How to do an Inventory Count

Performing a physical inventory count in three steps.

Chris avatar
Written by Chris
Updated over a week ago

Step 1: Pick a method, add products

If you haven't already, take the 30-second quiz below. This will help us determine the best option to get you going in the right direction:

Overall, we highly recommend Stocktakes for routine cycle counts and all-encompassing inventory counts for lots of reasons, including:

  • Option to scan to add products or add them manually.

  • The ability to split up your inventory into smaller chunks.

  • A paper trail of all the changes made to make it easy to pinpoint any potential counting mistakes made along the way.

Pro Tip

Use Stocktakes to perform the count, and then use our Stocktake Discrepancy Report to tell you exactly how much the changes affected your bottom line.

In addition, our Due For Stocktake Report tells you what has yet to be counted.

If you're using Stocktakes, you've got two options for adding your products:

  1. Scan products, and they will be automatically added to the Stocktake.

  2. Manually pre-load your Stocktake with products using the "Add Products" button.

There's a limit of 10,000 SKUs per Stocktake. If you are over (or close to) that amount or have multiple scanners, we recommend breaking your inventory into multiple Stocktakes.

This will make it easier for multiple people to help count and also keep things more organized. For example, you could split up the Stocktakes by category, alphabetically, aisles 1-5, whatever makes the most sense for you and your setup.

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If you prefer a reconciliation worksheet, bulk upload spreadsheet, or Barcode
Scanner mobile app
, you'll start counting since all the products will be at your fingertips. For a more in-depth rundown on each of the Tools for Inventory Counts, please check out this article:

Depending on your chosen method, it is possible to divide and conquer, but you'll want to ensure you have a process in place so you aren't entering partial counts or overwriting a co-worker's progress.


Step 2: Start counting

You can start scanning if you're using Stocktakes and have an external barcode scanner. Each scan will count as a +1 to the respective product scanned.

If you don't have a scanner for your Stocktakes or are going off the reconciliation worksheet/bulk upload spreadsheets, you can start manually counting products.

Depending on the size, how your inventory is arranged, and how many counters you have, there are other ways to attack an Inventory Count. One preferred option is printing multiple physical copies of your selected counting method (Stocktakes, bulk upload, or reconciliation worksheet). You can divvy up the pages to employees and start counting. It helps to have one master copy where all the counts will be tallied or consolidated before submission.

Again, there are many options, so don't hesitate to get creative or ask us!

With the Barcode Scanner App, you can scan barcodes from your mobile device and reconcile any counts!


Step 3: Submit your counts!

Once your Stocktake(s) is complete, you can either submit it for approval by a manager or, if you have the correct permission, approve and submit the counts.

For the reconciliation worksheet, we recommend entering any discrepancies using a Stocktake. That way, it will appear in the reports mentioned in the next section.

For any bulk upload methods, you can make the changes on the spreadsheet and import those counts.

On the Barcode Scanner App, you'll submit edits as you count your inventory.


Reporting

If you used Stocktakes and all your counts are submitted and approved, you can use the Due for Stocktake Report to ensure all products were counted. To see all the changes made, refer to the Stocktake Discrepancy Report for loss tracking.

The Inventory Change Report will show all the adjustments made regardless of the counting method. This report will also pick up on sales and deductions, so set the time range accordingly.


Having issues deciding?

  1. Take the 30-second quiz below to help determine the best option to get you going in the right direction.

  2. If you still have questions, schedule a call with our Customer Care Team to ensure you have a game plan!

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