In this article we will outline how to undertake an excellent stocktake which will deliver;

  • 100% accuracy
  • A process that will help you achieve a result and save you money
  • Less stress at the time of the stocktake

On a recent visit to a shop that was having difficulties with controlling their stock levels, it was clear to see why they were having so many problems.

They had undertaken their own stocktake at the beginning of the year and were still putting the finishing touches to it now … at the end of April.

After speaking with them for a few short minutes it was clear why they struggled with their stocktake

  • They don’t like doing the stocktake – no surprise here!
  • They closed their business so as to use all their staff to count for the day (which they had to do on a Sunday which increased their labour cost)
  • Their staff were not trained in using the scanners
  • Their staff didn’t want to do the stocktake
  • They rented scanners for the day – and several of them didn’t work
  • They were not prepared to put in time so as to prepare the store because staff can “arrange as they go”
  • No rechecks were undertaken on the day
  • There were many people in charge on the day
  • When it uploaded the results to their EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale) it wasn’t correct as deliveries and sales had taken place
  • When it came to analyzing the variances, it was not possible as it was not clear who counted what and sales and purchases had taken place

I would like to think that the above is a one off premises but it is a regular enough occurrence for some premises.


The top tips for ensuring an efficient stocktake are

  1. Preparation is key
    Look at each section before the stocktake and know how it’s going to be counted. Leaving it to decide “on the day” is not an option
  2. Have all stock barcoded
    Even if it is a temporary barcode, it will save you a lot of time on the day of the stocktake
  3. Avoid double entry
    If you are writing things down, then you are creating work for yourself. This creates double entry and with the right store preparation, it is very easy to be prepared and avoid this from happening
  4. Have your IT working correctly
    If you are renting it, ensure that its working and that you have a competent member of staff present on the day that knows how to troubleshoot. If you do not know who it updates your stock levels before your stocktake starts, then it will be very difficult to update it after it finishes
  5. Conduct rechecks
    Regardless of how/who undertakes your stocktake, you must undertake rechecks so as to ensure accuracy. This is the rechecking of all staff, not just the ones you suspect of potentially miscounting
  6. Do not close your store
    You lose business when you close the store. You work hard to get customers so don’t upset them by having an unexpected closure and risk losing them
  7. Look at the costs of your current stocktaking process
    • Labour hours (incl taxes)
    • Management hours
    • IT hardware rental
    • Training for count
    • Managing staff on the day
    • Overtime
    • Store closure and the potential loss of business in the future as a result

    Once costed, compare it with outsourcing to an external professional provider. This way you can see if you are saving money or spending it
    Do you really want the hassle of undertaking it yourself? assist businesses across Ireland with undertaking an accurate and efficient stocktake in their business. We provide clear, accurate and transparent reporting. Through our experience, we can assist all types of business in undertaking stocktaking in an efficient manner.