John Harms on Keeping Track of Inventory

John, what’s the easiest way to keep track of my inventory?

Many salon owners have a love-hate relationship with their inventory. A properly maintained inventory can help boost your bottom line, yet having too much product can eat up your budget. Luckily there are several tools and best practices for managing your inventory that can help the process be less of a headache.

I think we can all agree that counting inventory is not the most exciting task, but it is one of the most important. Often times, business owners forget that the occasional lost bottle, or those collecting dust on shelves, or others in the back of their business, are potential sources of revenue. Consistently performing a physical inventory count can positively impact your bottom line, as well as increase retail sales.

Technology has made managing your inventory and analyzing its performance easier. Your software should offer an inventory counting feature and allow you to organize counts by professional and retail supply, product class, distributor, or manufacturer. If devoting enough time to performing a proper inventory count is a concern, see if you have the ability to create an automatic count within your software. Using an automatic count could save you time and money by analyzing your model quantity count against your on-hand count to determine the correct ordering quantity, which prevents you from under and over-ordering.

Managing backbar inventory has always been a difficult and controversial topic. Do you try to determine how many uses you get out of each tube of color? Do you count it out of inventory once the tube is finished? Do you simply throw the tubes and canisters into a basket and just update your backbar inventory nightly or weekly? While each business has its own way of managing the backbar, it’s  important to keep up and make sure you spot check and count your product. Most salons are so busy during the day and don’t have time to ‘check out’ backbar inventory as it happens, so the implementing a process such as throwing the finished products into a basket that is then scanned out at the end of the night seems to work well as a compromise.

While inventory isn’t the most enjoyable part of running a business, it is certainly a crucial task that can help drive your retail sales, keep you from overspending, and increase your overall bottom line. Most software management systems offer various inventory reports. Reach out and see if they provide tools or reports that offer detailed inventory analysis.

John Harms

Millennium Systems International, Founder and CEO

About: John Harms, Founder & CEO of Millennium Systems International, creator of Millennium Software, has been designing industry leading salon scheduling software and educating the beauty & wellness industry since 1987. Today Millennium is utilized in thousands of businesses in over 38 countries and operating with approximately 150+ employees worldwide.  Millennium currently runs its corporate headquarters out of New Jersey and its international office is based in the U.K.