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Monday, July 13, 2009

Taking Stock


No one likes doing stocktakes. However, an accurate stock count is essential to producing meaningful management information.

Here are some tips on doing an accurate stocktake:

Have a hard copy of your stock list - A list grouping stock items by Category, then listing Stock Items in alphabetical order makes it relatively easy to look-up Stock Items as you count.

Do one storeroom at a time - If you have stock items that are stored in multiple locations (dry store, cool room and service fridges), don't run around the kitchen to find all instances. Count methodically through one store location at a time.

Count each storage location left to right, top to bottom - Start at the top left of each shelf, then work your way down to the bottom right. That way you wont miss anything.

Count with a friend - It is faster and easier if you count in pairs. One person can physically count the stock while the other records the counts. In addition to speeding up the process this also serves as a check, to make sure you don't miss anything.

Although counting stock may seem simple, it is surprising how many people I have seen get it wrong.

Paul Clarke (@foodmargin)

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