The benefits of cycle counting were discovered long ago, but the biggest challenge is how to manage the counting process day in and day out. It is easy to see how an ongoing inventory count could turn into a nightmare if you are relying on manual reporting methods. That's why the Warehouse Management System (WMS) has become an integral part of handling the difficulties of cycle counting, making this method more accessible to warehouses of all sizes.
The first step to take when implementing cycle counting in your warehouse is to categorize products by velocity. It would be a headache to go down your list each day and select items out of each category for counting. Instead, the WMS creates counting parameters for each category and uses those parameters to determine how many products from each category are counted throughout the day. In addition, since your WMS tracks other data within your warehouse, it can also help identify trends, enabling you to adjust which items fall into each category based on seasonal changes and other shifts in consumer behavior.
Your WMS will also be responsible for managing the overall timeline of your cycle count. For instance, if you need your entire warehouse counted every quarter, the WMS will track progress and adjust the daily counts to ensure that even your lowest velocity items make it in the count by the deadline.
Daily Sales Adjustments
In the past, inventory had to be completed during a time when sales were not being made. This is why so many warehouses stopped doing business for several days out of the year just to focus on inventory counting. While it's ideal that your cycle counting team completes their count early in the day before you're in full swing, the WMS will help make adjustments at the end of the day for any items that are taken out of bins between counts.
When you use all of the tools built into the WMS to run your inventory system, you will be able to eliminate a ton of waste. For instance, if you are doing blind recounts to verify accuracy, you don't want twice as much paperwork on your desk. With the WMS, you can handle all of the data digitally and minimize the amount of printed paper floating through your warehouse. Plus, if your counters are able to scan item barcodes or stock location barcodes instead of manually inputting numbers or even hand writing them, you will be able to drastically reduce your data entry labor.
You've already made the move to an advanced Warehouse Management System. Now is the time to take advantage of all the great perks that come with it. Your WMS has all the tools you need to launch a cycle counting program successfully, and the more you utilize these tools, the better your warehouse will run. With the help of the WMS, you will have a much better understanding of the inventory available in your warehouse at all times.