PUBLISHED 20 APRIL 2023
As businesses grow and expand, it becomes increasingly important to maintain accurate records of inventory. It is especially crucial in the warehousing and logistics industries where accuracy and security of stock is expected and taken for granted by customers. This is where stock taking, stock checks, and perpetual inventory come into play, three terms that are often misunderstood, but services that we are always happy to provide at Clydebuilt Business Solutions.
Stock taking refers to the physical counting of all items in a business’s inventory at a specific point in time. This is typically done on an annual or biannual basis, and involves counting, and recording each item to ensure that the inventory records match the actual number of items in stock. Stock taking can be a time-consuming process that requires careful planning and coordination to avoid disrupting normal operations, something that CBS can help with through the reporting and scanning capabilities of LocateIT.
Stock checks, on the other hand, are more frequent and less formal than stock taking. They involve checking a small sample of inventory items on a regular basis to ensure that the inventory records are accurate. Stock checks can be done daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on the needs of the business. Again, this is a task that is made easier through the LocateIT WMS and Barcode Scanning, with training being provided to allow for this regular undertaking to be carried out in-house with minimal disruption. We always recommend to customers that they check the most “popular” locations first (pick faces, for example) as they are the most prone to discrepancy.
Perpetual inventory is a system that allows businesses to keep track of their inventory levels in real-time. This is achieved through the use of software that automatically updates inventory records as items are received, sold, or transferred. Perpetual inventory eliminates the need for traditional regular stock taking and allows businesses to quickly identify discrepancies between inventory records and actual inventory levels. It is commonly part of a 3PL’s agreement with their customer to perform PI checks and present documentation of the results.
There are several benefits to implementing a perpetual inventory system. First and foremost, it allows businesses to keep track of their inventory levels in real-time, which can help them make better decisions about ordering and stocking. Additionally, perpetual inventory can help reduce the risk of stockouts and overstocking, which can lead to lost sales and increased carrying costs. At CBS we have developed an add-on application that can be run alongside our WMS to allow users to run a Perpetual Inventory system, should it be required for their business.
Stock taking, stock checks, and perpetual inventory are all important tools for maintaining accurate inventory records and preventing stock discrepancies. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right approach depends on factors such as the size of the inventory, the frequency of sales and replenishment, and the level of risk and cost associated with stock errors. However, by implementing a combination of all three – which is made easier by the tried and tested LocateIT WMS – companies can optimise their inventory management and ensure smooth operations.
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