Inventory Management

What Is an Inventory Cycle Count?

A man in an apron takes inventory on a tablet.

An inventory cycle count makes it easier for businesses to achieve and maintain accurate inventory lists. And accuracy improves operations and saves time and money. So, what exactly is an inventory cycle count… and how can your company implement one? Read on to find out! 

What Is an Inventory Cycle Count?

An inventory cycle count is an inventory strategy in which specific, defined portions of inventory are counted on a rotating, recurrent schedule. The schedule specifies exactly when each portion of inventory will be counted. This method spreads the count of inventory throughout the year (or another length of time), so you don’t have to to do it all at once.

Instead of auditing your entire inventory annually, you can schedule daily or weekly inventory counts of small groups of items. Although you can count and track stock on a spreadsheet, inventory management software that uses QR codes or barcodes to simplify the process and increase accuracy.

Three Benefits of an Inventory Cycle Count

Inventory cycle counts improve business processes in many ways. Consider three benefits.

1. Saves Time 

Instead of scheduling long annual counts of your inventory, cycle counts require smaller time increments and combat the monotony of extended inventory audits. That means you probably won’t have to shut down your store or ask employees to ignore their regular work just to take inventory. Everything is manageable!

Plus, frequent counts make it easier to identify lost, damaged, or stolen items in a large warehouse inventory. 

2. Saves Money

You’ll also save money with an inventory cycle count. Annual counts often require overtime hours (and closed stores!) to complete a full count of all items in your jewelry or HVAC inventory, for example. It’s cost-effective to set aside daily or weekly increments of time for counting groups of items. 

3. Improves Efficiency

An inventory cycle count maintains accuracy and improves efficiency in a variety of areas.

  • Purchasing – Make essential purchases and avoid wasting money on items that are in surplus or aren’t selling.
  • Production – Schedule production based on your customers’ needs. And manufacture the right quantity—at the right time—to avoid producing items that will sit in storage.
  • Sales – Communicate with your sales team about what’s selling well and what isn’t. It will help them build better business relationships and increase profits.
  • Marketing – Identify surplus items and schedule promotions to help reduce the quantity. You’ll no longer regret not knowing about surplus items and missing opportunities to sell them.
  • Finance – Many accounting calculations require an inventory count. Cycle counts help you calculate and run reports with confidence that the data is accurate and won’t require significant recalculations during tax season. 

Inventory Management Software Accelerates Cycle Counts

A custom PDF of an inventory report is generated.

While cycle counts improve accuracy and save time, an automated inventory system accelerates the process even further. The software uses barcodes or QR codes to track inventory. It makes cycle counts easier, faster, and more accurate than manual processes and spreadsheets.

Sortly is user-friendly, easy-to-learn inventory management software. Its features help you implement and sustain cycle counts quickly:

  • Creates and prints QR codes and barcodes
  • Compatible with a Bluetooth scanner or scanners on mobile devices
  • Gives real-time access to inventory
  • Tracks inventory across multiple business locations
  • Alerts you with low-stock and date reminders
  • Offers customizable fields and reports
  • Allows multi-user access with the ability to set permissions and share data with customers or employees

Get started today with a free trial of Sortly.