Inventory Management

What Is the Best Way to Count Inventory?

May 24, 2022 • 4 min read

What’s on your shelves? Although it can be tedious, inventory counting is a must. Without it, items can be overstocked, understocked, or out of stock without anyone noticing. Business profits, losses, and taxes will be recorded inaccurately and lead to costly mistakes. But what’s the best way to count inventory? In this article, we’ll break down the steps for counting inventory, and detail how an inventory counting app can help make your inventory counts faster and more accurate.

What Is the Best Way to Count Inventory?

The best way to count inventory is with inventory management software that helps keep inventory audits short and sweet. Using an inventory app is faster than physically counting items and maintaining spreadsheets, and it’s also more accurate. You’ll save even more time with inventory management software that uses barcodes and QR codes to automate and simplify the inventory counting process.

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7 Steps to Counting Your Inventory

The best way to count inventory for your business starts with planning, selecting software that matches your business needs, and setting up barcodes or QR codes. Of course, if you don’t use an inventory app, most of these steps still apply (you’ll just be doing them manually).

1. Choose inventory management software

If you’re wondering how to take inventory, make the process easier on yourself by using inventory management software. Inventory software is the best and easiest way to count inventory. Without it, you’ll likely have to count your inventory manually, which can get tricky—especially if you have items spread across multiple locations.

Sortly is an inventory tracking and inventory counting app that can help you:

  • Track items across multiple business locations
  • Categorize items
  • Format data in a way that’s easy to access and read 
  • Create reports
  • Offer a mobile-friendly dashboard
  • Scan barcodes right from your smartphone or tablet—no external hardware required.

2. Identify all locations for inventory

List each physical location where your inventory is stored.

3. Identify each unique item

List each item in your inventory.

4. Categorize items

Establish item categories so you can quickly sort and find them. Inventory management software makes this easy through the use of folders and tags.

5. Describe items

Create a unique description for each item, list its physical location, and include essential details (such as quantity, condition, manufacturer’s number, and more). Using Sortly makes it easy to add these item details, or you can add them to your spreadsheet if you are tracking inventory manually.

6. Create barcodes or QR codes

Use the inventory control system to generate barcodes or QR codes, then print and test the codes before applying them to your inventory items. This can help speed up large inventory counts.

7. Apply barcodes or QR codes and scan as you go

As you apply barcodes or QR codes to items, you’ll scan them into the inventory counting app. 

Other Than Counting Inventory, How Will Automation Help?

Inventory management software is the best way to count inventory. But it’s also the best way to track and manage assets, equipment, materials, and products. You’ll have real-time access to relevant information about each product, including: 

  • Reorder levels – Limit or prevent shortages and out-of-stock items.
  • Vendor details – Quickly access the name and location of a vendor and the item cost.
  • Important dates – View details about item expiration or warranty.
  • Product summary – Check a product summary to answer customer inquiries about hazmat warnings or product usage.

About Sortly

Sortly is user-friendly inventory management software. But it’s more than automation for counting inventory. How will Sortly help your business?

  • Delivers real-time inventory counts
  • Creates and prints barcodes and QR codes
  • Compatible with Bluetooth scanners and scanners on a mobile device
  • Works on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones
  • Allows you to customize and categorize items
  • Alerts you with low-stock and date reminders
  • Creates reports that you can print or share
  • Offers multi-user plans that grow with your business

Get started today with a two-week trial of Sortly, absolutely free.

Download Sortly free on iOS and Android:

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