Good Reasons to Document/Review Physical Count Procedures

Good Reasons to Document/Review Physical Count Procedures

It’s always a good idea to make copious notes about your physical count configuration and usage, and to review them prior to doing the actual work.

This process would include:

  • Making backups of files current data.

  • Archiving old count files for previous periods or years.

  • Making sure that PDT’s (Physical count device) batteries are charged.

  • Training staff who will actually be doing the work to properly use both the software and hardware functions.

Taking this proactive approach is especially important if you only do inventories once a year or less frequently.  Failing to do this can mean a potential disaster waiting to happen…

As an example…

I recently received a panicked call from and end-user who had just completed a physical count, but had just determined that ALL of the adjusted inventory levels were wrong for all of their locations. In working with the count staff, the following was determined:

  • When importing the count file into the default PDT’s (Physical count device) software directory, the file downloaded was named the same as what it was last year.  However, CounterPoint was pointing to a different import directory than the PDT software default.

  • When the staff imported the count file, they were actually importing the previous years physical count file.  – no one checked the date of the file or the content before importing it.

  • After importing the count files, the users just posted the count data without checking the any of the data, telling the system to adjust all items not counted to zero.

To compound matters…

  • No backup of the existing CounterPoint data files were done prior to the start of the import process.

  • Other users had started a multiple physical count snap-shots that involved many of the same items.  Some of these had been open for as long as a year.

  • On detecting the initial problem, the staff repeated the exact same import/post process (using the wrong file) at least twice, before finally  creating a new physical count, and without doing any imports,  then zeroed-out the entire inventory for that location.

The one saving grace here was… that the current years count file they had uploaded not been deleted, nor had the PDT been purged after the upload.

If you are unsure of any part of the physical count process, CCS Retail Systems can provide training and technical  assistance prior to starting the count, as well as ongoing process support during the actual count.

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