The 3 Most Commonly Overlooked Key Elements of Inventory Management

Perhaps you’ve met this person, or maybe you are him or her. It’s the person whose desktop is immaculate – with everything lined up just so – but as soon as you open one of their drawers, you see a bunch of things crammed in there haphazardly, without any discernable system. Sure, the desk looks great to the boss walking by, but when it comes time for this person to unearth that important financial file from a few months back … good luck with that. Throwing things in drawers to project an appearance of organization is something with which we can all relate. Simply put, it’s easier to straighten things on top of a desk than to organize the contents within.

“Some stores overlook the disorganization that’s unseen in favor of offering a great outward appearance.”

When it comes to retail stores, the outward appearance of the store is the equivalent of the top of the desk, while the inventory is the equivalent of what’s in the drawers. And just like people, some stores are likely to overlook the disorganization that’s unseen in favor of offering a great outward appearance.

Stores without strong inventory management processes are the retail equivalent of this kind of person: Sure, everything looks great on the outside, but beneath the surface, there’s a whole lot of disorganization. Organizations need to make sure they don’t overlook the importance of inventory management.

To bolster the quality of inventory oversight, stores need to make sure they don’t overlook key elements of a great inventory strategy. Therefore, we’ve decided to highlight three inventory-related practices that can be easy for stores to overlook:

1. Keeping an ongoing record of inventory to ensure accuracy: 

As a retail operation, it can be tempting to only keep track of inventory at certain moments, such as when you’re receiving orders. And as Entrepreneur pointed out, stores that don’t harness a convenient means of data entry are also left with counting/tracking methods that are far too error-prone to be dependable. Solving these issues boils down to implementing a solution that makes inventory tracking both accurate and easy to carry out on a consistent basis. This is where handheld RFID devices like the Nedap !D Hand 2, TSL 1128, and Touch Technologies r-touch can make a big difference.

2. Paying careful attention to inventory tracking numbers: 

There are items in a store that sell out quickly, and then there are others that just don’t move as quickly. But for store leaders who don’t pay attention to inventory tracking data, these items might as well be the same. The problem is, they aren’t – and stores that aren’t able to prioritize inventory items are apt to always be running out of desirable merchandise while wasting money stocking products that customers simply aren’t buying. To prevent this problem from arising, stores need to implement RFID software, which can help to automate the process of inventory and assets tracking, thereby providing store leaders with actionable data about which products should take priority in terms of stocking.

3. Letting all staffers know about the inventory strategy:

While store managers may be the main employees handling inventory issues for your stores, that doesn’t mean the remainder of the staff should be left out of the conversation. Inventory management is the kind of thing that should be communicated across the board.

As inventory visibility leaders, CONTROLTEK offers businesses a host of products that can play a key role in bringing inventory management up to speed. While inventory is something that can be overlooked by store leaders, it’s also an element of store operations that is easy to have firm control over. From the RFID software we provide to our industry-leading fixed readers and USB readers, we have the tools to make sure your store is positioned to be the most profitable it can be by increasing sales and reducing shrink.

To find out more, contact CONTROLTEK today.


Since 1976, we have been delivering unique products and solutions to the cash-transfer and asset protection industries to address specific business challenges. Our company has grown steadily based on the quality of our products and the quality of our service. Our commitment to research and development is combined with a willingness to listen to the people who everyday depend on our products. By relentlessly researching and introducing new materials and new features, we are proud to say we have impacted the way assets are secured globally.

With experience gained through research and collaboration within the financial and retail sectors, we actively charted a course over the past several years to bring added value, new thinking and viable approaches, addressing the dilemmas and challenges that frustrate business professionals today.

During this process, we realigned our resources within CONTROLTEK, creating three silos (ISS, ISP and IVS). This enables us to focus more specifically on the needs of our Clients and their specific challenges they face on a daily basis. Additionally, CONTROLTEK has aligned itself with Global partners to provide holistic solutions that solve today’s challenges.   Whatever the application, CONTROLTEK resources stand by ready to deliver results that enable commerce and effectively secure assets at financial institutions and leading retailers across the globe.

Put the Stock Back in Out-of-Stocks: Affordable RFID Solutions

The movement of goods is the ultimate goal for any retailer. But what happens when a retailer is unable to move goods into the consumers’ hands because of out-of-stock issues?

According to Jacqueline Renfrow at, over 75% of adults found a wanted product to be out-of-stock during store visits over the last 12 months. In the same period of time, 63% of online shoppers experienced the same out-of-stock error messages. Retailers lost 58% of these sales and 65% of the online sales.

New research from IHL Group attributed a $634.1 billion loss due to out-of-stocks. Greg Buzek, IHL Group President said, “Retailers can realize huge gains by addressing opportunities that are in hand and slipping through their enterprise fingers.”

Many factors can lead to embarrassing and costly out-of-stock scenarios for retailers, such as:

  • Underestimating the demand for a product
  • Miscalculating the time needed for the supplier to deliver the product
  • Late delivery by a supplier
  • Product quality issues
  • Shortage of working capital

Those who have been in business long enough know that some situations cannot be controlled. But what can be controlled, should be controlled. Inventory visibility is something retailers can control with confidence.

“The ability to sense and respond to demand through greater inventory visibility and intelligence is critical for retailers,” explains Bryan Nella, director of corporate communication at GT Nexus.

It is time to take control with ControlSpan, CONTROLTEK’s inventory visibility system (IVS). ControlSpan is true inventory visibility made easy. ControlSpan is a modular solution built to allow freedom of choice at the beginning of an RFID deployment, to grow with the demands of the organization, and provide options at all levels instead of being locked into a single, siloed offering.

The Proctor & Gamble Company sponsored a study, A Comprehensive Guide to Retail Out-of-Stock Reduction in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods Industry, which discovered RFID showed great promise to solving the out-of-stock epidemic. The report states that “new retail support technologies, such as RFID, have changed our thinking about OOS as a single problem, to separating OOS examination to ‘not in the store’ and ‘not on the shelf’, which is key to truly understanding the out-of-stock epidemic.

Eric Green, CEO and Co-Founder at Askuity, attributes out-of-stocks due to poor data-syncing, accuracy failure of Perpetual Inventory (PI) systems, and distorted demand forecasting…flaws ControlSpan can resolve.

Bill Hardgrave, Dean of Auburn University’s Harbert School of Business and an expert on RFID adoption in retail, said the technology’s reliability and economic benefit have been well-established. Hardgrave adds, “RFID enables retailers to know what they have, and where they have it.”

Request a demo today and see how CONTROLTEK’s ControlSpan suite offers end-to-end inventory and process management solutions that allows not only improved visibility but also enhanced profitability and customized integration. CONTROLTEK’s solutions help make existing systems more efficient and accurate.

As any retailer would agree, inventory visibility is the cornerstone to meeting product demands and protecting the trust consumers place in the company brand.

Top 3 Reasons Why ORC may be Smaller Fish in the Shrink Sea

What is ORC?

The National Retail Federation (NRF) defines Organized Retail Crime (ORC) as, “theft/fraudulent activity conducted with the intent to convert illegally obtained merchandise, cargo, cash, or cash equivalent into financial gain (no personal use), typically through online or offline sales. Organized retail crime typically involves a criminal enterprise that organizes large-scale thefts from a number of retail stores and employs a fencing operation to sell the illegally-obtained goods for financial gain.”

ORC: The Smaller Fish in the Shrink Sea?

Shrink rates can be lowered by either decreasing the amount of inventory shortage or by increasing sales, The Calibration Group’s whitepaper, “SOH: The Retail Problem That’s 7 Times Greater than ORC” reveals. Accordingly, ORC may no longer be considered the biggest threat to retailers’ bottom lines from a Loss Prevention perspective. The Top 3 reasons to consider when pondering this comparison:

  1. ORC costs North American retailers a staggering $34.67 billion a year, but the $252.9 billion stock-on-hand (SOH) issue overshadows ORC by more than 7:1.
  2. If North American retailers eliminated ORC entirely, profit earned from the $34.67 billion in merchandise now available for sale would be $1.04 billion.*
  3. If North American retailers resolved their SOH issues and recouped the lost sales, the profit earned from the $252.9 billion would be nearly $7.6 billion.*

* Calculations based on 3% net profit margins

The Four-letter Solution

An inventory visibility system (IVS) with RFID technology offers retailers clear insight into their inventory at any given point in time. RFID, along with a comprehensive, yet simple software application, has now become the solution that can easily be embedded into any retail framework. An IVS system with RFID provides store personnel with key inventory management data, such as how many items are in back stock and on the sales floor, which in turn allows the staff to manage inventory more “real-time” by making necessary adjustments.

This technology also provides the ability to take a full inventory of the store within minutes as opposed to hours. Loss Prevention professionals can now enhance profitability more effectively by increasing sales while simultaneously lowering the shrink rate.