New year, new opportunities to improve your warehouse cycle count. That may not be what you were thinking about when the ball dropped at 12 o’clock at night on December 31, but we can bet that’s what you’ve thought about a few times since being back in the office.

For retailers, fewer things are near and dear to their hearts as inventory season. Accurate inventory counts ensure period-end financials are tied up neatly to prepare for the new cycle. Use these five tips to make that warehouse year-end cycle count a little easier to manage this time around.

Five Tips for a Great Warehouse Cycle Count

A business that fails to conduct an annual inventory is a business headed for failure. The value of your inventory goes onto your balance sheet for the year-end. It also helps you catch shrinkage and nip it in the bud. An accurate inventory count is essential to evaluating the health of your business. You may have recently wrapped up 2018, but it’s never too soon to start preparing for year-end close 2019. Things you do today can have a big impact on your success at the end of the year. These five tips will make warehouse year-end cycle count easier for everyone.

  1. Choose your time wisely: Choose a time when your business is slow. Some retailers conduct inventory after the business has closed for the day. Department stores, for example, take inventory counts during slow periods (July and December just before New Year’s) and ask their staff to stay late. Inventory is usually taken on a Monday night for the same reason.
  2. Prepare: Clean up the warehouse. Throw away empty cartons and replace faded shelf labels. Gather the equipment you need for a physical inventory. Replace returned items to the correct bins and straighten up the shelves. Making sure all the barcodes are facing the same way doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it can shave minutes that collect into hours off a warehouse cycle count.
  3. Establish teams: People working in teams tend to make fewer mistakes than individuals taking counts. Have one person read off the items and the other person record them. If you use barcode scanners and do not need someone to record or read off, then have one person scan and the second person audit. Double checking as you go along reduces error rates, and mistakes can be caught and remedied quickly.
  4. Map out the warehouse: Make a map of the warehouse and divide it up into sections. Experienced inventory takers should work the harder sections; newcomers can work the easier sections. Walk everyone through the warehouse and describe the plan so they know what to focus on.
  5. Provide training: Don’t assume that everyone understands what you mean by warehouse cycle counts or inventory. Explain exactly how you want the task accomplished. Provide adequate training to make sure that everyone is taking inventory in the same way.

You already survived year-end processes for 2018. Now start putting measures in place for a successful 2019 year-end. It’s never too soon to start planning for efficient year-end cycle count and a happy year-end process.

Accounting Systems Inc.

No matter what size business you run, Accounting Systems, Inc. provides effective solutions with proven business strategies and software products for business growth. We’re experts on popular accounting software solutions such as Sage 100, Sage BusinessWorks, and Acumatica. Find out how these systems can fast-track your cycle count and help contribute to your overall success in 2019.