How to Prep for Annual Inventory

If you are getting ready for your warehouse’s annual physical inventory count, your blood pressure probably just went up. It’s no one’s favorite thing to do in a warehouse, but it’s a necessary evil. Fortunately, our warehouse consultants have some great tips to make the process less stressful.

Count in your off hours.

Don’t try to count your inventory during working hours. You’ll just be inviting problems. Count after normal operating hours or on the weekend. That way your inventory won’t be changed while you are counting and you can update numbers before you start business again.

Try cycle counting.

Instead of doing one giant physical inventory once a year, try doing smaller physical counts more often. Set up a rotation of areas which are counted on a regular basis. For instance, you can do one set of shelves each month. This can help you catch issues much sooner and reduce the resource drain that an annual physical count can create.

Use count tags.

Count tags help you track what areas need to be counted and what should be there. This is a great way to track your inventory count and ensure that each one has been accounted for in the count. You can either order count tags or make your own. Simply create a tag for each shelf that needs to be counted and number then in sequence so it’s obvious if one is missing.

Assign areas.

Once you have your inventory team assembled, assign them specific areas to count and give them the corresponding count tags. Even if there is nothing in an area or on a shelf to count, there should still be a tag and it should still be returned to you to enter into your inventory system. This can help eliminate overlooked areas.

Investigate discrepancies.

If you notice a major discrepancy, don’t just take it for granted. While some mistakes are to be expected, it’s a good idea to investigate large discrepancies immediately. For instance, if you should have 30 of something on the shelves and your inventory team only counts 3, have them go back and look for an overlooked box. Or check other team’s sheets for unexpected boxes that could be in the wrong place with your missing inventory.

The biggest lesson that you’ll learn from your physical count is where your warehouse’s weaknesses are at. This is valuable information and not something that you should take lightly. Learn from your annual count and discover how you can make your warehouse a more efficient place that experiences less lost and damaged items.

Have questions about how to handle your annual physical count? Our warehouse consultants can help. We understand the struggles that warehouses go through because we’ve been working with them for more than 30 years. Get in touch with our team today and let us help you overcome your warehouse’s weaknesses so you can become stronger and more profitable. You can call us or contact us through our website to speak to one of our warehouse consultants as soon as possible.

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