Physical Inventory Count vs. Inventory Cycle Count: All You Need to Know
What to do: Understand the purpose of inventory counts and how you can improve your inventory accuracy using a physical inventory count or inventory cycle count at your c-store.
What is a Physical Inventory Count?
A physical inventory count is when you physically count the inventory you have on hand and compare it to your inventory records. In most instances, you’ll conduct a physical inventory count once a year because of the time and resources it requires. Additionally, you’ll have to shut your c-store for a short time to make sure the physical count is accurate.
As time progresses, though, you’ll experience a significant margin of error, especially without using automation and providing regular updates to your inventory count.
Another way: Conduct an inventory cycle count, which can be done without disrupting your c-store operations and may provide greater accuracy than a physical inventory count.
What is an Inventory Cycle Count?
The inventory cycle counting method allows you to break down your inventory into smaller chunks to manage your stock efficiently. For example, you may want to count tobacco products one day and soda on another, or you can track your canned goods every Friday. Whatever you decide, using this inventory method allows you to:
- Validate your inventory regularly, giving customers what they want, when they want it.
- Reduce any disruption in your c-store operation and limit the resources needed to conduct inventory counts.
- Save time and money because your inventory count better reflects what you have on hand at your c-store.
Better Control the Inventory Count Cycle Process at Your C-Store
The inventory cycle process is the time between when merchandise arrives in your c-store and when customers buy it. Using the inventory cycle count method helps you manage this cycle more efficiently, giving you critical data to forecast sales accurately.
Smart idea: Track inventory at the item level instead of by the number of pallets or cases you have at your c-store. And use technology to quickly track your inventory, such as with Petrosoft’s inventory barcode scanners. As a result, you’ll spend less time counting inventory and more time helping customers.
Need a hand managing your inventory?
Download Petrosoft’s free inventory count sheet template to help you better manage your inventory, purchases, and sales. Or get a demo of Petrosoft’s back-store office solution, CStoreOffice®, to understand how to track your inventory in real-time, helping you make better business decisions.