The stock take is a fundamental part of any business that deals in goods. It’s the only way you can keep track of inventory, see if your ordering process is efficient, and reduce over-stocking.
However, in order to achieve these goals, you need a firm process for carrying out the stock take itself. Here, I’ve compiled a list of easy steps to help you do the perfect stock take.
Dedicate time to the task.
Take the day off or use a series of slow afternoons to dedicate solely to inventory. Focus and keep distractions at bay. But if your business runs 24/7, consider doing stock-taking during slow hours, such as midnight time when there’s little to no customers visiting your business.
Don’t assign your stock take to just any employee. The group conducting your stock counts should consist of seasoned employees as well as those who can provide fresh eyes. You should also ensure that any distractions are minimised – reduce any extraneous noise wherever possible, and consider a ban on phones and radio while the exercise is being carried out.
Reward yourself and your staff.
Motivation can come in many forms. Order lunch for everybody or bring everyone out for a drink afterwards. Give yourself something when you’re done too—you know what you like best. Physically counting inventory is a tedious process, so you want your team to stay on top of their game.
Uniformity of count
In order to save time at the other end – and to keep your accounts staff happy – it pays to have a uniform way of counting. This is especially true for businesses with large and varied stock. If there are groups of counters split up to cover more territory then you don’t want their counting or documentation methods to differ too much.
Count everything, yes, every little thing! (Don’t guestimate)
It’s crucial that your stock take is accurate, and this requires methodical counting – and no guessing! Say you found a box of tomatoes. Don’t assume the number of tomatoes within the box. You need to open the box and count every tomato in it. Also mark items as you go in order to avoid duplicate counting.
Use technology to save time and money.
Yes, we’re slightly biased. Truly though, the right tools and software can help make taking inventory much less of a drag. A system like Turbo Inventory keeps track of your inventory and sales automatically throughout the year, so it makes those year-end reports and accuracy checks that much easier
It’s impractical if you still run the stock-taking procedures manually, especially if you have several warehouses and thousands of items. Not only it will take a lot of time to complete, but manual stock-taking also needs more human resources as well.
With barcode scanner help, scanned data can be delivered wirelessly directly to your ERP software. Imagine how much steps you skipped with only using a barcode scanner.
Not only making things easier, but technology can also make the stock-taking process a lot faster, compared to when you do it manually. The stock accuracy will also improve and the information will be more up to date
Consider Out Sourcing the count
This is helpful if you don’t have the in-house expertise or resources for conducting the count yourself. Now, the actual counting procedure will vary from one provider to the next. It’s best to consult with your third-party stock counter and follow their processes.