Stocktake Tips for Busy Retailers

With the end of the financial year looming, June is a busy month for many Australian retailers as stocktakes and end of the financial year take centre stage.

Regular stocktakes can be a bit of a tedious task, but there are some distinct advantages.

  1. You will be aware of your margin of profit when the accounting is up to date
  2. It provides the opportunity to identify overstocked and slow moving products
  3. It identifies any poor practices and theft so you can address any problems quickly
  4. Reduce your back orders by seeing which products move quickly so you can reorder in a more timely manner



If it is time to count your business inventory, then here are some tips that can smooth the process.

  1. Lay out stock items clearly
  2. Identify the different types of stock and clearly label inventory
  3. Separate items that are and are not included in the stock take
  4. Account for stock that is on consignment or located elsewhere
  5. Make sure you have the tools needed for taking stock, such as clipboards, stock sheets, write-off sheets, pens in an assortment of colours, calculators and hand-held scanners for barcode inventory
  6. Keep the stock room free of distractions such as mobile phones, radios and iPods
  7. Be accurate. This means counting every item, even the ones in boxes marked with the number of items inside
  8. Check your physical count against your accounting records. Recheck any discrepancies and follow up as necessary
  9. After finishing the stock take, update inventory records using your accounting package


Stocktake safely

Stocktaking presents a few unique hazards, so here are some tips to help make your stocktake as safe as possible.

  1. Post mandatory and helpful safety and danger signs for employees
  2. Follow safe handling instructions for products or chemicals in the stockroom
  3. Do not handle containers of corrosives or chemicals if there is any cracking or leakage
  4. Keep walkways, stairs and staircases clear of boxes and stock
  5. Mop up spills immediately and use slippery surface signs to warn others
  6. Do not leave items on stairs
  7. Do not block access to safety and emergency equipment, like fire alarms and extinguishers
  8. Wear safety glasses when uncrating items, using a nail gun or cutting strapping bands
  9. Take extra care using case cutters, knives and other sharp tools
  10. Visually inspect boxes and other containers for sharp objects and other hazards before reaching into them with your hands
  11. Bend or remove nails and staples from crates and cartons before unpacking them
  12. Take care to lift carefully and avoid injuries when manually stocking shelves
  13. Use high quality step ladders and step stools to safely access higher locations
  14. Use trolleys or carts to move awkward or heavy materials