Whether you operate a small, medium, or large-scale business, performing a complete stocktake at least twice a year is crucial for healthy inventory levels and minimising unwanted losses over time. However, stocktaking in a retail business can become quite frustrating, energy-draining, and time-consuming at times. On the other hand, the risk of serious human errors is quite high in the process. In fact, overcounting and undercounting can cost you thousands of dollars in losses as well as lost consumers in the long run. That is why it is essential that you stay well-organised and on top of the process when conducting a stocktake in retail. You should develop a well-structured stocktaking process where the managers and employees can work together to avoid costly mistakes when counting stock. Here are some of the most important steps that you should include in the stocktaking process to minimise losses and maximise the effectiveness of the process.
You should schedule the process so that there is very little impact on your business operations. The time you allocate for the process shouldn’t affect the bottom line of your business. In fact, you should set aside a time that works for both you and your staff. The best time to do this is during a slow cycle or outside of the usual business operation hours. Organising your stockroom is another important thing that you need to do before starting the stocktaking process. A well organised stockroom will make it easier to count the stock and reduce counting errors. Create well-defined sections by way of labelling the shelves and use package labels that define what is in the package.
Organising the tools ahead of stocktaking time is crucial to the success of the process. Make sure that all the employees involved in the stocktake have the necessary tools needed to conduct the operation successfully. The common tools needed for the process are clipboards, write-off sheets, stock sheets, pens, calculators, mobile devices, and handheld scanners. Your final goal is to get an accurate count of the inventory you currently have. That way you can compare it with the existing inventory data and verify its accuracy. Make sure you exclude stock that has been already invoiced to consumers but not shipped yet. These are important things that you need to consider during the stocktaking process in retail.
You should assign a supervisor to oversee the process of stocktaking at all times. The supervisor should have a list of what ought to be in the warehouse and what needs to be counted. That way it becomes much easier to double check the work of the stocktaker. The supervisor should ensure that there are minimal distractions while the process is in progress. For example, the stocktaker shouldn’t be distracted by their mobile phones. On the other hand, if the process is going to last for a much longer time than you planned, make sure the staff is fresh with adequate breaks so that they don’t make mistakes during the stocktaking process.
The stocktaking process shouldn’t be a static set of procedures. The process should evolve with time and the latest technology in the industry. Using the right technology can help to improve the efficiency of the entire stocktaking process. Barcode scanners are some of the best tools for small business inventory management. This tool can help with stocktaking, stock organising, and knowing when to re-order. If you are searching for barcode scanners in Australia, there are many places where you can get these tools however, not all of them are created alike. ASP Microcomputers (https://www.asp.com.au/zapmystock/) sells a great variety of scanners and stocktaking solutions of all types. Check them out right now for high-quality barcode scanners for stocktaking.