Transform Your Next Stock Take With Our Top Tips

Are you dreading the end of year stocktake? It’s probably one of the worst jobs you have to do each year; it costs time and money as well as a lot of staff resources. But what if you could save some of that time and expense? What if you could make the whole process more streamlined and accurate along the way?

Why do I need to stock take?
Firstly; you need to value your stock for your end-of-year accounts. But there are further advantages to a stock take, so you can achieve various aims in one go; for example, by carrying out stock takes, you can identify any issues with your inventory.
Use the time it takes to stock take to see where you can improve your systems, such as matching deliveries with orders and accurately recording supplier returns and wastages. Taking some extra time now will help you become more efficient for the whole of the next year.


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What are the steps for stock take success?

  1. Decide on the type of stock take
  2. Confirm the resources required
  3. Stock take training
  4. Plan your counting
  5. Deploy scanning devices
  6. Review first counts and schedule re-counts
  7. Double check everything
  8. Upload your totals
  9. Report on the outcomes

Why use scanning devices?

Scanning technology means that manual stock count sheets are not required. “No manual duplicate entry”, I hear you cry! This means that the stock records and current stock levels are in sync with your devices. From here, you are shown a list on screen of what to scan. When you scan each item, the system will check that the product you have selected is included in the current stock take.
Know exactly what needs to be counted
What’s nice is that it also removes each product from the ‘to be counted’ list each time you scan an item, so you always have a list containing just the products that are left to be counted. You can, of course, click to see what has already been counted and make a change if you entered the wrong amount first time around.
With some basic planning of your stock take, you can be on your way to a very successful (and less costly) stock take. Just follow our step-by-step guide:

1. Decide on the type of stock take

If you are approaching your end-of-year, then you’ll absolutely be planning to count all of your stock. But why not break down the rest of the trading year with end-of-periods (maybe quarterly) or line-checking.
Don’t leave everything until the end of the year
Not only does this identify any issues sooner but it also means that variances should be picked up along the way rather than accumulating at the end of the year.

2. Confirm the resources required

Gone are the days of needing double the amount of staff (one to count and one to record on manual count sheets) – now we are using technology to streamline this process. You just need some designated counters and someone to head them up.
Stocktake when you are closed for accurate results
It’s worth considering when’s the best time to cordon off and count stock as to have the least impact on your business. Ideally, you would perform your stock take outside of trading hours, if possible.

3. Stock take training

An essential part of any stock take is ensuring staff can hit the ground running. You can set up test stock takes and actively get staff scanning and entering counts. This way you can maximise the time you have, especially when counting all of your products in one go.

4. Plan your counting

Now that you know which stock items are to be counted when you are doing it, and who will be counting the stock, you need to ensure everyone is on the same page. Create a map of how staff should move around and count products, or better still, mark out each section with a numbered sticky note (sometimes the simple ideas are the best!).
Make sure you have enough staff in place
For larger spaces, it’s also a good idea to assign staff to sections, this way you can ensure they don’t cross over and count the same stock twice.

5. Deploy scanning devices

If you don’t use technology for this exercise, it will take longer…a lot longer. By now, you’ll have created your stock take, selected which products are to be counted, and deployed this to several tablet devices.
And – if stock isn’t spread across several areas – you can make things easier by creating multiple stock takes for each section, so staff can only see the relevant information at one time.

6. Review first counts and schedule re-counts

Once the stock take has been completed and you have your first counts, it’s time to make sure everything looks OK. Counted quantities can be compared to current in-stock quantities to make sure everything matches. If it doesn’t, you can decide what is a sensible variance for your products and then schedule a re-count of those items.
Don’t stop until you are 100% happy
You can repeat these process (ideally with separate staff counting each time) until you are satisfied the counts are within a realistic variance range.

7. Double-check everything

Before you finalise your stock take, you’re going to want to do one final check of your counts. This will ensure you identify and rectify any anomalies now, while you still have the staff resources in place, before you submit your final totals.

8. Upload your totals

Once you are 100% satisfied with the stock take process, you can upload and declare your stock count totals. This will form your closing stock valuation (if you are running an end-of-year stock take) and the basis to compare against current stock levels for variance reporting.

9. Report on the outcomes

Now that all your data is in one place you can analyse the results:

  • Firstly, you’ll want to know the stock valuation (current stock quantities multiplied by your stock costing method).
  • Secondly, you’ll want to look at variances. These can be broken down per product to see where your biggest variances lie.
  • Lastly, these reports will identify where the biggest stock losses lie. This will allow you to go back and see what may have


KCPOS’ integrated stock control software means you have a full overview of all your stock, with minimal manual input. This means that during stock takes, you can deploy our robust tablet devices, with integrated scanning, so that you can sync your product database and remove the need for manual stock count sheets.
See what’s happening during the stocktake
What’s more, you can also get a live view of everything that’s happening during the stocktake itself, there is no need to wait until the end to identify a potential issue.
We also provide fantastic solutions to synchronise your warehousing processes with your stock database. Get in touch with our experts to find out if KCPOS can help make your life easier during stock takes!

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