This weekend or next is when most stocktakes will be done, so here are some last-minute tips to help you have a smooth and successful stocktake.
1) Set up a problem area where items that have issues, e.g. damaged goods, can be determined later. The idea is to move on as much as possible.
2) When you come across items where the label is missing, or you cannot scan the barcode, move it to the problem area where it can identify and labelled correctly later. These items will need to be counted at the end of the stocktake as a separate count batch.
3) Carry out the count of a department in one hit if you can.
4) Teams work faster than individuals. One team of two people is better than two individuals, I find three is the ideal counting team.
5) Make a formal decision on how you will count. You will have fewer problems if you count from bottom to top, left to right.
6) Have place markers to mark what has been counted. It is easy to miss a section or accidentally count the same area twice.
7) While counting, check the pricing too?
8) You can clean too while items are being removed and counted.
9) Check that the items match the barcode, product description and quantity. Do not assume that the label is correct.
10) Do backup frequently. If something goes wrong, you may not lose all your work.
11) Have a backup at the end. We have had people enter everything in everything, then someone, not knowing what to do, pressed the wrong button and wiped the figures. This stocktake had to be redone.
12) If possible, count everything but be aware that sometimes you will need to estimate. Once, I counted a pile of underwear. I got 50, my co-worker said 55, so we wrote down 52.