(This is a guest blog from our partner Boltrics which has was previously posted on 19 October 2017)   A box that fell off a pallet, or an order picker who has scanned the wrong barcode. Whatever the reason may be, every logistics provider encounters from time to time a difference between the true inventory in the warehouse and the administrative inventory in the WMS. But manually checking whether the inventory is correct is an inefficient and costly process. A colleague must be made available to count the inventory, the inventory must be compared with the inventory list from the WMS and finally, the differences must be booked in a bank book. Isn’t there another way to tackle this? Especially when you think about all the new technological possibilities that are continuously released? For example by dispatching the counting tasks directly through a client or scanner? Nekovri-/3PL-Dynamics has been offering you insights into the inventory and the possibility to easily handle the booking of goods for years. From now on, with the addition of the module Cycle Counting, you will have the possibility to perform system-controlled real-time counting and book differences – for example with the use of a scanner. The module offers different possibilities, such as ad hoc counting on the basis of parameters or controlled counting tasks from “the office”. The counting tasks are tracked in a separate table, so you can monitor the progress of the counting tasks– based on statuses. In addition, you can always retrieve these in past counting. Simply register a “Cycle Counting” method on the customer article and/or location. Within this method, you can register in which type of situation counting is required. For example:
  • Always: Counting must happen with every pick activity.
  • Periodically, for example, once a week, once a month, etc.: The system checks the last time counted. If this has passed the specified period, it will prompt you to perform a counting.
  • Depending on the number of units within a location: You can alter the module so that counting is only required if there are administratively less than X number of units available at a specific location.

Ad hoc counting

When you, for example, are sent to the location to pick one or more units, the scanner will release a trigger which takes a look at the specifications of the customer article and/or location. Based on the set-up, it will switch – within the scanning process – towards a sub-process that lets the user perform a counting. With ad hoc counting it is assumed a counting will be triggered when arriving at a certain location or customer article. Of course, it is possible certain that certain items or locations are not approached for a longer period. In these cases, there will not be any counting. For this, you will be able to start the system-controlled counting tasks.

System-controlled counting tasks

Another possibility within Cycle Counting is system-controlled counting tasks. There are not initiated through the scanner but from the client. With this, you can generate counting tasks for parts of your warehouse. For example:
  • All locations within the filter: You generate a counting task for all locations with the given filter, regardless of the settings on the customer article or the location. You can further set whether administrative empty locations should be counted as well.
  • On the basis of the settings on the customer article/location: Counting tasks are only created for the locations which are to be counted on the basis of the chosen settings. For example, X period not counted and/or number below a certain a minimum.
  • On the basis of a specified Cycle Counting method: With this, you are able to calculate yourself through all locations within the filter whether a location requires counting. For example, X period not counted and/or number below a certain minimum.
The controlled counting tasks can be performed both manually or through the scanner. In the case of manually performing, you can print the counting tasks and process the results in the client.

Dispatch counting task through scanner

You can dispatch the counting tasks through the scanner. Depending on the approach (ad hoc or controlled), the employee receives the task to count the number of units on the location. Within the set-up, you can determine certain design choices with your consultant, for example:
  • Blind counting: The employee must insert the amount, in which you do or do not show how many there should be on the location.
  • Show amount in case of differences: In the case, differences are found, you can show the expected amount.
  • Directly book difference: In the case, differences are found, you can choose to directly book this difference through the scanner.
  • Register differences without booking them: In the case, differences are found, you can make this known in the counting task without booking the difference. In this case you choose to let the found difference be checked by a second person.
  • Second person check: You can let a second person perform a check – manually or through the scanner. There is a scanning process available in which you have a second person sent to check all “open” differences. With this, you have the possibility to let the second person perform a re-count and directly book differences.
Found differences can always be processed into the inventory through the client, directly from the table with Cycle Counting Tasks. Curious about the possibilities and wondering whether Cycle Counting fits your working technique? Contact us today at info@mercuriusit.com.