Stocktake is an essential part of any business as it directly affects inventory control, production, purchasing and sales. A stocktake or stock taking is manually checking and recording your business inventory on hand at a particular moment. It is done to ensure the product quantities in the system tally with the physical stock of products in your shop.
A successful stocktake is not a simple task and some merchants even opt to close their doors on particular days in order to carry out a stocktake. This is why it is usually advised to carry out regular stock takes or cycle counting – which is the process of counting a small, predetermined set of goods frequently rather than a full physical inventory once over a long period of time. The latter could take longer hours or even days and also pose a risk of inaccuracy.
If you are a retailer and have been experiecing gruesome challenges when carrying out a stocktake, you should consider implementing new strategies. Here is why we wanted to share some tips we hope will help you have an easier time the next time you carry out a stocktake.
6 Essential Tips for A Successful Stocktake:
1. Conduct cycle-count method
This is also known as partial inventory count method, in which you carry out a stocktake in small bits as opposed to doing one major stocktake at a go. This method not only saves you time but also leaves little room for errors and therefore gives more accurate results of your inventory count.
“With the cycle-count method, we catch problems a lot sooner, which keeps them from becoming huge issues.” Preston Wily - Sewell Direct.
The best part about this method is that you wouldn’t have to close your shop for a full day just to carry out a stocktake; since it would only take a short time and a handful of people, while the shop operations continue running as usual.
2. Record the data electronically
Stocktakes no longer have to be done using pen and paper – as this ends up being double work when you have to transfer the data to soft copy. There are now easier methods of recording data such as using a POS or an app through a mobile device. RetailPay, for example, has made the stocktake process much easier for retailers as they can either use the RetailPay POS or the RetailPay Retailer’s App to carry out successful stocktakes faster and with ease.
For a step by step process on how to carry out a stocktake using RetailPay’s devices, visit their Help Centre here.
3. Label the products (boxes and shelves)
As you begin carrying out a stocktake, ensure that the boxes are well labelled and nothing is out of place. If possible, have two different people double-check just to be sure. This enables a faster and more organized process since you would quickly notice any mislabelled boxes and stray items and put them in order. For the very big stores or warehouses, you could make use of a map and check off the sections in which the exercise is completed.
4. Process should be done by seasoned staff
It’s important to ensure that one, if not all the staff members carrying out the stocktake are people who have done it before and are well familiar with the store and its products. Another option, if you like, would be to hire a professional who could get on board periodically.
5. Validate the stocktake and Update records
Once you complete the stocktake, double-check everything as you look out for any discrepancies and sort them out immediately. Ensure the results tally and update all the records, taking into consideration goods in transit, returns and damaged goods. It is important to record them so that they wouldn’t cause any mix-up later.
It is also important to always plan ahead in order to avoid overstocking which may complicate the stocktake process further. Additionally, compare the results with past ones in order to be able to gauge if your methods are effective. All in all, the more consistently you do it, the easier and better it gets.
Finally, we recognize that you may be reading this article during the Covid-19 pandemic period and we therefore urge you to take all the necessary preventive measures as you carry out your stocktake; have it done by a minimal number of people or take turns, wear protective gear, observe social distance and use devices which limit physical contact such as the RetailPay Retailer’s App.