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Date Created: 12/18/15
Physical inventory for a new store During a life cycle of a store one of the most critical is the first month of operation. On that month important evaluations need to take place such as the customer traffic in the store and the percentage of the actual purchasing. In addition, it is important to observe how the sales people do their work and how fast they can the find an item in the back office for a customer. With all those variables it is easy to miss or not give enough attention to the efficiency and accuracy of the warehouse. As much pressure as you give sales personnel to sell, mistakes in the ware house or back office can lead to big loss of money and customers up to putting the entire store at risk of losing money. Here are two scenarios that will help to understand what needs to be done to prevent losing control over the Physical inventory. In the first example, the store is still empty and deliveries from suppliers begin to arrive. At the same time, the manager of the store or the owner needs to supervise the ware house staff as they receive the delivery and check the actual delivery against the packing slip. The method that guides them to where every item is to be placed is either according to style or prediction for fast moving items. For slow moving items it can be a combination of the all factors together. It is important to see how everything and everyone is involved in the warehouse. Everyone needs to have the same procedures and understand where and why everything goes where it does. A more complicated scenario is when store is fully operational for a short time and problems with the Physical inventory services already start to interfere with the general operation of the store. Ideally the owner/manager needs to identify the problems and to solve them without slowing down the sales floor. The way to tackle the problem is to observe the warehouse when a new shipment arrives. The key is to let the warehouse continue its regular work and to make a checkpoint at a time where it is more likely that someone will make mistakes such as place a product in the incorrect shelf making it impossible to locate the item later on. These mistakes are commonly found during receiving, transferring to another store or shipping items back to the supplier. In these cases it is usually all hands on deck to push the work as fast as possible. The important thing is to make sure that there is at least one supervisor that makes sure that everybody is following the same working method and nobody is giving his/her own interpretation as to how to do the work. In case a store is relabeling the items (using their own UPCs ) it is definitely something that needs to be checked especially if the store started doing that recently. In addition, it is important to decide on a procedure regarding the movement of items from the warehouse to the sales floor and back. Everyone needs to know who is responsible to put an item back in the right place otherwise the items just stay on the floor waiting for a volunteer to pick them up.