Efficient tracking and reporting are critical to effective salon inventory management. Salon owners need to document and track their inventory efficiently, whether tracked on paper, in an Excel spreadsheet, or via software. Ordering stock should never be a guessing game. Using formulas or a back bar software system that considers retail and professional product usage will help you place orders at optimized intervals to save time and money.
One of the critical functions that salon software offers is automating reordering. Traditionally, salon managers order products by eye, looking at what’s left on shelves and ordering whatever is low. This can result in a traffic jam of arriving products that may not be needed and existing stock depleted. A nail salon management software solution can eliminate this by predicting what supplies must be ordered. Based on previous order data and sales trends, the system can predict what will be needed – so there’s no need to guess at quantities. This allows salons to increase profitability and customer satisfaction with the right balance of inventory management. Salons’ software can also enable various marketing suites and loyalty programs to reach and engage customers. This type of functionality is highly effective, allowing salon owners to grow their business beyond the walls of their salon. Another way that salon stock control systems can help is by preventing stock shrinkage, which is an all-too-common problem in the beauty industry. This occurs when the physical stock in a salon is less than what is recorded on the salon’s inventory list, typically due to damage or theft. This is why it’s essential to have robust inventory control procedures and to carry out stocktaking regularly. This can be done by the owner or a trusted staff member and should be carried out at least once a month, towards the end of the month.
Many salons order products by eye, meaning managers look at what is running low and order whatever is needed. There are more effective ways to manage inventory, which may result in overstocking products or ordering slow-moving, rarely-used items. An Excel inventory spreadsheet or salon software to log product movements helps nail technicians and salon managers decide when to order. Often, a product’s expiry date is included on the label, which can help salon managers plan for future orders and reduce the risk of stock shrinkage. Similarly, salons should schedule their product orders for less busy times of the week so that incoming shipments can be checked carefully before they are accepted, reducing product loss. In addition to reducing the number of wasted products, efficient inventory management allows salons to track usage patterns per service basis, which informs what kind of stock they should order. This helps avoid tying up cash in slow-moving inventory and frees up money to invest in new salon equipment, an emergency fund, or trialing a new line of products. Another essential part of managing stock is knowing how much a product costs the salon to buy and sell.
To meet client expectations and keep them happy, your team needs to be able to respond to their specific preferences. Salon software makes it easy to keep detailed client profiles with preferred products, treatments, service times, and contact details. This will ensure you always have what they need and provide the best experience possible. Automating appointment booking, confirmation, and reminder communications will free up staff time and allow you to focus on your customers. A salon booking system that allows clients to book online, via text, email, or custom branded app will reduce no-shows and cancellations and give your clients peace of mind knowing their appointments are well managed. Managing inventory requires accurate records to help avoid overstocking and understocking. Some salons will count their stock manually or via a scanning process at the end of every month. This can be done by two or more employees exchanging counts and checking them against each other to ensure accuracy. It is recommended to set up a system of calculating the product usage for each treatment and then tracking these amounts in your salon software to prevent shrinkage. This will allow you to determine the minimum quantities of each product your salon requires and reduce stock waste (e.g., how many shampoos will be obtained from a 34oz / 1-liter bottle).
Most nail salons have many repetitive daily or weekly tasks that can be automated using a software solution. These include answering phones, booking or confirming appointments, taking payments, encouraging retail sales, and sending thank you emails to new clients. This frees up time to improve customer service and grow the business. Nail salon managers are usually responsible for deciding how much stock to order from suppliers. They often use product sales data and their experience to decide a precise amount. Unfortunately, this can lead to over-ordering products that sit around not being sold or used. This ties up cash that could be spent on other business areas, including investing in salon software or trying out a new product line. To prevent this overstocking, many salons now use salon inventory software that can accurately track business usage and provide stock alert functions. This means that back bar products can be ordered in a restrained quantity to reduce storage and wastage costs. It also helps manage and control the cost of goods sold (COGS) to help reduce margin pressures. Other software features that help manage inventory and stock in a nail salon include:
- Creating professional-looking invoices in minutes.
- Automating reminders for payment to avoid late payments.
- Even splitting bills between multiple staff members.
Streamlined invoicing can also speed up the payment process, helping to keep customers happy and avoiding unnecessary delays in receiving their money.