Upstocking Lists (also known as dot lists) are an important part of your store's daily routine. Dot lists are an effective way of familiarizing employees with store layouts and current store inventory, as well as a way of physically keeping track of various items/inventory in the store. In a way, dot lists are a method of double-checking the inventory numbers in FieldStack. These numbers are typically very accurate, but unfortunately items do get stolen, damaged, and sometimes just plain lost. Depending on available display space at your store, dot lists can also be used to ensure that items that have been sold have been replaced on the shelves so that they are always readily available for customers to purchase.
A dot list prints a list of all items that have been sold since the last dot list was printed. For example, if you print a dot list at 2 PM and the last dot list was printed at 1:15PM, your dot list will contain a list of all items sold between 1:15 PM and 2 PM. If you sell the last copy of an item so the item's current quantity on hand becomes 0 through a transaction, it will not appear on the dot list.
Items that had a quantity of 0 or less and were THEN sold will appear on a dot list as a negative quantity. These items are what appear in the "Less-than-zero" report. Correcting less-than-zeros when seen on a dot list can keep the less-than-zero report at a small and manageable size, and ensure that subsequently-received items correctly represent inventory on hand (for example, if you have a negative quantity of an item, the next one you receive will add to that negative number and may just make your inventory appear to have zero copies in stock). If your management allows it, you may receive the amount of items in the same condition to make the negative number 0 (See "Receiving items into inventory"). For instance, if an item has a new condition quantity of -1, receiving 1 new condition quantity of that item will correct the item's quantity to 0. It is very important to be mindful of what condition the negative quantity is when adjusting inventory quantities.
The objective of a dot list is to find the entire current quantity of an item and ensure its accuracy, and to ensure that there are always copies of available stock on shelves for purchase. This is done by going to various areas of the store and hunting down all known copies of an item. This is not always easy, but there are several things to keep in mind and several tools that you can use to make it easier. Every dot list includes each item's barcode with its name and quantity on hand. This barcode can be scanned to bring up the item listing and easily access useful information.
- Check an item's location in the "Find In Store" screen to see where it was last scanned. Though many items get misplaced and moved by customers or inexperienced employees, this can typically get you looking in the right area.
- Search items that are on hold through the "Find Special Order" Screen. Items on hold affect the quantity displayed on dot lists. If you're looking for a single copy of something and can't find it on the shelf, there's a good chance it's waiting to be picked up!
- Check end-caps, temporary/promotional shelves and stands. If an item isn't in section it may be part of a promotion or feature and could be placed somewhere for display.
- In stores that accept pre-orders, various methods of purchase (such as Amazon or the webstore) can allow customers to purchase items that may not be on the shelves yet and which can sometimes show up as an inventory difference on dot lists. To see if this may be the case, look up the item and view its release date. If the item has not been released yet, it will be stored somewhere away from in-store customers until it is.
The Dot List / Upstocking List looks like this in FieldStack:
You can choose to print your list on the receipt printer or on a regular printer before you get started.