Perhaps you’ve been in a grocery store and heard the chirping sounds of the audit machines during an inventory count. Now that the counting has begun, there should be verifications taking place.
This can be done either electronically with verification machines, or with printed reports, which store personnel can use to review Areas or Sections. Any errors should be corrected and resolved immediately in order to ensure a timelier wrap-up at the end of the count.
There should also be certain controls placed on the store in order to help ensure the integrity of the count. For instance, if counting begins in a part of a store while it’s open (like a stockroom area), that area should be sealed off so that no items are removed until after the inventory is complete. Perhaps certain Sections are not to be included; they should have a DNI sign (for Do Not Inventory).
In a grocery environment where counting is done on the sales floor while customers are shopping, the store can apply “half-sales” to the inventory total at the end. To calculate half-sales, the store determines all sales that took place during the inventory counting process, takes 50% of that and this amount is the half-sales. It’s not 100% accurate, but it’s much closer than it would be if no half-sales were applied.
And before you know it you’re done! Almost. Once the reviews are conducted by the inventory service and store management personnel, any errors are reconciled, and every Section of every Area is accounted for, it’s time to review the final totals. The reports can have totals broken out by Store, Department, Area, Section, SKU, Description, Overrides, and entries that exceed the Tolerances. You can also see how the totals have gone up or down year over year within various locations of your store, and take the appropriate measures.
These kinds of controls, when performed during a live count, can go a long way to help ensure a more accurate and successful inventory count.