At Scanmatix, we understand that there's more to a stocktake than just counting and recording products. A worthwhile stocktake should not only be accurate but should also bring value to your business. With this in mind, how do you prepare for a stocktake?
Let’s assume you're using a barcode scanner to capture data making use of your own team or partnering with an external company like Scanmatix. Regardless of your choice, the preparation follows the same path. And if you don't have that barcode system in place? we can sort that too!
- Set the Date and Time: Opt for a day that isn't too busy and avoids other commitments such as deliveries. The optimal time is usually either early morning before trading begins or after closure in the evening.
- Define the Team: Do you have your own equipment and staff? Do you require extra resources or professional services? Perhaps you need an external company to handle the entire process or simply support your existing team, Scanmatix provides a variety of options for all your needs.
- Run Down Stock: As your stock levels reduce think about planning your stocktake. Counting is easier with lower stock levels and avoids having to open full boxes unless necessary. Try to schedule larger deliveries for after your stocktake. A little bit of planning will greatly reduce the effort needed.
- Make Barcodes Accessible: Ensure that all areas where stock may be kept are inventoried. Including; offices, canteens, staffrooms, tills, safes and under-shelving units. Items found even in these unusual places should be counted during the stocktake and are often missed.
- Ensure all Items Scan: Ensure that all items scan properly at your till. Implement PLUs (price look-up code) for any items that need them and confirm that all codes and prices are marked on shelf edge labels. To avoid errors, ensure all your products are neatly stacked in rows with clearly viewable barcodes. The stock should be presented in a way that is easy for the stocktakers to count.
- Batch All Stock Areas: Assign every bay of stock with a numbered area label. These labels should run sequentially for ease of location tracking and identifying missing items.
- Decide on Special Cases: Deliveries, returns, damages, credits, deposits, holds, out-of-date stock, concessions, sale or return items – all these types of special case stock should be considered and a decision made on whether to include in the count or not.
- Decide the Type of Count: Most items should always be single scanned, while others can be multi-scanned. If you intend to update stock levels post-stocktake, discuss with your EPOS provider and stocktakers in advance.
- Export your Product File: This should be uploaded to the scanners for the stocktake. Remember, do this after you have set up all items and PLUs as any products added after exporting will not scan during your stocktake.
- Staffing During Stocktake: Make sure you have adequate staff during your stocktake to maintain your usual retail operations. Stocktakes can be carried out during trading hours. If you're counting in the morning, count the most regularly sold items first to avoid sales of items not yet counted. If counting in the evening, start with the stockroom and move to the shop floor when the store closes.
- Final Check: Conduct a final walk around to double-check that everything is counted before the stocktake is considered complete.
By following these guidelines, your stocktake should run smoothly and accurately. Always remember, however, that every business is unique, with individual requirements shaping the type of stocktake needed. There are many elements to a stocktake and we're here to help guide you through each one. If you need assistance or advice don't hesitate to get in touch with Scanmatix. We're on hand to make your stocktaking as efficient and painless as possible.