Inventorying stock is for many companies a thorn in the flesh. Comparing the theoretical stocks and the actual stocks, could lead to large stock discrepancies. Read more in this blog on how to reduce these stock discrepancies.
How do stock discrepancies appear?
There are plenty of causes for stock discrepancies. At the inbound process it is possible that more or less goods are delivered than specified on the packing slip, what could be overlooked by the administration. Or damage that is not depreciated. It also happens that returns are not written back into the stock. Finally, theft is still present in almost every warehouse.
A stock count is frequently planned at the end of the (financial ) year, to make sure the stock on the balance sheet is accurate. Larger companies often do this monthly or every quarter, because the inventory turnover is, of course, a lot faster. It is also possible that companies plan counts in the warehouse at quiet moments.
Making an inventorying plan
To manage a inventory count, you will need a inventorying plan. Who will count what goods, how much time it may take, what resources are available and how the employees will be informed. Then there is the option of counting with scanners or on paper. A proper preparation is very important, to reduce errors during counting.
Reducing stock discrepancies
Many companies that contact WICS, are still working in a 'paper environment', without RF scanning. In the first meeting, we often have the discussion about the added value of scanners. To reduce stock discrepancies, scanners are the solution.
First of all, the use of scanners for inbound, storage and outbound of goods, will reduce administrative errors. Differences between the packing slip and the actual delivered goods, can simply be rectified by an authorized user, just like write-offs in case of damage. With scanners you are able to log all activities all and check them afterwards, so that theft is easier to discover. This leads to a reduction of stock discrepancies.
Scanners also provide Cycle Counting during the order picking process. Cycle Counting is a technique where the theoretical stock is under a certain amount. For example, when there should only be 6 in stock, the scanner states this amount and it can be checked immediately. That way there is continuous inventorying and the stock discrepancies are reduced.
Finally, a careful outbound check could reduce the differences in stock as well. At the outbound check picking errors can be noticed and immediately be adjusted in a RF dialogue. This could lead to a new picking assignment, which the system will process and that way the stock stays accurate.
How does inventorying work within WICS?
Within the WICS WMS it is, obviously, possible to manage inventorying counts. Despite the fact that many WICS clients use Cycle Counting, periodically counts are still used. With the WICS software it is possible to count each warehouse (when there are multiple warehouses), per zone, clients or item group. Counts based on stock status, like custom goods or blocked goods, belong to the possibilities.