Written by our very own Cristian Garcia, One Step Retail Solutions Implementation Specialist

We know that performing a physical inventory can be challenging and time consuming. Sometimes it requires closing stores for business, bringing in outside staff to help with counts, renting equipment, paying overtime, and working very long hours. Preparation is the key to a successful physical inventory. One Step would like to help you prepare for a smooth physical inventory and minimized issues by recommending the following tips.

Tips for conducting the perfect physical inventory:

  1. The physical inventory count should be done while stores are closed, if possible. If not possible, please consult with One Step Retail Solutions for special instructions prior to starting the physical count.
  2. Stop inter-store transfers at least 3 days before the start of the physical inventory in order to allow transfers to reach their destination before the start of the physical. If using transfer verification, finalize match and updating of all transfers prior to starting the physical counts.
  3. Make sure all recently received merchandise has been entered into the system as received, tagged and is preferably out of the box. This will avoid unnecessary delays.
  4. If you have a multi-store environment, start a manual communication cycle to send any pending documents from corporate to store and vice versa. Confirm that the inventory counts at corporate and the store match before starting the physical. If they still do not match, initialize or force the inventory counts to match. Never start the physical until the counts are matched between corporate and a store.
  5. Print / save / export* On Hand reports at corporate and stores. This will aid in the analysis of any possible issues at a later time, should they arise.
  6. Print / save/ export* Error reports and attempt to resolve errors. Do not continue until all errors have been identified and fixed or removed for later handling.
  7. Print / save / export* Discrepancy reports and attempt to resolve all discrepancies. This is your overage or shrinkage report.
  8. Do not update your physical inventory until all items above have been counted.
  9. Update physical inventory.
  10. Conduct another manual communication cycle between corporate and stores, verifying that the counts match once again. Print / save / export* On Hand reports at corporate and stores. This will aid in the analysis of any possible issues at a later time, should they arise.
  11. Consult with your software vendor if there are any special tasks at the end of a physical inventory, such as setting up a milestones.

* We recommend exporting to excel or alternate application in order to be able to sort the data.

Note: We always recommend you schedule time with your Implementation Specialist for a walkthrough of all steps about a week before you are to perform the counts. This will ensure you are well prepared for your physical inventory. Spending approximately one hour with your consultant could save you many hours of work trying to correct errors after the fact or perhaps even having to do the physical inventory all over again, if it fails.

Wishing you a wonderful physical inventory season!