In a retail business the need to procure products rightly can never be overemphasised and this is because the growth of the business to a very large extent depends on getting it right.
Procurement as a process should seek basic fundamentals that are all focused on the customer’s satisfaction.
Giving attention to the quality of the product that is offered to customers is essential and it is only through proper procurement process that this could be ensured.
It is necessary that the quantity of products offered to customers tallies with what they expect.
Having a shortfall of product also, could occur as a result of machine of human error at the point of manufacturing of products.
But a good procurement process will help a retail business holder identify any shortfall that could result in loss of revenue or customer’s dissatisfaction.
Product packaging is absolutely an essential part of a retail business for sales to happen.
If a great product is poorly packaged, the possibility of selling the product is reduced and could result in a loss of revenue.
How well a product is packaged could be identified in the process of procurement just before the product lands on the shelf for customers to pick.
- Customer’s Need
One thing that must matter to a retail business holder is meeting the need of customers. This is achieved through survey and feasibility study to identify what customers want and how they want it.
These fundamentals are all captured in the process of procurement to ensure that loss is eliminated of minimised.
For products that are on retail shelves the ideal process should begin with Head Of Department that is handling each section of the store.
For new products and needs, the process begins with a feasibility study of what consumers want and how they want it, taking into consideration the location and the earning power (income) of the people who live around there.
For products that are on the shelves already, the process begins with the Head of Department (HOD) who is also a procurement officer identifying items that needed to be restocked.
Once this is ascertained, the HOD begins to make the necessary calls and contacts to get the products in.
In some cases they will go to the market to make the purchase.
After the items have been purchased the Local Purchase Order (LPO) would be handed over to the Quality Control Department for examination.
This unit checks the quantity, expiry date and product quality, making sure it meets the requirement in line with the location.
Once the products have passed examinations, the quality control unit forwards the document to the Inventory Department, where they are imputed into the system.
All products are captured with unique identification numbers, sometimes in line with the bar-code on the product.
The Inventory Department is also responsible for adding prices to products after considering cost of purchase.
After the product has been captured and priced it is then taken to the shelves for customers to pick up.
In most cases in Nigeria, shelving of products is manually done, with staff of the store handling the product arrangement.
Each department has its store where products are kept to make room for easy retrieval when there is the need to add items on the shelf.
One other aspect of retail shop management is offering an opportunity to everyone to have access to the products that are on the shelves.
Typically speaking, products that are on retail floor should ideally be made available for online customers to purchase.
Taking Prince Ebeano Supermarket as a case study, customers who wish to buy items online have access to the products via online social networks. All it takes is for a customer to establish a chat with the unit – Ebeano Messenger, submit a list of items needed.
Ebeano Messenger will give the customer the cost of each item, depending on the branch the individual intends to buy from, and then the total cost of items on the list.
Once the customer receives the price, and gives a go ahead, he or she is expected to make payment into a designated account for the transaction to continue.
After payment is made, the staff picks the products and package them for delivery or pick-up, depending on the customer’s choice.
These processes can help any retail shop owner ensure that products are restocked for customers and that everyone has access to the shop.
One thing to ensure is that product do not run out on a shelf, except the product is out of demand or no longer produced.