Counting your stock is a significant task, but there is no alternative. To help make this task easier on you, we've compiled some steps about doing a stocktake.
1) A stocktake is not hard, but it can be mucked up if you are not careful. Take frequent backups while doing it. We can often fix many errors if we have these backups.
2 ) Schedule a quiet time. You do not need to halt retailer operations, but the fewer distractions, the better.
Doing a stocktake with customers asking questions and doing orders are very distracting. So try to discover a time that works for you and your workers that won't hurt your bottom line and reduce distractions.
3 ) Run over the steps required the update the help documents in posBrowser's help files as now available
Press F1 while in the register and check them out to get them.
There are four documents:
Stocktake = Standard stocktake doc using Posbrowser on its own to run the stock take.
Stocktake with a PTD = Stocktaking with the help of a PDT
Stocktake with the stock management system = Stocktaking using the mobile PDA browser program.
3rd Party Stocktake guide = A guide on how to upload stocktake data to and from another program.
4) Do a trial run first on a small, well-organised department to get a feel of how it works. You need to know what you are doing. If you need help, give us a call. It is not the time to learn how to do it when you have staff sitting uselessly while you are learning what to do. If possible, get an experienced staff member involved.
5) Make sure all the computers, PDTs and scanners you intend to use are in place and working. Now is an excellent time to test them. Make sure that portable units are charged. Familiarise yourself with how your equipment works.
A PDT is great as it can be moved around and probably save you one person in the team.
With a computer, each unit of stocktakes ought to be in teams of two-plus. People counting calling out the amount, and other records. I like laptops as they are easy to move around the shop.
6) Then take a walk around the shop, familiarising yourself with everything. 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 right area (especially look at the spots under counters in case something is hiding there). Review any problem items, e.g. damaged goods. You want the stock in its correct place in a logical order.
7) Put any laybys together.
8) If you have items on consignment, mark them.
9) Make holding areas where problem items discovered during the stocktake will be temporarily stored. Move the problem items into it now. Move any items waiting for dispatch or picked up in another holding area.
10) What works best is to divide your shop departments into discrete, measurable counting areas. You want each area to be a few hours of work.
Anyone that has been through a stocktake knows how draining it can be. Splitting the task into a few hours blocks ensures that your stocktakes 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 is affected. This makes it easier not to shut down the shop and so turn away customers.
11) It saves time if you get a listing of the expected stock in each area out of your computer. While the person is counting, they know what to expect. It also allows instant reviews as you can say "You sure mate, it is only four? According to the computer, there is another one there." Many do not like this as they do not want their staff to know their existing system's errors; it is your call.
12) Give each counting area a label and write down on a piece of paper every area, then as each area is counted, mark it off. That way, you do not miss spots.
13 ) Finally, observe what worked and didn't work during this stocktake to make enhancements for your next Stocktaking.
To help you, we will be running a webinar on stocktakes.