Taking Stock: 5 Tips For Your Year-End Business Inventory Process

 December 18, 2013

The end of the year is a traditional time for businesses to count inventory, and if you’ve ever done it before, you probably made plenty of New Year’s resolutions for making it easier this time around. How do you achieve that? Hopefully, your company stayed organized throughout the year, but there are still important ways to make the process smoother. Try these tips to put your employees at ease and make sure your inventory count is as accurate as possible.


1. Use the Right Inventory Management Software


Many small businesses rely on Quickbooks, but the internet offers dozens of affordable alternatives. Find a program that fits the size and type of business you run. Inventory software will help you keep all your documents in one place and help operations run smoothly.


2. Stick to the Plan


Workers who are involved in your inventory count should know the precise procedure, and there should be no deviating from the schedule or the right way to do counts. Use tags to designate places that have been counted. Set goals for how long each area should take, and ensure totals are recorded properly.


3. Use Storage When Necessary


If you’re dealing with overstock or inventory located elsewhere, you could use storage units by Daffodil Storage or other companies to store and organize items that have already been counted. This also takes the pressure off your workers from having to count everything in a single night because overstock can be done in advance.


4. Minimize Stock Beforehand


Leading up to year-end inventory, many businesses have clearance sales or outbound shipments to reduce the amount of stock on hand. While excess stock can be put in storage locations like those on daffodilstorage.com and other companies’ sites, damaged items and outdated inventory may be eliminated altogether. Do a clean up before you ever start counting.


5. Keep in Mind Item Value


Don’t waste time assigning people to count every metal hook or plastic hanger. Some items are not worth the time it takes it count them. Instead, find alternative methods of measuring them such as using digital scales or counting by containers instead of individually. Focus on keeping track of high end merchandise before you even think about small equipment.


Inventory is never fun, but with the right plan and the tools you need, you can make your year-end tallies as painless as possible. Above all, pay attention to what works and what doesn’t, so you can make some new resolutions for next year.

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