When is the best time to do physical counts?

If you’re like most people, you’re thinking “never”!

One of the most dreaded and time-consuming warehouse tasks is performing a physical count. It’s a mindless, tedious, inconvenient drain on your resources. Not to mention, it’s in no way revenue-generating.

Whether you perform physical counts monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually, they are disruptive. Typically, all warehouse and inventory related operations need to be put on hold for hours or even days until all inventory is counted.

In addition, what if an error happens the week after your physical count? What if a new procedure that causes inventory inaccuracy is implemented shortly after your count? Will you go nearly a year before realizing it?

We’ve heard this referred to as the “End of the Year Surprise”, where you suddenly discover that you’ve been carrying way more inventory than you thought, or not enough. Either way, it’s not a pleasant surprise!

So when is the best time to tackle this unpleasant but necessary chore?

The answer is “always”!

Now, we don’t mean you need to do a physical count every day, but rather than wait until that specific time of year and halt everything, you can chip away at it all year long with no disruption of operations by using cycle counts.

Cycle counts allow you to perform physical counts for certain subsets of your inventory at a time, on a continuous schedule. No need to stop everything, ScanForce’s WMS can be configured to only restrict inventory transactions in the sections you’re counting.

Higher priced items or fast-moving items pose the greatest risk in your inventory

If you’ve got high priced items, inventory errors are more expensive. And with items that have high turnover, the risk of error is greater due simply to the transaction volume. With cycle counts, you can count these items more frequently, while less expensive, slow moving items can be counted less often. By doing so, you minimize the risks of stockouts or excess inventory in these items that are associated with waiting a year between counts.

Counts don’t have to be painful

Studies show that automating your count activities – whether during physical counts or cycle counts – with mobile barcode scanners can reduce the time it takes to perform the task by 75-80%.

ScanForce offers affordable, easy to use Mobile Inventory tools that can be used on their own or in conjunction with our full Warehouse Management System (WMS) suite.

Contact us for your free consultation today!


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