Counting your inventory is an essential aspect of managing costs -
this is a "screenshot" of your inventory at a specific point.
The count is going to be our starting (or end) point for reports, and it will also initiate our on-hand tracking for the counted items. You'll also be able to use this "screenshot" for accounting purposes.
Ideally, you should count EVERYTHING at least once a month, and we highly recommend counting at the end of the month- so reporting for full months will be a breeze :)
We also recommend counting some items weekly (or even daily! depending on your operation) those will be your high-cost or most wasted items. Constant counting will keep your finger on the pulse and help you identify issues before they're getting too big.
You can create a storage area called "Weekly count" and add those items to the storage. So when you're counting weekly you'll be able to run through with the list, easily.
A. SETTING YOUR PHYSICAL STORAGE THE SMART WAY
Start by organizing your storage. A messy storage room is the first cause for loss and waste later on (breakage, cross-contamination leaks, expiration)
- Do not stack items in front of each other
Counting the inventory is a tough task when you have to move things around constantly.
Using the inventory when you have to remember and search for stuff in the back is also not an ideal solution and most likely will cause excess purchasing at some point.
Get new shelving solutions if you have to - but keep all items in view for easier and safer inventory storing. We know some kitchens can get tricky, but luckily there are so many shelving options available, sometimes even at the dollar store!
- Fridge and freezers:
If you have a bunch of small freezers/fridges and items that tend to move around, create a list of the items that should go in that fridge and paste it on the door.
- Enforce the labeling order.
It's going to take some time, but eventually, everyone will follow up if they know they have to come back to the storage and move things that were misplaced.
B. SETTING MARKETMAN FOR A SPEEDY COUNT
- Now that you have the storage organized and cleaned up, it's time to set the count sheet in MarketMan. Investing the time to set this up will pay back later, big time.
See how our best users save time with inventory counts in MarketMan
- Walk around your storage and take pictures of every shelf/area, so you see all of the items the way they are organized.
Then, head to this article about storage and shelf-to-sheet and follow the instructions to set this up.
The idea is to get into the kitchen/storage, start from the top to bottom in one direction. This way, you don't run back & forth looking for items, and you'll never miss anything
C. SAVING TIME WHILE COUNTING
- Did you know more than one person can count at the same time?
Just have them use separate sheets - and set all of the sheets for the same date and time.
This is also a great way to combine counts of different areas for the same item - MarketMan will add up all of the separate count sheets for you!
- Try the different options of count input with MarketMan
The winning solution for many of our clients is an iPad - light enough to carry around and count, but large enough to have the full display of the units. You can log onto chrome from the iPad for the web display, or use the app :)
Try both and check what works best for you!
- Missing an item and you're in the middle of a count?
You can add items directly from the count sheet! Yes, this includes adding items from the app.
Check the details in this article
Watch this video to understand how to set up your storage areas, reorganize them shelf to sheet, and then take counts much more easily!