Benefits of Cycle Counting Inventory for Your Diesel Truck Parts
What is Cycle Counting?
A cycle count is an inventory auditing procedure where a small subset of inventory is counted on a specific day. This means that you are counting targeted portions of inventory multiple times throughout the year rather than all in one bulk sum and sitting. Let’s take a look at some of the top benefits that shops experience when they make the shift to cycle counting.
How Does Cycle Counting Save Money?
The specificity of cycle counting is what makes it most appealing to businesses that rely on inventory accuracy. By paying attention to specific shelves or BIN locations on a more regular basis, you avoid having one large variance (that requires one large write-off) at the end of each year. In short, it’s much easier to catch inaccuracies and make the appropriate smaller adjustments in a timely manner with cycle counting. Ideally, the adjustments needed post-count will minimize as your inventory accuracy improves.
How Does Cycle Counting Save Time?
Annual inventory counts require dedicating entire days to focus on what’s in stock, which can result in lost revenue and sometimes even overtime pay for employees (which isn’t a bad gig for those looking for the extra cash but certainly not ideal for your bottom line). By making the shift to cycle counting, you can assign a single person to do a specific shelf on a rotational basis so the business never has to come to a halt when you need to update your inventory records.
How Does Cycle Counting Improve Software Accuracy?
Accuracy and efficiency is the ultimate shop goal and implementing cycling counting helps achieve this goal with inventory by shortening the amount of time between counts. This minimizes the opportunity for error and when mistakes do happen, they are caught in a timely manner and adjusted accordingly. If you’re currently using a software program to help manage and control your inventory, cycle counting is a must so that your system is always the most accurate it can be. If you count annually and a mistake takes place in the first month of the new year, your inventory is now going to be off-sync for the next eleven months until the next count takes place. This inaccuracy has a large effect on how effective your software system can be for your business. After all, a business is only as strong as it is reliable and if your stock quantities are not in order, your business may suffer as a result.
The Bottom Line
Controlling your inventory means knowing exactly what’s on your shelves. Many businesses purchase management software for their inventory with the idea that instantaneous organization is achievable by simply having all their stock quantities automated in one system. When a shipment is received or an order has been filled, the system can update accordingly to reflect the change in stock, however, you can’t discount human error – it’s inevitable for mistakes to happen and for parts to slip through the cracks.
Relying solely on software as a means for controlling your inventory without any checks and balances in place is a surefire way to create inaccuracies that can negatively impact your employees, customers, and even worse, your credibility as a business. With the wrong quantities in the system, employees are less likely to trust what they see. It can also jeopardize customer service. If you tell a customer that you have something in stock and realize after the fact that the information on the computer was inaccurate, you’ve now hurt your credibility while also wasting an employee’s time searching for an out-of-stock part and a customer’s time by waiting.
Management software gives you the automated potential for inventory organization and accuracy, but it takes a methodical process outside of just the software to actually achieve this. If inventory is a big part of your operations (and revenue stream), cycle counting might be a shift to consider this year!