So, following on for our last blog post “what is a stocktake?”, in this post we will be looking how to prepare for a stocktake.
Why do you need to prepare for a stocktake?
A good question, surely there isn’t much you need to do to prepare for a stocktake? Wrong, being prepared for the stocktaking process is crucial to the success of your stocktake. In fact, it will improve the accuracy of the stocktake process and it is important that you have a full understanding of the resources and time required so as to reduce the level of interruption to your business.
Carrying out a stock count may seem simple but if you are not properly prepared it can be an absolute nightmare, taking up a lot of your time.
What preparations do you need to do?
1. Make sure all your stock sheets are ready and up to date:
Always you make sure you use the most recent stock sheets, with your products and prices, generally people use sheets based of their last stock count
2. Make sure all your paperwork is up to date
In order for an accurate stocktake you need to have the most up to date information. You will need to ensure you have the following documents to ensure a smooth process:
a) Delivery notes / invoices
b) Transfer notes
c) Takings information
d) Weekly returns of business
e) Float details
f) Allowance details
g) Write off / wastage sheets
3. Tidy up all stock areas
This is one of the most important preparations you can carry out before a stocktake. In the long run it will save you time and as you know time is money!
Below are a few things you can do to tidy up your stock areas:
a) Operate a First In First Out (FIFO) Systme
b) Make sure that your stock rooms are neat, tidy and safe and that all the stock is easily accessible.
c) Bottle up
d) Where stock is stored in boxes or cartons, check the contents to ensure that they match the description and quantity shown on the box or carton
e) Check all those odd areas where stock may have been put or “left for later” or simply forgotten
f) Check that all of your stock is where it should be such as in the correct department shelf, rail, row, display, bin number, storeroom and so on.
4. Train your employees
Even if your employees are not carrying out the stocktake, they need to be aware of certain rules that will ensure your stocktake goes smoothly. Ensure your employees know the following:
a) Strict no movement of stock during a stock count
b) Any deliveries that arrive need to be kept separate
5. Create a stocktaking plan of action
In order to carry out your stocktake you need to make a few decisions regarding the process these are:
a) Create a stocktaking map, map out the stocktake location and break it down into manageable counting blocks. The smaller the blocks the more accurate the stock count is likely to be.
b) Stock rooms should ideally be broken down into manageable counting blocks such as shelves and rows.
c) Who will be carrying out the stocktake and if more than 1 person is involved, what areas will they be counting?
6. Deciding when to carry out the stock count
Always try to schedule a stock count for a time when the business is closed if you can, this will make the count much easier.
If you follow these steps and make sure the correct preparation is carried out, then it will be a lot easier when it comes to carrying out your stocktake.
If you any questions regarding preparing for a stocktake please feel free to get in touch
Look out for our next blog on how to carry out a stock take