Accurately keeping track of your stock is essential to the efficiency and productivity of your business. Mistakes in stock take procedures can wreak havoc for inventory control processes, leading to disorganisation and reduced productivity.
This article outlines 5 key methods for improving your stock taking procedures, from downloading cloud software to making the most of point of sales systems.
Counting stock manually is a task that is prone to error, especially as your inventory grows. Barcode scanning technology reduces these risks by allowing you to quickly count stock levels and store the data at the same time. A barcode scanner uses a light source, a lens, and light sensor to allow you to scan and view large amounts of data in one place.
Downloading cloud software is another excellent way to keep track of stock levels. Rather than storing data about stock levels manually, cloud software puts the information right at your fingertips, drastically reducing the risks associated with a manual stock take. Offering a centralised inventory dashboard, cloud inventory management software also stores information about each product which you can easily look up from any number of devices, like smartphones and tablets.
Allocate One Counter
Stock taking requires exceptional attention to detail and a high level of accuracy and concentration, especially if you hold large amounts of inventory. For this reason, it is advisable that managers allocate one person only to the task of counting stock. Too many “counters” can lead to confusion and mishaps during the stock taking process.
Regular Stock Take
While it may seem a tedious task, businesses need to be taking stock counts regularly. Neglecting this task will make it very difficult to correct any mishaps in the future, so this is best negated by counting stock at regular intervals. Counting stock regularly will give you a clear indication of which products run out faster, so that you can ensure you have them in stock at all times.
Conducting a regular stock take will also help you to identify slow-moving products, and this will help you calculate what products you need to keep well-stocked. Regular stock counts will also help you identify any theft risks and to put in place the necessary theft prevention systems to negate losing valuable stock.
Use a Point of Sale System
Manually counting stock as it is purchased can be a difficult and error-prone task. Using a POS system will allow you to easily and accurately track the purchase of products, making stock taking drastically easier. POS systems will also dramatically reduce the time it takes you to carry out a stock take, freeing up time to attend to other important tasks.
Avoid Over Stocking
When it comes to ordering stock, it may be tempting to order extra items just in case there is a sudden increase in demand. While it is good to be prepared for this scenario, overordering can make stock takes very difficult. Stock taking is already a long, time-consuming process, and having obsolete stock sitting in store rooms can make the task an even bigger burden.