One of the perks for companies with multiple locations is the ability to form a buying group. In other words, it’s the ability to leverage your combined purchasing power to receive better pricing and terms on products you buy. To make this as efficient and profitable as possible, many businesses use franchise POS software.
Buying has a massive effect on your inventory levels and overhead. Purchase too many of one item, or the wrong type of item, and it could:
- Tie up cash flow
- Result in poor sales performance
- Discourage customers
Buy too little of something and you will miss out on potential sales and frustrate the customer base you worked so hard to develop. Here are several things to consider that could lead to smarter buying decisions.
1. Historical Data
One way to know what you should order is to look at what you’ve sold. Franchise POS software (which is sometimes referred to as multi store POS), has powerful reporting capabilities that allow you to look beyond the numbers and identify buying trends:
- What’s selling?
- What’s sitting on the shelf?
- Which new items are catching on?
The more you can look to the past to learn about your customers’ tendencies, the more accurately you’ll be able to project future sales. With multi store management, you can break this down even further by pinpointing trends at individual stores and adjusting your buying accordingly.
2. Hone in on the Details
The more detailed your franchise POS reports are, the more you can optimize your buying. For instance, if you sell apparel, you could determine which:
- Sizes sold best?
- Colours were most popular?
- Garments had to be marked down most frequently?
3. External Factors
Customer behaviours can be affected by a range of factors. Some might be obvious, while others you might not even be aware of. When you look back at past sales, it’s a good idea to see what else was going on at the time.
- How was the economy doing?
- Did the weather affect sales?
- Did you run any special promotions that drove sales?
4. Tight Inventory Control
Smart buying starts with sound inventory control. It’s essential if you want to have adequate stock levels on hand for the volume of sales generated.
Smart retailers, especially ones who oversee multiple locations, ensure they stay on top of things by using real-time inventory management software to maintain accurate and up-to-date sales records and inventory counts.
5. Keep Some Spare Cash Flow Handy
In order to take advantage of special buys or to add new products, it’s a good idea to have a buffer in your cash flow. For companies with multiple locations that buy in vast quantities, even a slight discount from the price you regularly pay can have a significant effect on your margins.
Having extra cash flow also allows you to react to fast-selling items and quickly restock shelves.
For more tips for companies with multiple branches, check out our post: Multi Store POS: 3 Strategies to Effectively Manage Multiple Stores.
Are you looking for ways to improve the way you manage your multi-store business operation? Call Windward Software to learn about our franchise POS software.