Hello PTA friends!
We have not had much luck with our official fundraisers the last few years. We make most of our money off spirit items we sell mainly for school unity. We have 4 schools in one group and we all have the same colors and mascot so we have a great cross sell for these items. We'd like to increase our spirit item offerings in lieu of fundraisers but can't seem to maintain good inventories so we know what items are our best sellers. Currently we sell spirit shirts, car magents and insulated tumblers. When we have an event like back to school night, it is impossible to keep up with what items are going. We have tried counting before events and then after but sometimes it is so hectic we don't get to do the before/after counts.
Plus we want to make sure we are not having items not paid for. It gets hectic and our workers just get bombarded. We have no set place to store and sell so we haul in boxes from a storage shed behind the school everytime and set up with folding tables. Sometimes I think about getting one of those mall kiosks on wheels! :-)
Short of buying an expensive inventory control program with a POS system I am out of ideas on how to keep up.
Has anyone out there come up with a good way of handling this issue?
sorry you are having a time of it...good thing is that you are selling items and making miney and not needing to rely on monthly fundraisers; not so good is that the inventory control system is not working so well. So, I have acouple of suggestions:
tag each item with specific number; this will require a weekend of work and volunteers, and hopefully assist you. you can tag with specific school identifier, i.e.: ABC El 1, ABC El 2, etc...ABC Md 1, etc....if you can locate tags that have a perforated tear off that would be good..take the tear off and stick on sheets of paper and at the end of the event, transfer information on to an Excel base for each school..it is easy to set up and a great project for a stay-at-home parent who wants to help but cannot get to school. Save info on a jump drive that is portable..and of course make a back up or two......
check out Microsoft online for inventory ideas...there a quite a few downloadables that will make your life easier.
for the upper grade: make this a project challenge--of course, with admin and teacher ok...the reward for best is, of cousrse, complete set of spirit wear/items
hope this helps a little
My web-based onlinepto.com marketplaces can track inventory and report sales, costs, and profits. They're designed for web sales rather than as POS terminals, but you could have POS accounts entering the orders instead of parents.
I would probably have to add tighter integration between the ordering and the payment processes, but I'm willing to consider doing that if you want to consider evaluating it as a solution.
As a web-based solution, you would, of course, have to have laptops/tablets/etc. with Internet connectivity to be your POS terminals.