Why Counting Inventory Matters – Especially Now
Guest blog post from Scanco, a leader in Warehouse Management and Manufacturing Automation barcoding technology
Every day, the Scanco team talks to distributors who all share a common challenge: they don’t have time for counting inventory from scratch, so they rely on small-scale, informal counts, done infrequently. These distributors know that they’ll need to perform a full inventory count—and soon—but they’re dreading the time and cost it’ll take. They need a faster, more accurate method for counting inventory.
Today’s Warehouses Have a Need for Speed
Since those folks over at Amazon keep increasing the pace of distribution, accurate inventory counts have become a necessity for distributors who want to meet or exceed customer expectations. After all, if a customer orders the last in-stock item from your warehouse, they expect to have it within no more than five days. If your inventory counts are inaccurate and you don’t have the product the customer orders, it may be impossible for you to source and send the product on time.
The trend toward light-speed shipping applies even if you’re not an FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) partner with Amazon; like it or not, customer expectations have shifted and companies that can’t keep up with the pace will quickly fall behind.
Falling Behind Can Have Severe Consequences
In the competitive eCommerce environment, anything less than perfect order fulfillment can be a danger to your company. If one missing stock item delays your schedule and upsets the buyer, you won’t only lose a customer, you’ll miss out on uncountable potential lost sales due to that buyer’s bad review.
Is a Full Inventory Count Necessary?
Speaking of “uncountable,” we were talking about your inventory. While it certainly isn’t uncountable, the fact that you’re reading this means you know you need a better, faster way to complete your process for counting inventory.
Distributors often call us looking for a solution that helps them with:
- Insurance claims and valuation
None of us can predict disasters, but the best way to protect your business from devastating loss after a fire, earthquake, tornado, hurricane, or other natural disaster is to have an accurate record of everything you had, down to the very last item. A full inventory count provides you with peace of mind that your numbers are correct at all times.
- Holiday demand planning
As in-store retail sales continue to decline and online shopping increases, distributors have been feeling the pinch in the lead up to the holidays. Whereas the holiday season used to be a relatively short rush period with predictable inventory needs, the holidays now seem to be one long, sustained dash to the finish line that lasts the entire quarter. If you know your complete counts before crunch time, you’ll be better prepared to handle those inevitable last-minute demands.
- Tax time
Maximizing your deductions is critical if you want to balance today’s tight margins to maintain profitability, but without up-to-date information on your inventory counts, you’ll be unable to account for lost and damaged items. With Scanco’s ERP-integrated barcode-scanning software, you can easily count anything in your warehouse at tax time, including your fixed assets.
Expert tip: Since Scanco is fully integrated with your Sage 100 system, you can save extra hours by automatically flowing your counted fixed assets to your fixed asset management software that’s also integrated with your Sage system.
- Productivity enhancements
Warehousing best practices suggest that popular items should be stored in a convenient, easy-to-reach place so you can reduce the time it takes for your employees to pick, pack, and ship that item repeatedly as orders come in throughout the day. But consumer trends change quickly. If your fidget spinners are far from your pick wall because you didn’t realize the trend would take off, you may be losing out on productivity. If you dread counting inventory, it’ll be hard to move your inventory.
The Benefits of Counting Inventory Using Barcodes
If you haven’t had the time for a full inventory count lately, you’ll be pleased to learn that Scanco has developed Scanco Counts, a tool that can improve your inventory counting speed by 75% while also increasing your:
- Cost effectiveness
Boost Your Competitive Edge
Building productivity by counting inventory may seem like a backwards concept—but only to companies that haven’t experienced the speed and accuracy of barcode inventory tools. Not only do these tools help you perform an initial full inventory count faster and easier, they also help you maintain greater inventory accuracy throughout time because they can reduce or eliminate issues resulting from human error.
Whether your warehouse is shipping solely to retailers, fulfilling customer-driven Amazon orders, selling online through your own web store, or accepting mail and phone orders, the relentless modern pace of the logistics industry makes accurate inventory counts crucial—while simultaneously taking away the little time you had to perform inventory counts.
Since 1989, Scanco has helped distributors make the most of their time with ERP-integrated warehouse automation software. Contact Scanco online or call us at (877) SCANCO-1 to learn more about how your warehouse can succeed with innovative tools that integrate your ERP.