A business’ worst nightmare is performing inventory counts – they take forever, they are frustrating and the final number can often be wrong. This is why it can help to have some tips for performing an inventory count without wanting to jump out of the window. The truth of the matter is that you need to make sure you have your team on board to help you. If you have a lot of SKUs, or stock keeping units, to account for, you need to make sure that you have the right SKU system and you need to make sure that you keep stock at the right time of the day. If you scan in the middle of the day, you may be dealing with customers and it will take even longer to complete your inventory count. Here are five helpful tips for performing inventory counts.
- Make sure that your managers are on board – if your managers aren’t leading inventory counts, you will have a difficult time keeping track. When it comes down to it, your managers need to have a schedule for inventory counts and they need to be able to lead your staff. If your managers don’t have inventory count as part of their job description, you certainly want to have a meeting and make sure that they know counting is part of their duties and tasks.
- Make sure to set up an SKU system – SKU stands for “store keeping unit” which assigns a code or number that connotes a certain product. With an SKU, you can keep better track of everything. If you are a large business and you don’t have an SKU system, you will have a difficult time counting stock. Even if you are a small business, you will need an SKU system, because it is the standard for retail businesses and wholesale businesses alike.
- Make sure that you have a database retail system set up – for instance, you may want to use a platform like Arba Retail Systems. With this system, you will be able to input all of your SKU info. Not only that, but having this system will also allow you to be able to mark off SKUs when they are sold. Moreover, you will be able to see diagnostics for how well certain products did, which can help when it comes to reorders.
- Make sure that you have an inventory night – if you are a retail store, you will need to have an inventory night to make sure your database count is correct. Your managers will be able to schedule and facilitate inventory nights, but it will be important to keep these dates consistent and have a system for ensuring that the count is always correct when they manage inventory.
- Make sure that you have the newest barcode scanning hardware – you don’t want to be slowed down by old hardware. Indeed, you can visit a leading retailer’s supply shop or you can go online to purchase new scanning hardware. In the end, you will need to update your hardware every few years of so.