Some businesses such as clinics, spas or private clinics favor and require more reserves than others. Despite everything, there is no precise rule on this subject. However, a rule of thumb, that is to say a theoretical approximation of the necessary inventory, may be interesting to apply, particularly over a period of 1 to 12 months. This article aims to get you thinking about this and making some adjustments to your inventory management as needed.
1. No more last minute shopping to pick up a product before a customer arrives
Have you ever realized that you had very little massage oil left before carrying out a treatment? Or applied Ehrlich Balm to a client and reached the end of the jar during treatment and realize that there is no more left ?
It happens to everyone from time to time. However, this is less annoying when you have several replacement products on hand. It is up to you to determine based on your experience and the needs of your establishment whether the reserve should be a case of 12 or a quantity of 36 or more. The more you use the products, the easier it will be to manage your quantities with expiration dates.
2. Improve the customer experience in the clinic
When we pick up a product from a well-stocked display, as a customer, we feel a feeling of abundance and ease. On the contrary, when we take the last product or even the penultimate one on a shelf, unconsciously, we have the feeling of preventing another person from having it since it is the last before restocking. The customer will have less of the feeling of emptying your reserves or even robbing you if you have more than 2-3 products on your shelf of a given product.é.
3. Get quantity discounts
For certain products, there is generally an advantage in purchasing a larger format or purchasing more units. It can be very economically beneficial to take a moment to do the comparison. You could make significant savings over your year.
In other words, rather than thinking in terms of weeks or even months, visualize the year in order to have a more comprehensive perspective on your real costs. Regardless of your purchasing volume, this will lower your costs and thus increase your gross profits. You will therefore have more left in your pockets!
4. Reduce the number of trips
Some people like shopping and others not so much. There are those who go there as soon as they have a need and others who want to buy large quantities to go as infrequently as possible.
In these extremes, there is also a happy medium, that of having reserves and thus giving the freedom and not the obligation to shop when you want rather than when you are forced to.
It has also been easy for several years to order online. This helps increase order predictability by referring to your purchase histories. For example, you can add a paper or even electronic reminder that tells you when to place an order so that you are not surprised when you realize that it is the last product you just used.
5. Avoid having to tell your customers that you don't have the product
We have all been told that the dish or drink we had selected at the restaurant was no longer available. Customers generally understand that a product may be in short supply from time to time. However, when this product is always in short supply and there are often shortages, the understanding eventually turns into a negative perception of lack of professionalism and planning by you or your establishment. So reduce the chances of negative perception by managing your inventory so that you don't have frequent shortages.
Bonus: How to avoid waste or unsold items ?
One of the fears sometimes expressed when it comes to increasing reserves is not being able to get rid of them. This fear is justified. This is why it would be less recommended for a new graduate in massage therapy to stock up on all products for 6 months or more since they do not yet have an established clientele or a precise idea of demand. However, it would be much less risky for a therapist with several years of experience to increase their supply by several months since they know the habits of their customers and the rate of use and sale of the products.
You can also take it gradually. For example, start by having reserves for 2 weeks, then 4 weeks, and so on.
In addition, increasing your reserves is an adjustment that can also be revised downwards later. You can, for example, keep in reserve for several months a particular product for which there is a lot of demand and go with smaller quantities for other products where demand is lower.