What is Stock Control?
E.g. in a store, the stock includes all of the items on the shelves and out the back in the storeroom.
It is important that a business does not keep too much stock, nor too little.
- Too much stock costs money as you have to store it all somewhere
- Too much perishable stock (e.g. food) means that it may go bad before it is sold
- Too little stock means that you might run out of stock before the next delivery arrives
Data in a Stock Control System
Each record (row) of the database is identified by an item code (the primary key).
Other fields in each record would include:
- Item price
- Stock level (the number of items held in stock)
- Minimum stock level (when stock falls below this, it needs to be reordered)
- Reorder quantity (how many items we should order each time)
Receiving New Stock
The code of the new items is input to the system (usually using a barcode scanner, or similar technology). The record for the item is found in the stock database, or a new record is created, and the stock level is increased.
Selling / Delivering Stock
The code of the item is being sold/delivered is input to the system (usually using a barcode scanner, or similar technology). The record for the item is found in the stock database, and the stock level is decreased.
Automatic Re-Ordering of Stock
The stock control system regularly goes through all the records in the stock database and checks if the stock level is less than the minimum stock level.
Is Stock Level < Minimum Stock Level ?
If the stock is too low, it is reordered from the supplier. The quantity that is ordered is read from the stock database (larger amounts for more popular items)