Inventory Management

Right Product, Right Amount, Right Time

You are a master behind the chair, and your social media strategy is on fire. But how are your inventory levels these days?

Are you noticing your color flying off the wall at lightning-fast speeds? Is your backbar depleted going into the holiday season? Do you have too many retail items to sell through to make room for Holiday?

These are some of the all-too-common conundrums that salon owners are faced with this time of year. Not to worry. The fall season is a great time to evaluate your inventory situation and set up your salon for success going into the holidays and into a new year.

The most important things to know when it comes to inventory management are how much product your salon goes through, as well as your service sales. Without these, it can be difficult to determine what you need and what your budget should be.

TIP: The recommended budget amount for supplies should be 5 percent of your service sales, according to Salon Today.

Now, before you stand behind each of your stylists with a magnifying glass to scope out how much color they are about to mix up, consider these tips to keep a healthy level of control without having to tell your stylists they are using too much.

  1. Encourage all stylists to measure color when mixing. Not only does this eliminate waste, but it is also insurance on your clients’ final “ta-da” moments. No surprises here!
  2. Recommend a base amount of color and the corresponding price for each type of service. Then increase the cost for any additional color used. This reduces waste and helps you charge appropriately for your services.
  3. Adopt a POS system that lets you input the usage per service as you go so that you maintain accurate tracking and hold the team accountable. That’s one way of tracking what retail items are your bestsellers—even better so that you know what to order more of!
  4. Run a routine inspection of equipment and understand its life cycle. Planning ahead for replacements is far more efficient than costly unexpected repairs.
  5. Use the FIFO principle—first in, first out—to sell through inventory in the order it was purchased.

Q&A on Inventory Control with Artistic Team Member, Jacob Khan

CosmoProf Artistic Team Member Jacob Khan

Q. How often should a salon take inventory?
A. We took an inventory every week for a few months when we first opened. By doing that we were able to determine the amount of each specific item we needed. Now we take an inventory once a week in order to stay fully stocked! You may also do bi-weekly or even monthly inventory and ordering depending on your storage space!

Q. What colors inventory should always be on hand?
A. This will vary from salon to salon but for us natural color is most popular. Also we use mainly Demi permanent color and lightener over permanent color. Probably an 80-20 split demi to permanent.

Q. What is your pricing strategy?
A. We have a set amount of color assigned to each service. If a stylists needs to use more than the base line amount per service there is an additional charge that allots a specific amount of color. 
For instance: single process touch up =1.25 ounces of color.
If an extra bowl is needed we would mix 1 ounce or less per bowl and charge accordingly. Different salons should set their pricing per service and additional bowls based on their market. 

Posted September 11, 2018