As a school administrator, you know how important it is to provide your students with the resources they need to succeed. One of those resources is a well-managed school store. However, managing a school store and inventory can be a challenging task. That's why it's essential to have a system in place to keep track of the stock, ensure quality control, and prevent waste.
As a school administrator, I learned this firsthand when I took over the administration of a school and found a lot of expired items in the store. It was a wake-up call for me that I needed to keep a closer eye on the store's inventory and approve all items for purchase. From that point on, I insisted on a weekly report from the admin officer who also served as the storekeeper, to track inventory levels and to ensure that all items were in good condition and that proper records were kept of all items going in and out of the stores.
If you're managing a school store or thinking about starting one, here are some tips to help you manage your inventory effectively:
Keep a record of all items in stock
Make a list of all the items you have in stock, and keep it updated regularly. This list should include the name of the item, its expiry date, the date it was received, the quantity, and the price. I advise that you use a spreadsheet for this purpose, and insist that the staff in charge shares the spreadsheet with you. Weekly updates are fine but some schools do them twice a month or monthly. Do what works for your school depending on the size of the school.
Set a schedule for stocktaking
Schedule regular stocktaking sessions to keep track of what you have in stock. This can be done weekly, monthly, or quarterly, depending on the volume of items you have in your store. At the stocktaking session, the storekeeper’s supervisor should be present to monitor the process.
Keep an eye on expiry dates
Make sure you keep an eye on the expiry dates of all the items you have in stock. If an item is close to its expiry date, consider marking it down to clear it quickly or removing it from the shelves to prevent it from being given out to staff after its expiration date.
Implement a first-in, first-out (FIFO) system
A FIFO system ensures that the oldest items in your stock are given out first, reducing the likelihood of expiry and waste. To implement this system, arrange your stock so that the oldest items are placed at the front of the shelf, and the newest items are placed at the back.
Train your staff
Train your staff on how to handle the items in your store, including how to identify and report expired items. Make sure they understand the importance of maintaining quality control and keeping the store clean and organised.
Keep an eye on the demand
Pay attention to the items that are selling quickly and those that are not. Use this information to adjust your inventory levels and ensure that you always have the most popular items in stock.
In conclusion, managing a school store and inventory can be a challenging task, but with the right systems in place, it can be done effectively. My experience taught me the importance of keeping a close eye on the store's inventory, approving all items for purchase, and insisting on regular reports. By following these tips, you can ensure that your school store is a success and that your students always have access to the items they need.
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What has worked for you in managing your stires and inventory? Please share in the comments below. And remember to subscribe to my blog and Youtube channel.