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How To Keep Track of Cigarette Inventory: 5 Foolproof Steps

Inventory management: It's the heartbeat of any retail operation. 

And for the world of tobacco shops — which sell high-volume products like cigarettes — a well-oiled inventory system is not just a nice-to-have. It's the lifeblood of your business’ success.

With so many items in stock, inventory management can seem like an overwhelming task — but we’ve got you covered.

In this blog, we’ll break down how to keep track of cigarette inventory in five foolproof steps.


Step 1: Understand the Importance of Cigarette Inventory Management

Running a tobacco store often means juggling dozens of cigarette brands, types, and ever-changing customer preferences. And with thousands of SKUs to manage, an efficient inventory tracking system is a must to avoid stockouts and excess inventory. Plus, accurately tracking your store's tobacco products helps you stay compliant with strict industry regulations, ensuring you protect your business and your customers.


Step 2: Master Your POS System

To be successful in the tobacco industry, you have to embrace modern retail technology — and that means ditching your tiring manual spreadsheet system and adopting a digital solution. 

Enter: a point of sale (POS) system.

A modern POS system offers real-time tracking of your cigarette inventory, rapid search capabilities, and complete transaction histories, so you can accurately tell where your inventory stands at all times.

Tobacco POS Buyers' Guide

Step 3: Tap Into Real-Time Inventory Management 

Using your tobacco point of sale solution to keep a live pulse on product availability can save your business time and money. Here are some ways you can manage your cigarette inventory with your system:

  • Record all incoming stock: Make a habit of diligently recording all incoming stock in your point of sale system. This ensures that you track not just the quantity, but details like batch numbers, expiry dates, and wholesale prices. 
  • Track each sale: Understanding your rate of sale per item helps you forecast future stock requirements. Use a system that automatically updates your cigarette inventory every time a sale is made.
  • Carry out regular stock checks: Identify discrepancies early with regular inventory audits. This auditing could be full scale, or cycle counting where you count a specific category of items on a particular day. Relying on automated inventory management doesn't eliminate the need for periodic hands-on audits. 
  • Automate inventory alerts: Implement a system that alerts you when stock levels decrease to a specified point. This way, you never unexpectedly run out of items or order too much stock.
  • Manage returns efficiently: Use your POS system to track customer returns and update the inventory accordingly. This helps to prevent any gaps in accounting, and ensures you have up-to-date information on the amount of stock at hand.
  • Make use of reports: Gain insights into top-selling items, slow movers, out-of-stock items, and overstocked items to help you make informed decisions and drive your tobacco business forward. 


Step 4: Get the Right Hardware 

To fully optimize your inventory tracking process, make sure you have the right hardware — specifically barcode scanners and label printers. Implementing barcoding for each SKU can simplify inventory procedures, bringing you more accuracy in less time. Just ensure your barcode labels are customizable and in line with your business needs.


Step 5: Train Staff and Ensure Compliance

A cigarette inventory system is only as good as the people who use it. Invest time in training your staff on how to keep track of cigarette inventory with your system — and more importantly, the need to stick to the process. It's a small investment for a hefty return in the long run. 


How To Keep Track of Cigarette Inventory With Cigars POS

Now that you know how to keep track of cigarette inventory, it’s time to implement the right tools for your business. 

Luckily for you, we’ve created a complete point of sale solution designed specifically for the tobacco industry.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo with one of our Cigars POS specialists today! one of our Cigars POS specialists today!

About Cigars POS

Cigars POS offers the ideal solution for tobacco, cigar, and pipe shop owners.No complex integrations, no contracts, no waiting on hold to talk to service reps who can't help you.

Find out how much your dream POS system will cost you - you might be surprised.

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