As the years go by, it surely has to be a fact Christmas just comes round faster and faster each year. Well, in percentage terms, if you consider it takes 25% of your life from age 3 to 4 before you see Santa again, then it’s hard to argue against it!

As much planning as it is takes to make Christmas special, there is one annual event that has the potential to make scrooges out of most of us… the annual audit and associated stock take!

Stock taking should be continual. It should be easy.

Those lovely ladies and gents that will park themselves up from an array of well known firms to carefully inspect your books and make sure nothing smells off doesn’t often feature in the annual highlights reel.

Stock accuracy is a challenge for most businesses. Businesses start, they grow, they employee, people learn, some faster than others and they keep growing.

They move from a stockroom operation, perhaps into a small trading unit and then onto something they never dreamed they’d need. That is when things start to get really tough.

The reliable team in the warehouse suddenly start to get sloppy. Orders go out wrong, stock goes missing, things go out of date and the Managing Director and Finance Director start to get grumpy.

Guess what, that reliable team that started with you all those years ago are still a great team, they just need help with a job that has changed beyond all recognition from when they started doing it!

The warehouse should be viewed as the engine room of any distribution business and if it isn’t kept well oiled, its going to breakdown at some point.

Lack of investment in their systems is causing problems that no amount of re-training or Excel spreadsheets will fix.

Stock taking should not involve shutting down for days or opening over weekends with weeks of cold sweats before and after the final numbers come back.

Stock taking should be continual. It should be easy. It should be broken down into bite size stock taking chunks and made to be part of a daily job.

Despite the current Tour De France event gracing our TV’s (an annual event to look forward to for many!), cycle counting does not involve lining the streets with a flask of coffee waiting for Chris Froome to whizz past in his yellow jersey while you try and take a video on your smart phone!

Stock taking should not involve shutting down for days

Cycle counting is a term used to refer to counting stock on a regular basis in order to have a continuing extract throughout the year so that minor adjustments can be made on an on-going basis.

Cycle counting not only allows warehousing operations to make small regular adjustments, lessening the impact on the overall business performance, but also allows management to identify any repeat issues quickly with specific stock lines or even how are individuals handling those lines.

This real time, on-going information allows for businesses to constantly alter and improve their direction keeping them on track making tiny on-going improvements as they go.

Any die-hard cycling fan will know that part of the award winning strategy of the British Olympic team is to make small on-going improvements to very specific, almost unnoticed parts of their riding in order to promote better performance when you add all these minor parts together. Or at least so we are told by a friend who is currently in Paris waving his Union Jack wearing his Team SKY jumper!

This real time, on-going information allows for businesses to constantly alter and improve their direction

Stock taking is an integral part of the ClarusWMS application and can be delivered as a point solution to solve a specific problem or as part of a wider technology transformation of the warehousing operation supporting all functions of the including returns, goods in, picking, packing and shipping.

If you’d like to understand more about what Clarus’ range of software applications can offer your business, please leave us your contact details below and we’d be happy to get in touch.

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