4. Stock control
After the item has been scanned, the barcode is passed to the stock database in the central computer.
One of the fields in the database contains the amount of stock of that particular item which are currently in the supermarket.
Each time the barcode is scanned, the computer reduces the level of stock for that product by one.
When stocks fall to a certain level, called the re-order level, an order for more stock is automatically sent to the warehouse. The items will be delivered by lorry the next day.
This system gives the manager an accurate and up-to-date record of the current stock levels at any time.
It also enables them to keep a close eye on what is and isn't selling. This means that they can hold stocks at the right level, and order their delivery just in time.
The stock level isn't always 100% accurate. If a customer steals an item then it won't get scanned and the stock control system will still think the item is in the store. Or perhaps a bottle gets broken and is not registered as a loss of stock. Perhaps a cashier might accidentally scan an item twice or not scan one at all. That would also result in the numbers in the database being incorrect. This is why every now and then many businesses will carry out a physical stock check to stop errors building up.
Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you
Click on this link: Stock Control System