No one enjoys taking inventory. It’s a time-consuming process that is an unfortunate necessity when you have physical product to sell. While our inventory tips certainly aren’t going to make taking inventory fun, they will help you save time so you can get back to other tasks more quickly.
Tip 1: Put everything in a specific location. This adds to prep time but makes counting go much faster. Make sure all your products are marked and labeled so that when you begin counting the process can move smoothly. Hunting around your warehouse for stray items is not what you want to be doing at the end of an already long day of inventory.
Tip 2: Mark everything as you count it. A lot of people are going to be counting a lot of items, and without proper labeling employees may waste time counting products that are already accounted for. Invest in brightly colored tags or labels that you don’t use in your facility for anything except inventory. By having labeling supplies exclusively for inventory, you alleviate confusion and waste less time.
Tip 3: Consider who will do the counting carefully. Taking an accurate count of your inventory is extremely important. This is why you want experienced employees who know your products to be the ones doing the counting. This is also important because employees who are not familiar with a product may not know what unit of measure they should be using. If nothing else, you want at least a few experienced employees helping those employees with less experience.
Tip 4: Create a map of your facility. Once everything is laced in marked sections, create a visual so that it is easy to find each of these marked locations. Ideally you would sketch out all of your shelves and racks. This makes it easier to assign people to different sections, and can also act as a checklist. Sections of the map can be marked the day of inventory as each section is completed.
Tip 5: When it comes to small supplies, weigh them, don’t count them. No one has time to sit down and count every single piece of loose fill, individual poly bags, or hooks. For items like this, use a scale and weigh them instead. It’s not worth the time to count all these items, unless you already have a system in place.
Do you have any time-saving inventory tips to share? Let us know in the comments!