How to perform your annual inventory counts | Best Practices | Blog 1 of 5

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It’s that time of the year!

No, I am not talking about New Year’s resolutions – I am talking about getting your inventory done and putting in some best practices to keep your investment in inventory efficient year round.

I will be posting 5 blogs that will get you ready for your annual inventory counts – the first 3 will be to break down the activities you do to prepare for the counts and the last 2 will be on the best practices that you can implement to keep inventory managed year round. You may have already had a chance to read about how to do ABC Cycle Counts by Justin McCollom from our Major Market Team, which discusses the importance of having good inventory management to support your Online Ordering/eCommerce sites. My approach over the next 3 posts is to take you through a more granular list based process. So don’t forget to subscribe to new blog posts over on the right panel.

So let’s get into the tasks – this is really meant to be a checklist that you can share with your team, and since many of you reading this will be retailcloud customers, I will occasionally refer to specific processes within the CAS Portal.

What to do on Day 1

Backoffice To Do List

  1. Begin by making sure all pending adjustments and transfers are committed and finished. This is the single most overlooked step and it can derail the most carefully thought out counting plan.
  1. Make sure all Point of Sale machines that have been operating in offline mode are connected so that their totals can be pushed to the cloud and sales and inventory data updated. Don’t forget the handheld devices that may have been used for a road show, pop-up, line busting or additional devices during the holiday season.
  1. Check all of your recent Invoices, make sure that there was an inventory receiving done for each of them. On any that were not received yet, go ahead and do them and don’t forget to add any shipping costs so the system can accurately calculate your cost of goods sold. While any missing receivings will be corrected in your counts, they will be feeding false data into the system that can impact your reorder alerts in nGauge as well as your margin and markdown analytics that help in pricing strategies.

Almost done!

  1. Finally run a report of all of your negative inventory counts – determine if these negatives are due to missing receivings or mislabeled products.  If, because the receivings were missing then investigate that and correct if possible (as I mentioned in Step 3 the inventory count will eventually adjust this but it’s best to correct the errors if possible). If, because of mislabeled product, you will either need to relabel the product using the LabelIt or the Barcode Printing software or link the skus into a new Master SKU

From the back of the house perspective you have accomplished a lot today, and built a foundation of success for your full inventory count.

Front of the House Activities

Start organizing the inventory in the store so that it will be easy to count, have your team prepare a floor map by Department or Category of where the product is and to begin to place it.  If your store is not organized and ready to be counted, then this is a good place to start getting it prepped for inventory and gather like items together. 

While organizing, take some time and look out for damaged items, these should be inspected and discounted or adjusted out of inventory as needed.  Good luck, please share your feedback and don’t forget to subscribe so you can see the next post – if you don’t want to subscribe, you can join us on Facebook or Twitter.

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