Stock Control Systems

Author: Marko Garlick


Stock control is defined as "the activity of checking a shop’s stock". Usually done through a centralized software system.


Many shops now use stock control systems. The term "stock control system" can be used to include various aspects of controlling the amount of stock on the shelves and in the stockroom and how reordering happens. Businesses need to do this so to maximize profits.

Explanation and application

  • Ensuring that products are on the shelf in shops in just the right quantity
  • Recognizing when a customer has bought a product (Linking into EPOS systems where a system has to be in place so instantaneous communication can occur between them). The product's bar-code is stored on the stock control system and when it is scanned so stock levels can change as the item is scanned.
  • On the other hand when stock is being delivered to the store it must be inputted into the system. The code of the item is inputted to the system (usually using a bar-code scanner, or similar technology). The record for the item is either added to an existing product type with pre-existing parameters and the stock level increases, or a newly made product line where parameters are needed to be inputted manually.
  • Signaling when more products need to be put on the shelf from the stockroom. (minimum and maximum stock levels)
  • Consider different types of products (volatile, perishable)
  • Can extrapolate stock depletion trends so to allow for products long production/order cycles to be ordered earlier in anticipation of depletion.
  • Reordering stock at the appropriate time from the main warehouse and communicating with the franchises database so that large stock orders can be planned for supermarkets in a certain area. (maximizing profits, economies of scale)
  • Accessible on the web. Graphs available that plot stock intakes and depletion over time.
  • Predict stock levels needed based on previous sales and depletion rates. Can relate to demand patterns eg. seasonal trends, christmas trends.

Flow of information (made by Kristian Hansen)

References and resources