duncan says:  “Although we cover the subject in more detail on our training days, remember that fundamentally your stocktake = information = efficient stock control + optimum pricing = more money in the bank. The other potential problem you will cure is that you should hardly ever run out of your regulars’ favourite tipple, keeping them happy and returning for more!”
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