Steer Clear of these Stock Taking Mistakes

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Managing your inventory properly is critical to any retail business. Stock taking is one of the most essential tasks a company can do to ensure effective inventory management. Stock taking normally happens once or twice a year and gives a company a clear understanding of their inventory levels. In addition, it can unveil the overall health of a company’s assets.

Stock taking can be a cumbersome process. It takes a lot of energy and enthusiasm from those involved. During this process mistakes can occur along the way. Unfortunately, these mistakes can all add up and the repercussions can be serious. If inventory is undercounted or over counted, it could end up costing the company thousands of dollars. Stock taking is a multifactorial process that is very involved. In order to mitigate issues during stock taking, try to avoid these common mistakes.

An Unorganised Stock Room

In the rush of everyday warehouse logistics, items can be misplaced or equipment stored improperly. If items have been stored in different places, it can lead to miscounting and effectively yield imprecise stock take data. Keeping a clean warehouse is the ideal option. If it can’t be clean at all times, it is imperative that is it organised prior to stock taking.

Insufficient Employee Training

In order to make the stock taking process run smoothly, the employees undergoing the procedure need to be trained. Time is always critical for companies, big and small. Sometimes employers can’t justify taking the time out of their schedule to train employees on this task. However, this is a significant mistake. Without proper training, it might take employees longer to do the task and there is a greater chance for mistakes.

Remember, inventory is one of a company’s largest assets. It’s important to make sure your employees are trained well so that they understand what they are doing. The training can come in the form of an in-service or from an external consultant if the managerial staff is tight for time.

Closing Down the Whole Warehouse

Lots of businesses close down to conduct a stock take. This process halts the other day-to-day activities and a lot of efficiency is lost. Instead of closing down the whole warehouse, look at breaking it down into sections. If you can divide the stock take into multiple sections of the warehouse, the rest of the business can run per normal. If you opt to do it this way, it’s important to clearly mark and track what has been accounted for. An accurate way to track this is through barcode labelling.

Old-School Tracking Methods

If you are trying to do a stock take with pen and paper or a computer spreadsheet, you’re not doing yourself any favours. With current online inventory management software, stock taking can become a streamlined and efficient process. These systems track inventory data in real-time. They can keep track of orders, information from suppliers and can place new orders when stocks are low. Online inventory management software can support stock taking practices and make the task less daunting.

When your company’s stock take comes around next, keep these mistakes in mind to help you guide you to a more successful stock taking experience.

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Melanie - Unleashed Software

Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.

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