Do you find that taking a physical inventory of your store seems daunting and time consuming? If you didn’t fully appreciate just how much inventory your store actually has, counting everything at year-end (or whenever you choose) reminds you that you truly have lots! There are several reasons why the count on the floor is different than what you have on your books. Here are just a few reasons:
- Damaged goods weren’t deducted from the count when they were discovered
- Entering an incorrect number when the goods come in
- Not entering the items when they come into the store (you meant to get to it, but forgot)
- Incorrectly using units of measure
- Theft – employee or store customer
It’s important to know what you actually have on hand so you can order (or not) appropriately, you can see which products are moving well (or not) and can assess your profitability – critical to staying in business!
But counting everything at one time can be such a daunting task that it may not even be done. So try cycle counts. With cycle counts, rather than counting all of your inventory at one time, periodically work on a section of the store. Determine some logical way to section off your store – it could be by department, row, or unit of shelving, or display case – whatever makes sense for dividing your inventory. This is much more manageable, so more likely to get done in a timely fashion. Also determine a frequency – ideally you will have covered your entire store at least once in a year. You might also decide to count certain sections more often – perhaps these items turn over quickly or they may be your more valuable inventory.
You can count by hand or you can get a physical inventory scanner which lets you walk through the store, scan the items and then come back to your POS and synch the results. This can be faster than manually counting!
So, now what’s your excuse for counting inventory?! If you would like some help on updating inventory counts in your POS, or developing a system or want more information on a physical inventory scanner, let us know and we’ll be happy to assist.