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The count we’re concerned with here is your initial count. Maybe you’re counting your stock levels for the first time, or perhaps you don’t trust your current numbers and want to start clean. Whatever the reason, if you’re going to get a complete count of your stock, this document will provide help and insight. If you already have a trusted picture of your current inventory levels and don’t feel the need to visit this subject, than you can certainly skip this section. If you’re using Clearly Inventory, this section will explain how to get the information you will need to load in the “current inventory” table.
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You probably already have a good reason for counting your inventory. But this is a good time to consider other benefits to keeping track of your inventory and the other reasons for tracking it. The following list of reasons is meant to remind you of common reasons for tracking inventory as well as stimulate your imagination as you think about why you’re doing this.
Why you’re tracking inventory should lead directly to what you’re going to count. It may seem overly simplistic or obvious to have to specify what is going to be counted, but if you put a little thought into this, it will help deal with questions that are bound to arise during a count. Even a sole proprietor will be helped by making these decisions in advance because you want to spend as little time as possible thinking during an inventory count and maximize the time spent counting. Also, anyone helping with the count will need to know what to count. Here are a few common categories to help inspire you.
Some operations have only one or two locations, while others have thousands. But even the smallest operation may benefit from this checklist of locations where items may exist that need to be counted.
It’s very difficult to perform counts during operating hours, and you hope to get an accurate count, so try to plan your count during off hours if possible. Also, make sure that everyone involved with the count knows when the count will occur, especially those people who are not on site.
Come up with an estimate of how long it will take to count your stock. Knowing a ballpark figure of how many hours it will take will help you determine how many people will be needed in order to finish the count in the actual amount of time you have available. To get a good estimate, perform a practice count of a fraction of your stock and then multiply that time by the remaining areas to be counted. This will give you the total “person hours” required to count all of your stock. Divide this number by the amount of time available, and you’ll have the number of people necessary to meet the deadline. Finally, add one person to this number to account for the drag in efficiency of having to manage as well as count.