Warehouse Preparation for a Stock Count


The accuracy of the warehouse stock count will depend in a large part on the layout of the stock 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 organised the warehouse is (organised stock locations, tidiness).
  • How well the boxes and stock are labelled.
  • How many staff are available to do the initial count, recount(s) and any spot check audits.
  • The level of stock movement there is going to be during the count process.

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

  • When is the warehouse stock 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 stock 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 stock count?
  • How will you identify that a section of a warehouse has been counted?
  • How will you identify that all stock has been counted? (Visual check of the Warehouse)
  • Always consider consignment stock:
    • Do you have stock consigned out to customers?
    • Do you have stock consigned to you from suppliers?
    • Do you have consignment stock to go to stores?
    • How will you be identifying these stock items and reporting on these stock items?

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

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

Good Luck with your warehouse stock count.

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