Inventory How To and What Not
It's that time of year when we pull out the books and check off what we have and mark what we need! Taking inventory can be a hectic time and we would like to help make it a little easier with a few simple tips. We know all businesses are different so this may not apply directly to you but we hope this helps nonetheless!
Take the initial inventory count yourself. There is no substitute for seeing what you have on your shelves and in your cooler as baseline knowledge for managing your business and supervising inventory control.
Set up a software-based inventory control system. Even if your business is small, you could have a few dozen items, and larger businesses could have several hundred. A great thing about software-based inventory systems is the automatic calculation feature.
Maintain accurate inventory records throughout the year by making it company policy. Daily or near-real-time inventory counts will make year end inventory proceedures less hectic.
If possible, involve two people when taking inventory. Two sets of eyes make it less likely that anything will be missed during the count, it is also a good general safety and anti-loss measure.
Confirm expected usage and investigate significant variances. Variances are part of every business and are unavoidable. Variances could be caused by seasonal trends, but they could also be caused from unexpected usage or theft and should be investigated.
Now that we know how to make things a little easier, let's focus on things to avoid.
- Avoid too much inventory. Being afraid running out of an item is natural but can leave you with a lot of unnecessary inventory that sits on the shelf and either expires or gets damaged.
- Avoid using simple spreadsheets like Excel or Lotus 123. This may seem like a natural way to take inventory but files like these can be easily altered or deleted. Refer back to Step 2 to correct this.
- Avoid not having a back up plan. With everything today being computer based it is easy to "make a copy" of your files, but if for some reason your computer crashes or there is an accident you need to have access to your files on a different drive, such as a removable thumb drive. (tip - store this in a safe location away from your business)
We hope you find these tips helpful and that they make your year end inventory a little easier!
PALMER FOODSERVICE CASH AND CARRY WILL CLOSE AT NOON DECEMBER 12, 2014 FOR INVENTORY!