Using Lock Stock

Talk to your team

All members in your organisation who have access to your stock must use Lock Stock consistently for it to be an effective tool. Before spending precious time creating data, it would be prudent to talk through what you hope to achieve and what will be required to achieve it. Here are some suggestions for your consideration

How do you intend to record movements?

In a perfect world all movements would be recorded as they happen, but unfortunately as the data has to be entered manually this isn't always practical. Lock Stock makes the process as easy as possible but several factors should be considered.

It isn't practical for most businesses to book out individual products on Lock Stock as they are being rung through the till. This means the sales data needs to be entered into Lock Stock using the PLU Sales button at the end of a trading period. As previously stated we intend to introduce a feature to do this automatically for you in the future, but for now, either yourself or a staff member will have to do it instead.

For Lock Stock to be used as intended you will need to either have a dedicated tablet in a convenient place for staff to use, or allow them to use their smart phones. This way they can update stock movements on the go. If this is not practical, an alternative system such as a simple sign out sheet may bridge the gap but it is important that someone takes responsibility for regularly reconciling this data with Lock Stock.

The longer delay between physical movement of stock and reconciliation with Lock Stock the less reliable the reported inventory totals will be.

What do you intend to do with your data?

Lock Stock is a great tool for looking up information on your products and stock checking but there is much more that you can do with your data.

It allows you to monitor sales and profit over time across your product range and it allows direct comparisons of indivual product sales. Want to see how digestive biscuit sales react to being placed next to the tea? Make a note of when you made the change and pull up the "Sales Report".

Lock Stock tracks the value of the stock held by your organisation over time. Have an idea to streamline your product flow? Try it out and see how the value of held stock and profit react.

Lock Stock reports errors. When a stock check is recorded, any discrepency between the expected value and the observed value is also recorded. The "Error Report" allows you to identify areas where stock is being mismanaged or potentially stolen. If a significant loss is being reported, measures can be put in place to monitor movements of a particular product more closely and correct any stock management issues or prevent further theft.

Who needs access?

Only users with valid Google accounts that we have put on your system's "white list" are able to access your Lock Stock system. Records are kept of who made changes to your data and when. If you would like extra users to be added to your white list, please contact [email protected]

Set up a solid foundation to work from

Define your Suppliers

The first step to a solid foundation is to assign and define you suppliers.

Define a markup

Take time to define the markup parameters that you want Lock Stock to follow. It will save you time in the long run because you will automatically be able to apply sales prices to any products you add. You can also manually change the pricing for any individual product if you wish to, so you're not restricted by it.

Define your departments

By default, Lock Stock assumes that your organisation stores stock in either a single stock room or on a shop floor and that products only enter your inventory via arrival from an order or turning up in a stock check. It also assumes stock only leaves your inventory via customer sales, staff sales, consumption, and their absence being noted during stock checking. I advise removing departments that are irrelevent to your organisation and adding any that you feel are important to your work environment.

Lock Stock makes applying markups easy. Make sure that the rules are set as you wish.

Creating your products

Depending on the size of your organisation this can be a daunting task but there is a trick that can speed up the process. Products you create may be cloned to make the creation of product variants fast and simple. For example you may sell two or more brands of baked beans, and if you clone the records you made for one brand, then you will only have to change a name, a price, and a number for the others.

If you have a large amount of product records to create I may be able to help. You may already have your product catalogue in a database, a spreadsheet, or other digital resource, and it's possible I may be able to assist in importing them. For example if your suppliers produce a digital catalogue I may be able to import the entire catalogue or create a simple plugin that allows you to browse it from Lock Stock. Please contact me at [email protected] to discuss your options.

If you choose to create your product records manually I suggest taking the opportunity to stock check as you go.

Help and feedback

If you need help with anything please don't hesitate to ask. We would also appreciate any feedback and ideas to improve the product for you.