Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How to Organize a Daily Cycle Count?

Here we go again, someone looking for advice on how he should organize a daily cycle count of a warehouse with many parts, bulk and bin locations.

LinkedIn to the rescue! 

Several people came up with great ideas, however, few of them actually answered the question.  In fact some of the ideas were quite comprehensive given the medium.  People really do want to help. 

The problem is not one person asked how accurate the inventory is now.  There were great ideas about types of inventory processing that could be done.  Wall-to-wall, ABC analysis, even a few ideas on cycle counting.  After all that was part of the initial question.  Cycle counting. 

Is he trying to get a handle on a system that does not work?   He mentioned (insert big ERP company name here) and RF equipment.  The software should be capable, but what about the people?  Garbage-In-Garbage-Out.

There are a lot of scenarios that can be implemented.  Yearly physical, quarterly physical, etc with follow up cycle counting.  But he did not ask that.  He asked about cycle counting.  Why?  What gave him the idea that is what should be done?  I am not saying he should not, but before we build a building, we need to establish a foundation.

Do not forget the pretty Salesrep girl that suggests you check out her company web site.  Not saying anything about her qualifications.  I just get the impression she has a different agenda than you.

Then there is the guy is who is real happy with the product he is using.  Okay, great, but you already mentioned you had a system and wanted to figure out how to best utilize it, not buy something else. 

There are really good ideas in this mix unlike many of the other forum discussions.  Systematic approaches.  Proven approaches to real world challenges.  Except maybe the guy who suggests a wall-to-wall cycle count.  Maybe I am reading too quickly.  Is he really suggesting a complete physical or a cycle count that runs from one wall to another, but at what intervals, how should he divide up this large warehouse into cycle pieces?  

Wait, now I am doing it too.  See how easy it is to rescue and offer up some advice without really taking the time to understand what is going on. 

I go back to the beginning.  Did anyone tell us what is wrong with the way they are counting now?  We do not even know what problem we are trying to solve.  Perhaps my first question:  How accurate is the inventory now?  Is a good place to start.  Second question:   What do you (your company) want to achieve?  What are your expectations from doing a cycle count? 

Our questioner now makes a statement to reassert his intelligence, and then asks a rhetorical question.  Is he sure now what he should do or is he just trying to convince himself that he is in control now or justify a decision he has already made?  He mentions all kinds of benefits that were mentioned by everyone else earlier in the discussion thread.

I suspect that our questioner is either new or has some other directive from the Finance department or above to clean up the warehouse.  What are they doing now?  Why is that not working?  A place as big as this must already be doing something.   Why not continue doing what they always have done?   A new person may want to “prove” themselves, but now is not the time to disrupt what may be working, even if it is inefficient, not until you know what you are trying to fix.  Do you really want to experiment?

There are many more questions that should be asked.  Want to know what those questions are?  Contact Dolvin Consulting today and we will talk.  There is no perfect template of questions.  It depends on your challenges.  That is where a trusted advisor should start.

Dolvin Consulting works with manufacturers and distributors to help them streamline their operations, so they can operate more efficiently, reduce their operating costs, and improve profits.  Our clients typically struggle with warehouse and inventory control issues.  We leverageour industry knowledge and contacts to bring real-world solutions to your challenges.  We cannot promise you anything, but will always do our best and that is our promise to you.  We do not know who you are so contact ustoday to get started.

1 comment:

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