Try These Strategies for a Stress-Free Stocktake
Stocktake can be some of the most stressful times of the year for retailers. Trying to carry on with business as usual, while also counting every single item in store can be a huge headache. In addition to our earlier article, 8 Steps to Stocktake Success, we wanted to bring you more tips and advice for making stocktake stress-free.
Some of these tactics are year-round, long-term inventory management strategies, while others can be sorted out right now!
Why is stocktake important?
Stocktake or inventory counts allow you to find discrepancies in what your system records and what you actually have. Stocktake discrepancies can be due to theft, damage, poorly managed warehouses, amongst other things.
Discovering the true quantity of stock and updating this in your inventory management system means you can make more accurate financial forecasts. Check out our article on the importance of stocktake for loads more information.
Make stocktake easier with the following tactics:
Regular reviews of processes
A huge number of stock issues understandably start within the warehouse or wherever stock is first received. If you’re a small business, you may have started off receiving stock personally. However, as your business grows and you leave this responsibility to a warehouse manager or other staff members, the process you started as a one-man band may get a little lost.
It’s important to meet regularly with your warehouse manager to ensure the procedure for receiving and storing stock is still effective. Yes, you have to keep an eye on it all year round, but it can make stocktake a whole lot easier in the long run.
Cycle counting is a much praised stocktaking tactic, which certainly has some merit. With a cycle count, you will only count a particular section of stock, instead of the whole warehouse and store. This allows you to space things out a little and avoid a long and tedious evening running a traditional stocktake.
Organise your warehouse
If your warehouse or storeroom is a mess, it’s likely that your stocktake numbers will be, too. Create a maintenance plan and stock map so everybody knows where things should be.
Check where the dust has settled
If you take a look around your warehouse and notice boxes of stock which have a layer of dust on top, it may mean that you have too much of this stock. One of the key results of every stocktake is determining which stock you need more of and which stock you shouldn’t order again, so this catches the problem before you even get to stocktake.
Invest in an awesome inventory management system
This is probably one of the most important steps you can take to ensure that inventory management is taken care of all year round. High quality software means:
- You’ll always know when stock is low so you can order more.
- You can track damage and loss.
- You can pick up errors in large shipments and always know that you’ve received exactly what you ordered.
- You can track theft and work on strategies to minimise it within your organisation.
- You can create reports that highlight purchasing trends, allowing you to better manage stock in the future.
Check out our guide to choosing inventory management software for more details.
Make sure you count stock with the latest technology
Recording a stock count with pen and paper is not entirely ineffective, but it will cost you time, as well as staff. That’s one person to count, one person to write down the quantities, and one person to input this information into the system.
Stocktake equipment can be hired and PDA barcode scanners should be at the top of your list. They will scan a barcode, allow you to input the quantity, and will sync with your existing software to update the numbers.
We hope you got some value out of these strategies. What would you add to this list?