Cycle counting is an innovative solution for retailers who find themselves growing quickly and struggling to maintain accurate inventory counts. In addition, cycle counting offers a more convenient means of handling inventory counts without disrupting business for a full day or several days. However, there are a few things you should consider before you run out and try to implement a cycle counting program on your own.
Do You Have a Plan to Categorize Your Products?
The key to cycle counting is not trying to count every product in your warehouse at one time. Instead, you need to categorize your products into different levels according to their value and demand. High demand and high value items should be counted at least quarterly, while middle-range products should be counted less frequently, and low demand items can be counted once a year. Before you attempt to roll out your cycle count, you need to gather all available data about product volume and sort items into A, B and C groups.
Can You Work Cycle Counts Into Your Day?
You must make time to perform your cycle counts every single day. Some companies try to get by doing cycle counts once a week or once a month, but quickly find that even monthly counts do not produce consistent enough results. For the best results, you should make sure you can work cycle counts into your daily schedule, even if only a few items a day.
Is Your Warehouse Setup for Cycle Counting?
In order for a cycle count to be successful, your warehouse needs to be properly setup. First and foremost, you need to have software that is conducive to cycle counts. Your software should have a means for scheduling and dispatching cycle count orders efficiently. It should also have a system for making adjustments for items that are taken out of areas that you are currently counting. Finally, your warehouse needs to be clean enough for quick counts. A messy warehouse adds significant time to each individual count and can put you behind schedule.
Implementing a cycle count system is not to be taken lightly. You need to be fully committed to keeping up with your schedule and your organization. Before you begin, make sure you have the personnel and the training time to launch the system successfully and get it off to the best possible start.