Counting your stock is a major task, but there is no alternative. It is the only way to determine what exactly you have in the shop and your stock shrinkage. That’s why you must count your merchandise.
So it is now time to start planning for the stocktake.
-Make sure that your required staff are informed well in advance and they bare briefed as to what is going to happen.
-Familiarise yourself with the computer procedures, in your training system do a stocktake on some items.
-Make sure all the computers, PDTs and scanners are in place and working. Now is a good time to test them, do a few tests. Make sure that portable units are charged. Familiarise yourself with how your equipment works.
-Clean up the shop before the stocktake starts. In my experience, a well prepared and tidy shop will speed up your stocktake and make it much easier to do. Make sure the shelf labels are correct, that your stock is in the correct area (especially look at the spots under counters just in case something is hiding there), accessible and review any problem items eg damaged goods now.
-Put any laybys together.
-If you have items on consignment, mark them.
-Make holding areas where problem items discovered during the stocktake can be temporarily stored, move the problem items into it now, any items waiting for dispatch there, items waiting to be picked up and items not entered into your point of sale software.
-What works best is to divide your shop departments into discrete measurable counting areas. What you want is each area to be a few hours work for two or three people. You need people to do the count and the running around and then another person to enter the info into a computer. A PDT is really great as it can be moved around and probably save you one person in the team.
-I suggest giving each counting area a label and writing down on a piece of paper every area, then as each area is counted, marking it off. That way you do not miss areas.
-I think it saves time if you get out of your computer a listing of the expected stock in each area. That way while the person counting they know what to expect. "You sure mate, it is only four? According to the computer, there is another one there."
Any more than a few hours as anyone that has been through a stocktake knows how draining they can be. A few hours ensures that your counters get regular breaks. It also means that it is easy to do the stocktake over a few days. As it is at any one time only a small part of the shop affected you do not need to shut down the shop and so turn away customers.
To help you we will be running a webinar tomorrow on stocktakes.