Warehouse Preparation for an Inventory Count


The accuracy of the warehouse inventory count will depend in a large part on the layout of the inventory items being counted, and how well organised the area is in which the items reside.

The integrity of the count is predominantly down to:

  • How organized the warehouse is (organized stock locations, tidiness).
  • How well the boxes and inventory are labeled.
  • How many staff are available to do the initial count, recount(s) and any spot check audits.
  • The level of inventory movement there is going to be during the count process.

If you use the following questions they will assist you in planning your warehouse inventory count:

  • When is the warehouse inventory count to be completed?
  • Is it going to be a full or partial count of the warehouse?
  • How long do you estimate it will take to complete the warehouse inventory count?
  • How long do you estimate it will take to input the count quantities and locations?
  • Will the business or warehouse be open or closed (are you considering counting over a weekend, over night, holiday or shutting down for the purpose of the count)?
  • What staff will be available to perform the count and be able to complete the data entry?
  • Who specifically will be in control of the distribution of count sheets/tags?
  • Will variance be required before or after the warehouse inventory count?
  • How will you identify that a section of a warehouse has been counted?
  • How will you identify that all inventory has been counted? (Visual check of the Warehouse)
  • Always consider consignment inventory:
    • Do you have inventory consigned out to customers?
    • Do you have inventory consigned to you from suppliers?
    • Do you have consignment inventory to go to stores?
    • How will you be identifying these inventory items and reporting on these inventory items?

The following list includes suggestions to assist you in your preparation of your warehouse for the warehouse inventory count:

  • Basic general housekeeping – tidy the warehouse to allow for easy access and clear passageways to allow ease of counting of any stacked inventory items.
  • Inventory locations – where possible, try to consolidate types of inventory into a single location.
  • Logical organization of count areas – by bin location, product code, sku (stock keeping unit), supplier’s product code, etc.
  • Clearly label inventory for easy identification by staff counting the inventory.
  • Remove any inventory not being counted from the inventory area such as damaged inventory awaiting return to the supplier or for disposal.

Good Luck with your warehouse inventory count.

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