Conquer the Count!


For many managers stocktakes, whether monthly, yearly or anything in between are usually the most dreaded time of the period. The mundane chore of counting every single item on the shop floor, in store room and warehouses as well spending minutes or even hours in fridges and freezers, all to do it again in what seems like no time at all. Funny thing, this isn’t even the worst part! After all your stock is counting and accounted for you then need to sit down, probably at a computer screen and spend hours entering this data into a spread sheet, calculating costs and different measurements, entering the deliveries for this period all to view a single figure that is your gross profit percentage!

Good news! There are ways to make this easier; first, take a day or two, not a day off, a day to clean up, clear out and get organised. Set up a system that will work for you and your staff. The time you save will outweigh the time you spent, tenfold. Once your new and improved system is in place, ensure all your staff stick to this new set-up.


Don’t count individually. If your AA batteries come in a case of 12 and never vary, count them as 1 and account for the amount inside at the end, eliminating mental calculations that are often a struggle or lead to an increase in errors. An important thing to note here is to try and keep control over what is being opened and making certain that the previous package of this item has been used completely. An accumulation of half used produce makes counts more difficult, messy storage areas and a higher likelihood of spoilage if your stock includes perishable goods.

If you have counting templates for your items adjust these to suit your counting flow. You want to fly through these counts and knowing where every item is in your store room and on your sheets, will speed up the process. Change your inventory sheets to reflect the order in which you have your store area set up.

If you are using scanners and most of your items are barcoded you won’t need count sheets however, sticking to a flow or trail will allow you to count quicker and not overlook any areas or stock.

Unfortunately, no matter how much you tidy up, you cannot avoid the horror double entry. All that data that you collected must go somewhere to be of any relevance or give you an insight into how your business is going. But there are ways of easing this data entry; banking on the fact that you have some experience in excel. Set up a template in an excel workbook to include your products, case costs, case measurements and so on… You can find these templates online if you are unsure of the correct calculations.


There is no easy way to add deliveries unless you have been accounting for each one as they arrived, since the last stocktake you carried out. On top of this there is the issue of damaged goods or allowances. Accounting for these is one area of business that if you avoid, you end up questioning your margins and wondering why and how?

However, if you want to cut out all staff training, count sheets and most importantly double entry you can always choose to go with an external stocktaking company. provide counters that are the best at what they do, the highest quality equipment that allows for efficient counting; “in and out, job done”.  Not forgetting the most important offering, receiving your reports on the day of the stocktake, no messing around with double entry and spending days trying to reach your correct profit margins.

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