Cycle counting may sound simple enough to implement, but you'll find that it takes constant vigilance to get great results. There are always a few things you could be doing better. That's why we've put together a list of tips and tricks to help you make the most of your new system.
Know Why You're Doing It
In order for your cycle count to produce consistent, measurable improvements you must first know what you're looking for and why you're making the change. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the benefits of cycle counting, and train your team members on the subject as well. This will help everybody to focus when it comes to the real payout.
When In Doubt, Count More!
If you're unsure of how long a complete cycle should take, or how often you want your products to be counted, you should always opt for more. Frequent counts provide you with more consistent and reliable data to work from. You can use that data to categorize and prioritize products later on, but you definitely don't want to leave products uncounted for extended periods of time.
Put Somebody in Charge
Inventory doesn't have to be their only task, but you definitely want a centralized person to turn to when there are questions. In addition, this person needs to be highly organized and able to handle the changing needs of the cycle counting team. Putting a single person in charge of this typically results in the most consistent cycle counts from month to month.
Plan for the Future
Ideally, your business will grow with time. As that happens, you will need more resources to keep up with your cycle counting. This includes both technology and staffing. Make sure that your budget is in your future plans so your cycle counting system doesn't get bogged down during the most important periods of expansion.
These four tips are enough to get you well on your way to a successful cycle counting program. Just because you've implemented a cycle counting program doesn't mean your work is done. There are plenty of areas left for improvement and further expansion as your business requires growth and and more changes. Make sure you have a trustworthy individual at the helm to lead your team to success and keep everybody focused on the real rewards of this system.