The POS Software Blog

The POS Software Blog

News from Tower Systems about locally made POS software for specialty local retailers.

CategoryStock files

Stocktakes are so unnecessary in retail today, such a waste of time and money


While our POS software has stocktake facilities to enable fast and accurate counting of inventory, it really is necessary for businesses to do them at the end of the financial year. The better approach is to:

  • Track all inventory arriving in the business at the point of arrival.
  • Track all sales, at the point of sale.
  • Track all returns at the point of return.
  • Spot stocktake parts of the business to get a read on theft.

These things alone, done with consistency and accuracy will provide the business with a stock listing, what you’d usually get from a stocktake, that is accurate for your financials and accurate for your taxation return purposes.

By having a tight and consistent approach to stock management at all appropriate gate points in the business and doing this work daily on stock movements, you negate the need for end of financial year work. This saves time, labour cost and results, actually, in more accurate business data.

Stocktakers, of course, will criticise this as this post makes the point that they are not necessary. the thing is, their manual processes, have been found to be inaccurate and, often, inappropriate.

For those who do want to do a stocktake, we make stocktake easy.

No, we are not talking about cutting corners or avoiding important and vital work for the business. Rather, we have a stocktake process that could save you time and help you know what you need to know today.

While doing a stocktake of the whole business is the traditional way, if you break it up and do sections of the shop when it suits, you could, through a rolling stocktake process, have more accurate data with a lower labour cost for the counting of stock.

The Tower Systems POS software lets you do part of the shop if you wish. That could be a shelf, an aisle, a section of the shop or even a single item. Of course, you can do a stocktake for the whole store too.

By doing a stocktake of a section or segment of the business, you can concentrate on high moving items, items more likely to be stolen or for some other reason. You can also schedule these sectional / spot stocktakes in a way that suits your labour availability. Finding half an hour to do a section in a daily roster could save the business money compared to bring people in especially to stocktake.

Having worked with 3,500+ local retail businesses for many years and participated in many stocktakes across a variety of product categories, our advice is that the rolling stocktake approach is usually more time efficient and financially beneficial to a business. This approach does provide you an earlier indication of possible theft challenges.

Good POS software gives you stocktake flexibility and this helps you drive value for your business.

Now, some quick fire stocktake questions, which we answer from the perspective of the Tower Systems software.

Can my shop be open while I stocktake? Yes.
Can I stop and start the stocktake? Yes.
Can I use multiple terminals to stocktake? Yes.
Can I use a hand help PDE or PDA? Yes, many brands are supported.
Can I use a laptop? Yes.
How long will it take? It all depends on your products, store layout and staff training. Time improves as they go usually.
How often should I do a stocktake? Once a year for the whole business or weekly in manageable time bites if doing the rolling approach.
Will you train us? Yes, we have excellent self-serve and one-on-one training resources and options.

It’s stocktake season and Tower Systems is helping small business retailers be ready


Our advice to retailers re stocktake is first and foremost: never pay an outside party to do your stocktake and never do a stocktake outside of your POS software.

The most accurate stocktake result for any retail business is doing it yourself, using your POS software. The Tower Systems POS software offers easy to use and reliable stock facilities and workflow.

Last year (2022), we got together with one of the stocktake experts at Tower Systems to discuss this and answer common stocktake questions we are asked. Here’s the video.

Our help goes beyond this. We have written advice, and we offer personal training. We make stocktaking easy and reliable for local samall business retailers.

Free stocktake training for POS software customers


Tower Systems started offering its 2022 free stocktake training for retailers using its POS software several weeks ago.

The training available is in video as well as written form. It covers a full stocktake as well as partial stocktake and theft mitigation stocktakes.

By providing baseline video based training, the company offers a consistent starting pout to all retailers, covering everything everyone needs to know.

Every Tower Systems POS software customer has access to the stocktake training, without cost, without any financial commitment requirement. By making access free and easy, the company is ensuring that all customers have the same opportunity to get accurate stock on hand data for their business.

We shot the baseline stocktake training video a few weeks. This shows best practice stocktake advice relevant to 2022. It leverages pas advice and presents it fresh, with content relevant to this year.

Here is some of the advice we published to ur POS software customers previously re stocktake. It reflects more practical advice advice, operational advice.

Take the technology to the stock and not your stock to your technology.

For the process to be as easy as possible you will need a wireless network – vital for OH&S reasons.

The best way to do a stocktake in your business is by using a laptop (or laptops) or tablet computer with a scanner attached. This enables you to do the stocktake live with no impact on sales and absolute integrity of your stock on hand data.

While using a laptop (or laptops) or tablet computer may seem cumbersome, it is our best practice advice for speed, data integrity and the ability to address data issues you may encounter on the shop floor. It enables you to do management work to ensure completely accurate data.

The alternative is to use a PDE. The challenges with this are the many different PDEs and it is challenging to be expert in all plus the PDE counts at that time and you load the data at a later time – meaning a gap in time in which sales could have been done. While PDE software is available for live to data updates, we have seen this be problematic and so we do not use it.

Given the advances in technology, our best practice recommendation is either a laptop of tablet computer as either offers a better solution than a PDE.

We suggest you setup a Laptop or tablet and use Team Viewer or the like to connect in and count this way. This approach means you do not need to purchase an additional software licence for the laptop. Team Viewer is easy to setup. If you do need our help on this there would be a support cost.

For the physical stocktake, we suggest you approach the business aisle by aisle, counting and rearranging stock as you go.

5 surprises retailers often discover about their business after a stock take


Smart POS software makes doing a stock take easier, more accurate and more valuable.

Based on the years of experience from Tower Systems helping local retailers to undertake stock takes, here are the top 5 things retailers discover about their business after doing a stock take:

  1. The extent of theft in the business. The stock take advises what is actually there while the POS software can show what was expected to be there. The gap is the discrepancy, theft, breakage or similar. Either way, a discrepancy is a problem.
  2. The poor handle on stock, as shown by the amount of dead stock, items not sold. dead stock is not.making money for the business. The stock take count is evidence. It does not lie. It reveals what is working and what is not. This is a huge value from the POS software.
  3. The best and worst performing suppliers to the business. Indeed, a stock rake can lead to changes in a supplier relationship.
  4. The most and least efficient product categories in the business in terms of return on inventory investment and return on retail floor space.
  5. The link between in-store and online. With data flowing between the physical shop and online store, the value of accurate stock on hand data from the PSO software stock take speaks to this insight.

A stock take is when a retailer counts the stock (using g their POS software) that they have in their shop and any other location holding stock,. This exercise enables them to check stock levels, identify shortages and calculate their stock turnover ratios .

A stock take also helps retailers to plan for future stock levels by updating their stock estimation methods if necessary. It can be conducted at any point between monthly or quarterly.

A stock check is a good time for a retailer to reflect on their stock levels and stock management processes. Here are five things that retailers often learn from stock takes:

1. To count stock accurately, you need to know where your stock is

A stock take will usually show how much stock has been counted as being in the store, but it may also show stock that was not counted or stock that has disappeared. This is nothing to worry about though, as stock may have been misplaced or damaged during the stock check anyway.

2. Sometimes stock takes are not conducted regularly enough for them to be used in stock estimation methods

If stock checks are conducted infrequently there may be too much stock variation between stock checks for stock estimation methods to be reliable. This means that stock estimations will not reflect the retailer’s current stock levels or future stock requirements. In this case, stock estimations need to be updated using a more up-to-date method .

3. Stock takes can provide valuable information about how inventory is being used

Stock takes can show what stock is being sold and how the stock turnover ratios of each store is performing. It may also show stock that sat unwrapped on shelves and stock that was out-of-date or damaged.

4. A stock take will reveal stock that has not been entered into stock records

It’s likely that some stock has not been recorded in stock records. This stock may be stock that was sold but not entered into stock records, stock that was stolen or stock that went out of date without being used (and has now expired).

5. Stock takes can help retailers identify theft and loss

A stock check can reveal stock shortages caused by theft or loss which will enable retailers to take action such as tightening stock control processes or increasing security. It may also show stock that was not counted and stock that has disappeared.

7 steps for a successful stock take in your retail business


In order to stock take in your retail business successfully, keep these 7 steps in mind.

Bit first, make sure you are using smart POS software that lets you stock take while the shop is open, software that lets you stock take using several computers or terminals.

STEP 1: Decide who will be stock taking and how often it needs to be done. Ask yourself the following: “How big is my stock?” and “How long should stock last?”. Another thing to bear in mind is that stock takes must be done systematically and not on an ad hoc basis. Typically, a shop with 3,000 items can be completed by two people in less than a day.

STEP 2: You stock take should start with a stock count of your stockroom, before you move too the shops floor. Be consistent, methodical, in your approach, covering each space fully before you move to the next space.

STEP 3: In the old manual days, you would write a stock take list as stock takes can be very long processes and this list will act like an agenda for the stock taker. Also, it is useful to use reminders on stock take lists such as “if stock isn’t available check with suppliers”. But those days are over. Today, using smart POS software you can do a stock take faster and more accurately using the POS software.

STEP 4: Stock counts must be done individually to get accurate stock counts. Scan an item, enter a quantity, move on. You can scan each barcode if you wish but that tends to take more time. Move down each aisle in a consistent way: Scan, count, scan, count. Your POS software makes it easy.

STEP 5: All stock of the same type of product should be counted at once to get an accurate total of all stock for that item. This will make stock takes very quick and efficient. See point 4 for doing this in your POS software, scan, count, etc…

STEP 6: Rely on your POS software to store the stock take count data.

STEP 7: Once you have the stock take done, you are ready to use this valuable data to cut for the business dead stock, stock that has not sold in months or years, stock that his not paying its way. This is the value of a stock take for a retail shop.

The Tower Systems smart POS software helps small business retailers complete accurate and time efficient stock takes.

Why small business retailers no longer need to pay for a stock take


The annual stock take in retail businesses has been a thing of the past for years. While plenty of shops run stock take sales, there is no need for the annual count that the sale is supposed to make easier.

The ATO agrees that a business does not have to do a stock take as long as it consistently follows structured business processes that track all incoming and outgoing stock and that there are scheduled checks to ensure the accuracy of stock on hand data.

There was a time when small business retailers would have to bring in external stock takes and pay hefty fees for counting, sometimes needing to be closed while this was done.

Today, however, with good POS software and good business practices the business can provide a stock listing that meets ATO reporting requirements and saves the business that end of financial year time soak.

Tower Systems can help small business retailers with the software and the business processes that support the software in its accurate and timely use.

Following the businesses processes we train small business retailers on also helps reduce dead stock and cut other costs businesses find when stock is not managed professionally.

Tracking goods as they come in and are returned or sold is an effective part of a stock take. As is an ad-hoc stock take of part of the business. These and other tools in ur software make it easy for a retail business to be able to produce an accurate stock on hand list in a format required by the ATO.

For our customers who li certainty of a stock take we have excellent facilities in the core of the software for achieving this. We make it easy and certain. We do it in a way that any retail employee can participate in undertaking a stock take. Plus we do it so that the business can trade while the stock take is under way.

No matter how you approach ensuring stock on hand data is accurate, Tower Systems is able to help any small business retailer … save time, save money and feed better business decisions.



With the growing number of retailer supplier relationships passing through our POS software, we can see the value of these increasing in the businesses run by our customers.

Whereas for years the electronic data flow was about invoices, now it is about much more. We are grateful to suppliers for working with us to deliver more value to retailers.

From small wholesalers to large, suppliers are keen to help independent small business retailers improve productivity, data accuracy and other commercial outcomes as they know from these achievements will flow more commercially valuable relationships.

We bring a better understanding that other POS software companies to these discussions as we are retailers too on many years standing. We are able to bring a practical element to the consideration, to help suppliers better understand the value to their businesses of engaging beyond electronic invoices and stock files.

In the last two weeks we have been able to participate in several meetings with key suppliers that will take relationships a step further and thereby help drive more value for our customers.

The strategic work we are doing with suppliers is differentiating for us in several retail channels. We are excited for the enhancements coming.

Changing our approach to advising new stock files


We no longer publish here new stock files available to customers. We have made this move for competitive reasons.

There are some files that give us a competitive advantage that is better protected by not publishing details here.

We publish to our customers details of new stock files via secure direct email communication that includes a link directly to each file tested and available online for our customers.

This change not only protect our IP it also helps our customers leverage their competitive advantage through their relationship with us.

New POS software stock files available


Tower Systems has tested and loaded the following stock files for its customers:

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