How Large Retailers Keep Track of Their Inventory

How Large Retailers Keep Track of Their Inventory

For large retailers, managing inventory can be a daunting task. With thousands of products coming in and out of their warehouses daily, it’s essential to have a system in place to track what items are selling. Retailers must also know when to order new stock. So how do big-box stores keep such a tight rein on their inventory? We’ll look at the main ways large retailers track their inventory below.

Barcoding and Scanning Technology

Perhaps the most common method large retailers use for tracking inventory is barcoding and scanning technology. Barcodes allow retailers to keep an accurate count of their items and have information about the location of those items within the store. Barcodes also allow for faster checkout times as customers don’t need to manually input each item into the system. Additionally, this technology helps reduce errors and prevents theft since customers must scan or identify every item before checking out completely.

Inventory Management Software

Another effective way that large retailers manage their inventory is by using inventory management software. There are plenty of sources of inventory management software, and some of the largest retailers create special versions of this software unique to their business. This type of software can help automate many tasks related to tracking inventory, such as reordering and tracking items, creating purchase orders, generating reports, and more. Automating these processes saves time and reduces costly human errors that could lead to incorrect stock levels or overordering.

Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Companies

Many large retailers also work with 3PL companies that specialize in managing inventories for them. This isn’t always a good option for small to medium companies because it can be quite costly to outsource these tasks. These 3PL companies provide comprehensive solutions, including supply chain management services like warehousing, shipping, order fulfillment, returns processing, and more. By outsourcing these services to 3PL companies, retailers have access to state-of-the-art systems that allow them to better track their products from start to finish. They won’t have to invest in costly hardware or software themselves.

The best way your company can start keeping accurate records of your inventory is to buy UPC barcodes from No matter how large your business is or how many products you keep in your inventory, these barcodes make it simple to know what you have and what you might need.

– Erik Quisling

Erik Quisling is the Founder and CEO of Started in 1999, has been featured in both The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post and has helped more than 100,000 businesses bring their products to market with barcodes.
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