Year-End or Year-Start Inventory Counting in E-Commerce

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Best practices to make your product count twice as fast and half as expensive

Accurate inventory counting is not only a tax accounting requirement but it is also crucial for the success of E-Commerce companies, as it helps to ensure that products are available for customers to purchase, and prevents overstocking or stockouts.

Here are the top 8 best practices in general inventory counting for E-Commerce companies:

  1. Set up a regular schedule for inventory counting. This should be done on a regular basis, such as quarterly, half-yearly or yearly, to ensure that your inventory records are up-to-date and accurate.

  2. Develop a checklist for counting inventory. This will help to ensure that all items are counted and that nothing is missed.

  3. Assign a team for counting inventory. A dedicated team will ensure that the inventory counting process is efficient and accurate. If you are counting inventory by hand you will need more people than if you use a digital system.

  4. Use a barcode scanning system. This will help to speed up the counting process and reduce errors.

  5. Cross-check the physical inventory with the inventory records in your E-Commerce platform (Shopify, Woocommerce, Magento), or your account software (Quickbooks, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics). This will help to identify any discrepancies and ensure that your records are accurate.

  6. Train your team on how to properly count and handle inventory. This will ensure that they are able to accurately count items and identify any issues that may arise.

  7. Conduct inventory counts during non-peak hours. This will minimize disruption to your warehouse operations and reduce the risk of errors.

  8. Invest in a cloud-based warehouse management system. This will enable you to easily access your inventory records from anywhere, and will also help to automate your inventory counting process.

Why your general inventory count is easier with a cloud-based Warehouse Management System: 

  1. ​​Easier inventory tracking: A WMS can make tracking inventory levels much easier by providing real-time inventory data and automating manual processes such as data entry, inventory counting, and replenishment, making the process more efficient and accurate.

  2. Streamlined counting process: With a WMS, inventory counts can be done in a fraction of the time and with fewer errors by using barcode scanning technology and eliminating manual counting, streamlining the process and reducing the need for personnel.

  3. Automated inventory management: A WMS can manage inventory levels and movements automatically, ensuring that stockouts and overstocking are avoided, this will not only make the process more efficient but also help in maintaining an accurate inventory level.

  4. Improved reporting capabilities: A WMS can provide detailed inventory reports, which can be useful for compliance, inventory monitoring, and decision-making, improving the understanding of inventory operations and easing financial and legal compliance.

Overall, using a WMS for general inventory counts can make the process much easier by providing real-time inventory data, automating manual processes, and reducing the time and the need of personnel, while providing the information needed for compliance and decision-making.

Some advanced benefits of a modern Warehouse Management System like PULPO WMS are for example:

  1. Creating counting tasks in batch, based on position criteria or otherwise if required.

  2. Maintaining an overview of the exact dates positions were last counted, ensuring to be compliant with audit requirements.

In summary, it is crucial for E-Commerce companies to have accurate inventory counting to prevent overstocking or stockouts. By following these best practices, and investing in a cloud-based warehouse management system, companies can improve the efficiency and accuracy of their inventory counting processes, and ultimately ensure their business success.