Answer: Regular inventory counts are a great way to monitor inventory shrinkage within any cost center/warehouse. Counting inventory for mobile cost centers is especially crucial to reducing shrinkage and ensuring that the route sales person’s levels are accurate, since these mobile cost centers are the most at risk. Inventory counts for mobile cost centers are not only easy to do, thanks to barcode scanning, but when planned at the end of a work period such as at the end of a week or month, the trucks have less inventory to count, making this procedure just that much faster and easier.
When making an inventory count for a cost center, it’s important that no transactions are created for that cost center during the counting process to ensure the inventory levels that are being counted are accurate until the count is applied. To create any inventory count using a handheld computer, its mobile unit record must be enabled to make sales. To verify this, in Solid Business Central, go to [Datafile / Cost Center / Mobile], view the mobile unit record that the handheld computer belongs to, and ensure that the Sales field is set to Y. The second mandatory requirement is that when logging into Solid Sales Pro, the user logging in must be a Supervisor.
When counting inventory for a mobile cost center, it’s best to use that mobile cost center’s handheld computer to do the inventory count. This will allow the count to be saved and applied immediately as a Partial Count or Full Count, without having to bring it back into Solid Business Central as a Delayed Count first.
- Once logged into Solid Sales Pro, navigate to [Stock Operations] / [Inventory Count] / [Create Inventory Count].
- The ‘Counted By’ field will be this mobile unit record’s cost center number and cannot be changed. The ‘Counted For’ field is used to select which cost center number the count is being created for, and should be left identical to the ‘Counted By’ cost center number.
- When ready, use the [Count Inventory] button to begin counting. The counting process is very similar to creating an invoice. Barcodes can be scanned from the '2310 Count Inventory' screen, or manually added by using the [Add] button. When counting inventory, the expected ‘Qty on Hand’ will show for each item, and enter into the ‘Present Count’ field the quantity that actually exists. For example, if the ‘Qty on Hand’ for an item is -5, but there are actually 12 in the cost center, then in the ‘Present Count’ field enter the number 12.
- When finished counting inventory, use the [OK] button from the '2310 Count Inventory' screen to return to the '2305 Create Inventory Count' screen. To save this count, use the [Save & Print] button. On the next screen, a list of three Save Options will be displayed.
- Since this handheld computer is counting for its own cost center, we have the added options of being able to save it as a [Partial Inventory Count] or a [Full Inventory Count], both of which will be applied right away as soon as this handheld is synced. A [Partial Inventory Count] will only apply inventory changes to the items that were included on this inventory count, and all other items will be left ‘as is’ for their inventory levels. By saving as a [Full Inventory Count], the handheld computer will still apply the inventory levels counted, but all other items that weren’t counted it will be set to have quantities of 0 (zero), since they were not to be included on this full count.
- A [Delayed Inventory Count] will be bring this inventory count back to Solid Business Central on the handheld’s next sync, where an administration staff member can review it and apply it when ready. For more information on Delayed Counts, read Article #83 How to Count Inventory for a Fixed Cost Center by using a Delayed Count.
- Once the Save Option has been selected, use the [OK] button to confirm the count type, and the option to print this inventory count will also be given. This print out will give all the items counted, including their original and counted quantity on hand numbers, as well as the difference between those two numbers. Once an inventory count has been saved, it’s important to sync the handheld computer before creating any other transactions. This will ensure the integrity of the count will not be marred by other inventory sales, purchases, or transfers.
- If the count was saved as a Partial or Full Count, the changes to the inventory levels will be applied immediately during a successful sync.
Performing Full Inventory Counts regularly is the easiest and most effective method of tracking shrinkage within a business. By making them part of a weekly or monthly schedule, inventory shrinkage can be kept to a minimal amount for any business.