The allure of switching to cycle counting may have you in overdrive, rushing to make a big change and start saving money today. However, successful cycle counting programs require great care and consideration to pull off smoothly. Here are a few tips from the experts that will help you get off on the right foot.
Set a Reasonable Timeline
It takes time to get all of the components in place for a cycle counting program. This includes setting up your software, deciding how to organize your counts, and putting together the personnel to manage the counts day to day. If you don't give yourself enough time, you will end up going over budget trying to make things happen, or you will miss your deadlines altogether. This is a bad way to get your cycle counting program off the ground. Instead, leave yourself plenty of time, work diligently and aim to come in under budget and ahead of schedule.
Hire a Company to Train
Investing in training is one of the best ways to ensure you see real ROI on the switch to cycle counting. Trainers will walk your staff through all of the software, as well as the best counting techniques and the best ways to catch errors. Their expertise in this area can be invaluable to your staff once they're out on the warehouse floor alone. They can also offer additional training on a recurring basis as you expand your cycle count program and add new features.
Simplify the Documentation of the Processes
The best way to begin is to chart your process flow, from the moment you log in in the morning to the last recount of the day. Which reports need to be run and when? Who will be responsible for running them and reviewing them? What happens if there is an error? Many of your reports may be handled digitally, but perhaps others will need to be printed out. Decide which ones you really need to keep on hand and for how long. Try not to overcomplicate things by requiring too many reviews by too many people. The more complicated your paper trail, the harder it is to focus on actual counting.
These are the three areas of startup that usually require the most attention. Missing the mark on any one of these can be a big setback both short and long term. It is best to work with a consultant during the planning stages who can guide you through implementation with fair and reasonable expectations of what will happen next.