4 common stock control mistakes & how to avoid them

From a single workshop to a multi-location warehouse operation, stock control is a critical part of business management in a lot of industries.

Getting it right can be tricky as businesses balance the time and costs of managing their inventory with accurate record keeping. 

While the right processes and tools will differ from business to business, there are a few mistakes that businesses make that impact the effectiveness of their stock control method. This article looks at some common mistakes and how to fix them. 

Relying on Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are amazingly powerful tools that allow users to produce amazing analytical insights. However, there are lots of limitations to relying on spreadsheets. Firstly, they aren’t designed to be organically updated like software built for stock control. 

In WorkGuru.io, stock levels are updated as your team use stock on projects, whereas spreadsheets need to be manually updated. At best this distracts your team while they work, and at worst means that your team will need to double handle every stock usage. Both these issues increase the risk of misinformation corrupting your stock control data, as staff avoid inputting information and make mistakes while transferring information across.

Read more about issues with spreadsheets. 

Instead of using spreadsheets, relying on dedicated stock control tools can help you save time and maintain accurate records, as well as cut down on your overall admin time.

Under- or over-ordering

When faced with the current shortages, delays and fluctuating costs it can be hard to know the right amount to order and when to order it. Under or overcompensating for these changes can either leave you without stock to complete projects or take up shelf space with extra stock you may not use. 

Learn more: “Costs and benefits of holding stock” on business.qld.gov.au

The best way to combat this is to give yourself the insights that you can to make informed decisions. Understanding what you have on the shelves, how many you use, and what projects you have coming up can help you plan out your stock levels and ordering behaviour. 

Learn how WorkGuru’s BuyingGuru Report can help

Messy storage

While it might sound obvious, keeping track of where your physical stock is can help you save money and prevent theft. If you aren’t sure where your stock is, it becomes a lot harder to identify missing stock and find stock when you need it. You may find yourself ordering more simply because you can’t find the stock that you already have.

For example, keeping a record of the shelf number where stock is stored can help everyone find the parts and components they need. Depending on how much stock your business uses and how large your storage space is, the complexity of the system needed to track and manage your inventory will change. 

Read More: Ins & outs of FIFO Inventory Management

Lack of regular checks

If you aren’t conducting physically stock checks, the accuracy of your records is likely to deteriorate over time. No business or system is perfect, so naturally, as stock gets broken, misplaced, or used/added without reporting, your actual stock levels and your reporting will drift apart. 

Whether you use periodic or perpetual stock control methods, doing physical inventory checks regularly can help you keep accurate records. Plus, understanding your stock is key to accurate reporting. Keeping accurate and up-to-date SOH (Stock on hand) records allow you to have correct values in your accounting system. This allows your accountants to have correct figures to work and will help to ensure your business can provide factual reports to the ATO

Read more common mistakes on Forbes.com 

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