While the end of the first quarter may not seem like the time to be preparing for year-end cycle count, it’s actually one of the better times to get going with inventory control. In fact, we recommend scheduling it as often as possible: The more often you perform cycle counting, the better inventory accuracy and lower inventory write-offs you’ll have. Cycle counts should be done at least once per quarter, putting you in good position to have a quick and easy inventory count at year-end.
Accurate inventory counts ensure period-end financials are tied up neatly to prepare for the new cycle. These five tips can make your warehouse cycle count a little easier to manage this time around.
Five Things to Do Now for a Great Warehouse Cycle Count
A business that fails to conduct proper inventory is a business headed for failure. The value of your inventory goes onto your balance sheet for the year-end. It also helps you catch shrinkage and stop it before it starts. An accurate inventory count is essential to evaluating the health of your business, and it’s never too soon for a cycle count and inventory control. Things you do now can have a big impact on your success at the end of the quarter, and ultimately, end of the year. Try these five tips so your warehouse cycle count is easier than ever.
- Choose your time wisely: A slow business time is a good cycle count time. Some companies conduct inventory after the business has closed for the day or take inventory counts during slow periods.
- Prepare: The more orderly your warehouse is, the faster your cycle count will go. Throw away empty cartons and replace faded shelf labels. Gather the equipment you need for a physical inventory. Put returned items in the correct bins and straighten up the shelves. Making sure all the barcodes are facing the same way might not sound like a big deal, but it can shave minutes that add up to hours off a warehouse cycle count.
- Establish teams: People working in teams tend to make fewer mistakes than individuals taking counts. One person can read off the items while the other person records them. If you use barcode scanners and do not need someone to record or read off, then one person might scan while the second person audits. Double checking as you go along reduces error rates, and mistakes can be caught and remedied quickly.
- Map out the warehouse: Make a map of the warehouse to divide it up into sections. Experienced inventory takers should work the harder sections while newcomers work the easier sections. Walk everyone through the warehouse and describe the plan so they know what to expect and where to focus.
- Train, train, train: Don’t assume that everyone understands what you mean by warehouse cycle counts or inventory control. Tell them exactly how you want the task accomplished. Provide adequate training to make sure that everyone is taking inventory in the same way.
You already survived year-end processes for 2018 and may be finalizing quarter-end processes for Q1 2019. Putting measures in place for a successful 2019 year-end can start now: It’s never too soon to start planning for efficient cycle count and a happy year-end inventory control process.
Better Cycle Counts with PositiveVision
Whether you’re into annual, quarterly, or monthly cycle counts, PositiveVision has the warehouse and software solutions you need for successful business inventory and growth. Let us help you leverage technologies such as Sage 300, SYSPRO, business intelligence (BI), manufacturing ERP software, and warehouse management systems. Let us show you how these systems can super-charge your cycle count and position you for more success in 2019 and into 2020.