11 tips for doing inventory the right way

Doing inventory. It’s unpopular, but necessary. Here are a few tips for managing this necessary evil!

1. Tidy warehouse, tidy inventory

Albert Einstein once said: “It takes a genius to master chaos” – so if your whole team is made up of Nobel Prize winners, a chaotic warehouse will be no problem for them. However, if that’s not the case, doing inventory will be a whole lot easier if you organize your warehouse. Quite a few of our customers have jumped at the opportunity to reorganize their warehouse and start using codes when introducing AUTOSCAN.

2. Finish orders and claims beforehand

In ideal circumstances, you can “freeze” your warehouse during inventory, so that there are no overlaps leading to wrong numbers in the system!

3. Put one person in charge

Just like with projects in general, one person should be “the responsible one” who keeps track of things. Nobody wants to hear “Oh, I thought you were handling that …”  on the day of doing inventory.

4. Plan ahead

Doing inventory requires a detailed plan: Who works in what area at what time?

If you are still doing inventory with pen and paper, two-person teams are advisable – one person counts the items, the other one ticks them off on the list. Have them switch roles throughout the day so they don’t get too tired. Pro tip: If you have new employees in your team, pair them up with a seasoned team member.

A scanner solution like AUTOSCAN makes everything a lot easier: Instead of a team of two, you just need one person with a scanner who quickly processes the inventory count list (read more about doing inventory with AUTOSCAN in our article).

5. Prepare all needed materials

Imagine your team all chomping at the bit, ready to start doing inventory – and then the printer goes on strike and the inventory count lists cannot be printed. Or the AUTOSCAN scanners need to be charged. Or your team spends a lot of inventory time looking for small items like folding yardsticks, scales or cutters. Let the frustration fest begin!

6. Short count lists make happy employees

In our experience it’s a good idea to keep inventory count lists rather short. Finishing a count list gives your employees a small feeling of achievement and motivates them to continue. There’s also a little break while switching from one list to the next which helps to boost concentration.

7. Discuss the plan

Look at the plan together with your team – maybe there are things that should be clarified before you start. A classic question: What exactly is to be counted? E.g. the box or the 12 items inside?

8. Create a hub

As mentioned above: Don’t let your team members run around looking for things they need. Set up a location where all materials and information can be found.

9. Offer refreshment

The easiest way to keep spirits up is good food! Provide enough drinks, snacks, coffee and a lunch. Buy a round of delicious pizza and turn the inventory into a small team event!

10. Follow-up

What worked well? And even more importantly: What didn’t work well? Record this information – it will be invaluable next time!

11. Use AUTOSCAN

You know what’s coming: We HAVE to recommend our scanner solution. But we have a good reason: AUTOSCAN makes the whole process of doing inventory so much easier – just look at our comparison to find out why AUTOSCAN can save you up to 70 percent of overall time when doing inventory!

Talk to us!

We hope that our tips will make your life easier the next time you are doing inventory! If you want to know more about AUTOSCAN and how it can help you (doing inventory and much more), contact us!