Jim Westmaas, COO of SalonRunner
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Jim Westmaas, COO of SalonRunner

When it comes to retail management, software can be a salon or spa’s best friend. Between managing in-house inventory levels and facilitating online sales, software can set sales goals, spot trends, identify slow-moving products, even help recommend product, and track stock at every stage, from delivery to the sale. 

In the case of salons and spas that carry inventory, management software helps ensure the right amount of product to meet customer demand but also offers intelligence to keep the business from tying up funds unnecessarily. Instead of running a physical tally or counting bottles each week, the inventory system keeps track at every step.

According to Jim Westmaas, COO of SalonRunner—the parent company and platform for Rosy Salon Software—without proper software, many salons and spas end up counting bottles to determine what to buy when the DSC (distributor salon consultant) arrives to take orders. Others use a tally sheet to mark out items as they are sold. During peak hours, it’s not uncommon to miss “marking out” items from the count. When miscounting happens, there’s no way to know how much product is left, which can result in lost sales.

Westmaas says that having too much inventory takes up space, ties up funds, and may require extra effort to sell through. Having too much of any one item, especially slow-moving products, runs the risk of being deemed dead stock—an industry term for merchandise that’s near-impossible to sell. It could be an item that was over-ordered, undersells, or the demand has simply waned. In some cases, the shelf life may even expire, leaving the business with products that they cannot move, even at an extreme discount.

“If you’re finding yourself counting bottles or running a tally, it’s time to find a better way of keeping track of your inventory,” Westmaas says. “To help manage your retail, look for software with a robust salon inventory management system. You want salon or spa management software that captures the right data at the right time to avoid ordering mistakes that can result in inaccurate inventory levels. The software should track products, allow you to run reports, set reorder thresholds, and help recognize if an item is dead weight or is trending. This type of intelligence helps you plan to ensure that you buy proper amounts of product without breaking the bank.”

After product delivery from whatever distribution channel the salon or spa uses, the amounts are entered into the system, and items are placed either on display or within backstock. When a purchase is made, the item is immediately removed from the inventory levels. The system keeps a running total, and, based on preset levels, it sends an alert when stock is running low. In some cases, management software can even sync up with local distribution and automatically order when the supply hits a certain level of depletion. 

Another way software can help with retail is with online sales. Integrating e-commerce middleware allows salon and spa management software to offer retail without carrying inventory, or in the case of salons or spa with stock, adding a more extensive range of products without the investment. 

Rosy is the first management software to integrate with SalonInteractive, which has been a boon for the company offering the opportunity for salons and spas of all sizes to add retail to their offerings or increase their current amenities. Through the e-commerce platform, a wide range of products and tools digitally populate a salon or spa’s online store.

When a customer makes a purchase, the product is delivered directly to the consumer from the salon or spa’s local distributor. 

The SalonInteractive platform comes with a performance dashboard, which allows managers and owners to monitor both service and retail sales and to share the information as desired with staff or other members of the supply chain. They can set goals, run reports, and track performance in real-time and at any step of the process. 

“Running a tight control over inventory or the products sold online is an important aspect of salon and spa management software,” Westmaas says. “If you can’t set goals and track progress, it’s hard to realize success in the long run.” 

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