Full vs. Partial Inventory Counts

Typically when we talk about inventories it means a Full Inventory where a crew of auditors goes into a store, counts everything in that store, and goes home. The data is captured electronically and transmitted to the store IT department, numbers are evaluated, shrink is detected, and basically the store performs a “re-set” based on that count.

But what if you don’t need the entire store counted? Perhaps there are only certain areas of your store(s) with high shrink due to theft, shipping issues, damages, etc. What do you do?

There are basically two types of inventory management, “Periodic” and “Perpetual”. A Periodic system of inventory management is less precise and is based on occasional, semi-annual or annual physical inventory counts of everything in the building. A Perpetual system uses tools like point-of-sale tracking to help determine inventory balances in real-time.

If you’re using a Periodic method, you need Full Inventory counts. For a Perpetual method, you have the flexibility of using either Full or Partial inventory counts. Perhaps some areas of your stores are low-shrink, while others are high-shrink. It makes sense to have regular Partial counts of the high-shrink areas to help you pin down what is causing that shrink. These Partial counts can also be used to help pull Merchandise-Out-Of-Stock off of the salesfloor, without having to conduct a full wall-to-wall count.