Keeping a stock room well organized makes your merchandise accessible and easy to find. Employees can restock items with ease if the stock room remains organized and easily navigable. Separate areas for new merchandise, older merchandise and merchandise waiting to ship means that important items will arrive at the appropriate destination. You can make even a small, crowded stock room more functional with some basic organization ideas.
Shelves are a simple way to maximize space in your stock room while keeping merchandise organized. Choose shelving that spans the length of your stock room walls, and make sure the shelves are wide enough to hold a substantial amount of merchandise. Create an organizational scheme that is easy for employees to pick up on. For example, if your business is a clothing retailer, you can organize merchandise by style: Place jeans, skirts, tops and outerwear on separate shelves. A paper distributor can separate reams by color or style. Label each shelf so that employees restocking the room know where to place merchandise, and those employees working the floor can find new merchandise. Attach adhesive labels to each shelf to identify the merchandise that it should include.
Bins are an easy way to collect items that you need to organize in the stock room. During the business day, your employees might not have time to put items in the correct places when they come into the stock room. Use large plastic or metal bins at the front of your stock room for merchandise that you need to organize. Toss items that customers returned into a bin labeled "Returns." Keep newly shipped merchandise that you need to open and organize in a bin labeled "New Items." If you're shipping merchandise to another store, include that in a separate bin labeled "To Ship." You can even assign different employees the task of emptying the bin and organizing its contents in the stock room -- or shipping them, when required -- at the close of the business day.
The stock room is likely where your employees will leave their purses, coats, briefcases, lunches or keys while they are working. Keep these items organized and separate from your merchandise by lining up cubby holes for each employee. You can find stackable wooden cubes that you can line up against a wall, or you can even purchase lockers that employees can secure their personal belongings in with a lock. This organizational tool prevents employees' items from getting mixed up with your merchandise, and it creates a cleaner, clutter-free stock room.
Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.