Streamline your stocktake with 6 simple steps

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Streamline your stocktake with 6
simple steps
The end of the financial year (EOFY) is looming near, bringing with it the
inevitable list of major chores that most retailers are frantically preparing to
conquer. And one of the mightiest foes on that list is the dreaded annual
stocktake.
Like most EOFY preparations, your annual stocktake plays a critical part in
the effective financial management of your business. Stocktakes let you:
● update your stock levels to reflect your actual stock on hand
● update your current stock value for your financial statements
● highlight variances and investigate stock control issues
● account for breakages, losses, and obsolescence
● identify slow-moving items that need to be cleared
● make informed decisions for future procurement.
Stocktakes involve a physical count of every item in each product line. So
while they’re essential, they can also be tedious or downright painful if you
don’t have good inventory management procedures in place. Some
businesses are even forced to close down their entire store for a day to sort
out their stock!
So it’s a good thing there’s a better way. Our handy guide will show you
how to save time and streamline your stocktakes.
1. Start with the right information
A stocktake tends to run more smoothly if you’ve got accurate information
about the items you’ll be counting. Ensure your stock count sheets have
sufficient detail for your staff to identify each items, using product codes as
well as descriptions wherever possible. Make sure you’ve got the latest
price lists, so you’ll be able to calculate your stock value.
If you’ve got a quality inventory management system that lets you select
products, add them to a pending stocktake, and print stock count sheets,
you’ll find it simple to get started. But it’s even easier if your inventory
management system is fully integrated with your sales platform or, even
better, built in, because then you know your stock levels will accurately
reflect the latest transactions—even if they happened moments before you
started the stocktake.
2. Have a plan in place
Make sure everyone involved in the stocktake knows exactly what their role
is and how the stocktake will proceed. Consistency is the key, so be
specific when you explain which order you’d like items counted in, how
many times each product type should be counted, and whether you’d like
cartons opened.
Give some attention to how you will handle special cases, such as
● broken, damaged, or expired items
● outbound stock that has been invoiced but not despatched
● inbound stock that you’ve received from suppliers but not yet added
to your system.
Once again, you’ll find this much simpler if you’re using an integrated or allin-one inventory platform that stays in sync with your sales system and
knows what’s happening with order fulfilment.
3. Use the right tools
As the person in charge of stocktaking comes down to your preferences
and the capabilities of your inventory management system. For some
businesses, this will mean arming your staff with stock sheets, clipboards,
pens, pencils and calculators. A more sophisticated system will let you use
a barcode scanner to pick an item, then enter a count for it.
4. Keep trading during your stocktake
Earlier, I mentioned some businesses shutting down completely for a
stocktake. Other businesses conduct them out of regular business hours,
bringing in additional casual staff to help with counting. Both these
approaches work, but if you’ve planned your stocktake well and picked the
right sales platform—one that’s fully integrated with your inventory
management platform—there’s a better way.
Advanced inventory management platforms (like the one built-in to Neto)
will automatically lock items when you start the stocktake, so that no one
can receive purchase orders, perform stock adjustments or pick orders until
the stocktake is completed (or cancelled). And that means you can keep
trading right throughout your stocktake.
5. Don’t wait until the EOFY
I probably should’ve mentioned this one sooner, but at least you’ll know for
next year: conducting regular spot checks of up to 10% of your items
throughout the year will make your annual stocktake that much easier.
That’s because you will have had the opportunity to address any stock
problems throughout the year, ensuring your data is more up-to-date. Your
stocktake will also run more smoothly if you keep your shelves tidy
throughout the year.
6. Make the most of your stocktake, immediately
Remember, the goal of the stocktake is to better understand your current
business position so you can make smarter business decisions. So don’t let
those valuable numbers go to waste. As soon as you’ve entered the stock
counts in your inventory platform, put them to good use:
- identify stock that needs clearing
- identify top performing stock
- identify and investigate any variances
- write a plan for fixing the problems and boosting your bottom line!
Streamlining your stocktake is simple if you’ve implemented the right
processes and the right inventory management platform—one that keeps
everything in sync with your sales platform and other business software
you use.
Neto is the first all-in-one ecommerce platform with built in inventory
and the only one that seamlessly syncs stock and orders between your
retail, online and eBay stores. Cloud-based and designed for growing
retailers, we enable anyone to sell anything, anywhere—from web, mobile,
eBay and social media, through to bricks-and-mortar stores.

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