An Expert Guide to Stocktaking and Inventory Accuracy
Having problems with inventory accuracy is one of the most common problems faced by retailers. If you this issue can be solved by implementing additional technologies or systems, you are wrong. Although retailers implement various tips and tricks, they cannot eradicate the accuracy issues in stocktaking and inventory. This is primarily because of implementation issues.
Poor implementation system might worsen the inventory accuracy situations. If you are planning to implement additional systems to achieve accuracy, we want you to think again. VGNC has extensive experience in the retail industry which allows us to isolate best practices. As trusted experts, we suggest that you need to get your basics right before adding anything new.
In this article, we will give you a guide to streamlining your basics to achieve inventory accuracy. Let’s get back to basics.
If you are trying to list down the basic aspects to maintain higher levels of accuracy, you will see that it might not include any revolutionary verticle rather all the essentials. These essentials of precision in inventory include - process definition, procedure documenting, building right approach and attitude, training, testing, monitoring, standard setting, tracking, physical verification and counting, accountability and rechecking.
Today, we will discuss some essential steps that can either make or break your implementation process. Before we go ahead and discuss where you can make changes, you need to analyze your inventory and its procedures to identify risks and flaw points. Take your time to analyze your inventory function without rushing to make changes. Immediate or quick fix approach will prove to be damaging to your business.
After you have identified areas for improvement, you can easily implement the following tips:
Your attitude towards accuracy influences the perception of your employees towards it. Your effort can make accuracy an integral and crucial part of your business. Your approach can guide your employees to focus on quality and accuracy at all levels performance and decision making.
If you do not define processes clearly, you will struggle to improve your inventory procedure and cycle as a whole. When you define your inventory processes, you will be able to identify areas of possible error. Process definition also helps in implementing changes to eliminate or reduce the errors.
The documentation of procedures will help you to maintain inventory integrity. Retailers limit their documentation to inventory issues which is a wrong method. To maintain inventory accuracy, you must document complete procedures which includes quality control, physical verification, and safety. When you comprehensively document the complete procedure, you get the clear view of inventory. You also need to write down the specific responsibility of employees doing a specific task at any point in the process.
Right staffing can optimize your inventory procedures and help you to achieve better accuracy. Apart from selecting right employees to carry out specific jobs, you need to provide them training to help them understand the inventory procedures.
Even though you have defined your procedures and trained your employees to perform specific jobs, you must monitor the process for compliance. Monitoring will not only help you to identify the activities which do not comply with the defined procedures but also pick out steps that are hindering the accuracy.
Without a proper set of standards, it might be difficult for everyone involved in the inventory procedure to follow a path of minimum accuracy. If you have standards wherever feasible, you can ensure inventory accuracy. This is because standards help you to compare the job performed and be critical so that errors are corrected.
If you want to achieve high levels of inventory accuracy, you need to track the accuracy. Tracking is a tool that facilitates the improvement of both people and procedures. By tracking accuracy and communicating your tracking results to your employees, you can build an effective system within your organization.
If you implemented all the basic tips and you think you have achieved accuracy, think again. All the above tips do not make your inventory accurate. Not necessarily. Why? It is simple. There will be people and points where the errors or glitches can occur and ruin the accuracy level of your inventory. Physical counting and verification are important tools that are helpful in boosting inventory accuracy especially, cycle counting.
The tips we discussed will ensure that your processes are working in the right direction but without disciplinary action, it will not be effective. By defining responsibility and accountability, you can help your employees to make conscious decisions.
These are some basic implements that will ensure the integrity and accuracy of your inventory. To maintain the value of your inventory, audit and rechecking is important. Regular revaluating of your inventory processes and procedures help in providing a clear direction of your inventory and also identify the areas of enhancements.