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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Receiving Inventory

Receiving Inventory, particularly great cigars, is my favorite part of the business. I would rather have cigars in the humidor than money in the bank (- not recommending you follow this approach). Great Product is rejuvenating and the source of Retail Tobacconist Success. While an empty humidor can be demoralizing, a full humidor is exhilarating. A Retail Tobacconist with a stocked humidor has ammunition for success.

It is important to note that Receiving Inventory is not all fun and games. In fact, this is one of the most critical and technical functions of our retail business. The following is a list of general steps that should be followed to stock your store effectively and efficiently.
1. Neatly Unpack all product and organize on counter.

2. Clean up and dispose of all packing materials – don’t leave a mess.

3. Reconcile received product with Invoice/Packing Slip.
- notify vendor and manager/owner of any discrepancies

4. Enter Inventory into your POS/Computer.

5. Create new product skus (if necessary) & Price All Products Accurately.
- Double check all of your numbers – Perfection is Imperative.

6. Merchandise/Display all products. Anything not displayed is hidden money.
7. Restore Defaults: Bring the shop, counter, and displays back to their original position – i.e. leave the shop the way you found it!

Organization and a slow methodical approach is best when receiving inventory. Take your time and re-check all of your numbers. Inventory is the heart of our business and it must be treated with equal care and respect. Take your time and do it right.
FINAL NOTE: Don’t forget about your customers – they are still more important than anything else you are doing. It is easy to get too focused on the product and forget to say hello or give great service. Admittedly, receiving orders can be high stress since there are so many technical issues, but Customers Come First.

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