Performing stock takes is an essential part of retailing. You need to know what stock you have within the business to be able to make an accurate stock valuation and, if you're trading online, to ensure that the product availability you're displaying is correct.
The Related Articles provide information on the wider stock take process. In this article, we look at the specific steps required to carry out a stock take within Cloud POS.
Start A New Stock Take
From the main menu in Cloud POS backoffice, navigate to Stock Management, then Stock Take.
This will then take you to the stock take screen and show any previous stock takes;
Click New to begin the creation of your stock take;
Enter a Description and select the Store at which you are completing the stocktake, from the drop-down menu;
At this point, you have two options for how you proceed:
1) If you would like to create a stock take for all items in your database, click the button marked Create A Stock Take With All Items. You would select this option if you are carrying out a full store stock take.
2) If you only want to include selected items, choose the Create A Blank Stock Take & Add Items button. Select this option if you only intend to update the stock levels of specific items in your database.
Create a Stock Take with All Items
If you've selected this option, you'll be taken to a page containing a grid that lists every inventory item in your database:
Create a Blank Stock Take & Add Items
Selecting this option allows you to dictate specifically which items you intend to stock take. When you commit the stock take, only the items you have selected will have their stock quantities updated - all other item quantities will be unaffected.
As this starts as a blank stock take, you'll need to add the items you wish to count.
You can use the Add Items option to add items individually:
Alternatively, Add Items In Bulk and use the filters to select a group of products at a time, clicking the button marked Add Items To Stock Take as necessary:
You can repeat either process as many times as you require.
Once you have added all the items you wish to include on the stock take, you'll see a page similar to the below and will be ready to proceed onto the next step:
Options for counting your stock
You now have three options to collect your stock count data:
1) If you are carrying out a paper-based stock take, you can use the option to Print A Stock Take Report, which you'll find towards the foot of the page. You can then print this and use it to walk the shop and count all of the items listed on the report. A dropdown list will offer you various options as to what information will display on the Stock Take Report, so you can select what best suits your requirements.
2) You can use the Export button to create a CSV file of the data in the grid and carry out your stock count electronically. The file that is exported is already in the format you can import back into your stock take, once you've completed the count.
3) You can use the Quick Scan function to scan your items directly into the count field. This is reliant on each item either having a Cloud POS-generated barcode label attached, or the manufacturer's barcode being assigned as an alias on the item, so that Cloud POS will recognise the item as you scan it.
You will also need to bring your stock to the computer in order to scan it, or take your computer to the stock, so this option may be less practical for a larger stock take. If using the Quick Scan option, remember to periodically click Save Changes to record your count figures.
At this point, you will now conduct the physical count of your stock.
Adding your count to the Stock Take
Once you have completed the count of your stock, the next step is to enter your counted figures into the stock take. How you do this will depend on the method you used to count your items.
If you used the Quick Scan option, you will have already added your counted figures to the stock take, so you can skip to the next step.
If you carried out a paper-based stock take, you will now need to manually add your counted figures by typing them into the Counted field. It is important to periodically click Save Changes as you go.
If your count data is in electronic format, you can use the Import option to upload files containing your counted figures. Note that the file must be a CSV file, in the format Part Code, Quantity, Counted Date/Time. The Counted Date/Time field is optional. Here's an example of the file format:
In most cases, leaving the default options on the Import File screen will be sufficient. However, it's worth understanding how the two Quantities options have different effects if you are importing your count figures from more than one file:
Add To Existing Counts: If an item appears in more than one count file, the counted figures for that item will be added together.
Replace Existing Counts: If an item appears in more than one count file, the counted figure for that item in the first file would be overwritten by the counted figure for that item in the second file, and so on. You would only tend to use this option if you were correcting a mistake in a previous import.
Once you've uploaded the file, you'll see your counted figures appear in the grid:
Calculating the Stock Take
Once you have entered all counted quantities and made sure that you have saved any changes, you can now click Calculate & Commit.
This will take you to another screen that shows the Count Summary:
The Expected column shows the current stock level of the item at the store at that time. Any discrepancies are highlighted to show if they are over (green) or under (red) the expected amount.
You can use the Hide Item With No Discrepancies tick box to focus on the items with discrepancies:
You now have the opportunity to investigate any discrepancies in the count, and are able to make adjustments to the figures in the Counted column if necessary. You also have the option to Return & Recount if you need to repeat the previous step.
Committing the Stock Take
When you have queried any discrepancies and made any corrections, you must apply a Reason Code to account for the adjustments made to the stock figures. This will appear in the Item Movement Report in Cloud Reports.
You can either apply a Reason Code to each line individually, or using the Apply Reason Code To All Items option.
Click Save Changes when you have applied the Reason Codes.
Once you have completed the above steps, click Commit Stock Take.
What happens when you commit a Stock Take?
- The on-hand stock levels of your items will be amended.
- The movement of stock, along with the cost value will be recorded, so you can view this in the Item Movement Report in Cloud Reports.
- We'll also adjust your stock quantities to take account for stock movements in the time between your items being counted, and stock take being committed. i.e., if you've booked an extra 10 units on with a purchase order, or one has been sold.