What’s on your shelves? Although it can be tedious, counting inventory is a must. Without it, items can be overstocked, understocked, or out of stock without anyone noticing. Business profits, losses, and taxes will be recorded inaccurately and lead to costly mistakes. But what’s the best way to count inventory? In this article, we’ll break down the steps for counting inventory, and detail how an inventory counting app can help make your inventory counts faster and more accurate.
What Is the Best Way to Count Inventory?
The best way to count inventory is with inventory management software that helps keep inventory audits short and sweet. Using an inventory app is faster than physically counting items and maintaining spreadsheets, and it’s also more accurate. You’ll save even more time with inventory management software that uses barcodes and QR codes to automate and simplify the inventory counting process.
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9 Steps to Counting Your Inventory
The best way to count inventory for your business starts with planning, selecting software that matches your business needs, and setting up barcodes or QR codes. Of course, if you don’t use an inventory app, most of these steps still apply. They’ll just take longer.
1. Choose inventory management software – Inventory management software will make counting inventory a whole lot easier. Without it, you’ll likely have to count your inventory manually, which can get tricky—especially if you have items spread across multiple locations.
Sortly is an inventory tracking and inventory counting app that can help you:
- Track items across multiple business locations
- Categorize items
- Format data in a way that’s easy to access and read
- Create reports
- Offer a mobile-friendly dashboard
- Scan barcodes right from your smartphone or tablet — no external hardware required.
2. Identify all locations for inventory – List each physical location where your inventory is stored.
3. Map each warehouse or storage area – Make a diagram or list of each storage area to avoid missing items as you label inventory.
4. Identify each unique item – List each item in your inventory.
5. Categorize items – Establish item categories so you can quickly sort and find them in inventory management software.
6. Describe items – Create a unique description for each item, list its physical location, and include essential details to store in the barcode or QR code, if you are using inventory automation.
7. Create barcodes or QR codes – Use the inventory control system to generate barcodes or QR codes, then print and test the codes before applying them to your inventory items.
8. Organize your team – Decide who will be assigned to label the items, train them on how to use the software, and schedule a date to automate your inventory counting process.
9. Apply barcodes or QR codes and scan as you go – As you apply barcodes or QR codes to items, you’ll scan them into the inventory counting app. And it starts counting your inventory automatically.
Other Than Counting Inventory, How Will Automation Help?
Inventory management software is the best way to count inventory. But it’s also the best way to track and manage assets, equipment, materials, and products. You’ll have real-time access to relevant information about each product, including:
- Reorder levels – Limit or prevent shortages and out-of-stock items.
- Vendor details – Quickly access the name and location of a vendor and the item cost.
- Important dates – View details about item expiration or warranty.
- Product summary – Check a product summary to answer customer inquiries about hazmat warnings or product usage.
Are You Ready to Organize Your Inventory?
Sortly is user-friendly inventory management software. But it’s more than automation for counting inventory. How will Sortly help your business?
- Creates and prints barcodes and QR codes
- Compatible with Bluetooth scanners and scanners on a mobile device
- Works on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones
- Allows you to customize and categorize items
- Delivers real-time status of your inventory
- Alerts you with low-stock and date reminders
- Creates reports that you can print or share
- Offers multi-user plans that grow with your business
Get started today with a two-week trial of Sortly, absolutely free.