Whether you love it or hate it or only do it because you don’t have to be out on the floor dealing with customers, stock taking takes an organised mind to conquer it. Stock taking is an important part of business that will help managers evaluate physical stock and match it to the inventory records.
This will highlight any discrepancies and identify any issues that you’re not aware of. Informed decisions can be made once there is an accurate account of stock movements and stock on hand. This will allow management to oversee any damaged stock, slow purchased items, warehouse processes and technology obsolescence.
Get your stock take tools ready
Keep your stock sheets at hand and don’t forget add the numbers of inventory that is in stock. All the barcoded inventory needs to be clearly written down.
Calculators and clipboards are necessary for working as you’re walking and checking items.
Hand held scanners are to be used for all bar-coded inventory.
Write-off sheets will help you keep track of the condition of each item as you count.
Different coloured pens can be used for keeping track of different stock.
Identify stock and its whereabouts
Start every stock take by identifying the different stock, the supplier and where it is from. Remember to update your inventory management software beforehand so that no stock is missing from your list of inventory. Keep stock separate that has been invoiced by a client, but is still located in the warehouse. Similarly you would want to note the stock received, but hasn’t been recorded in the books yet. Always make sure stock held at different locations is accounted for.
Do a thorough check
Record any discrepancies that may arise and do the necessary follow up. For good measure, do a double check of boxed items. The package may say 50 items but if there are only 48 items this lead to an inventory miscount. Mishaps like these have led to people losing their jobs.
Keep an update of all records
After you have done your stock take, finish up by placing all documentation in a secure location, and not only on the hard drive. If you can, store it on the cloud. That will save you much more than you can possibly imagine. Do update all records and note any changes that will allow for making informed business decisions.