Process: What do I do right now to break the cycle?

Stressed warehouse worker

Cycle counting is almost the greatest thing since sliced bread. How many people, accounting or otherwise do you personally know that enjoy annual or even quarterly inventories. None, unless they need professional help. Imagine you have just had a great time off at Christmas or New Year’s day is approaching. You are all relaxed, happy, enjoying your time off from work. Then you remember that the day you get back, its inventory day! Yikes. Spending all day counting, rechecking, recounting. Did I count that already? I am not sure, I am really tired. We should probably recount it. I just counted 73 but the count sheet shows 74. Oh no, I need to count it again. We have all been there counting until we can count no more. But why? Where is the value in shutting down for a day? That is extremely expensive. You lose sales, and really don’t get super accurate counts. People hate doing it and complain all day long. You end up with discrepancies that have to be dealt with. Fun, I think not. This is where you sell your idea for cycle counting to everyone. Rather than go into all the details of designing a cycle count program, it is easier to just do a search for cycle counting. There are many websites that go into it. There are three critical parts to a cycle count program. First, why are you counting? Second, you must consistently do it every day or it’s not worth doing. Third, it must be unique to your business. Sure you can use standard methods, but you MUST adopt them to what and how you do business. Raw materials, work in process, and finished goods can each use their own different method. Start in one area, the one you know is causing the most problems and then expand it from there. Use a method that you find in your search then modify it to your company. It’s ok. No two companies are alike so take a method and make it yours. Copy other methods, don’t reinvent the wheel. It will save you tremendous amounts of time. Another key point in this, and all these other ideas is this: don’t worry about it not being perfect. It will never be. But be OPEN to change and fine tuning. There are many times that people get stuck thinking that XYZ will never change. Why not? Change it to make it easier for the one doing the work. That will do wonders for their attitude and encourage them to come up with more process or job modifications. Which in turn will make their attitude even better and then their positive attitude will infect others. This will no doubt affect profitability which will make everyone happier. Repeat this cycle of attitude and profitability. Continually

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