Inventory – At Work, the Annual Event.

Oh joy to counting of everything from the paper-clips to the little price tag stickers, this annual event we call Inventory. “Forty-four, forty-five, forty-six, forty-seven…, the count goes on, in the name of achieving that perfect score–to balance out our on-site count, to what is on paper. Does it ever equal out to zero point zero, zero?

This was first actual inventory out of only just two years working here, and since I was working the day shift anyway, I got to dive right into the count. I was given the task of auditing the first count that was done by a private, third party accounting firm. So, I went from a receiving “jock” to inventory auditor with the flick of a pen. I though we were bad for some of our lax counting procedures, but this third party out-fit, well, they were something else. I spent nearly two hours just in one area, finding errors, some very large, and their value worth a lot of money.

The small army of “counters” was something too, to watch. You have at least thirty men and women, dressed in black, all armed with their specialised calculators, and wireless touch pads, marching through the sale floor like locusts, all moving in the same direction, as they count each section of the store. As they moved through each section, their job was to leave a tag with their counts on them. Once they were done, then we would do a quick run through, and check each of these tags to catch discrepancies.  And many were found.

In my little section of the sales floor, I found many errors, but most were easy to spot, and only becuase I knew the inventory so well. As for the third party counters, it must have been a tough job for them trying to figure out some of the items. In one case, the difference was a total value of nearly a thousand dollar wroth of product. For that department supervisor, he was on full damage control mode as I showed him my list of errors. For him, pride was at stake, as he work hard to keeps his counts as accurate as possible. The last thing he wanted was a ten page list of re-dos and bad counts on his plate.

So, it was done. Our count was better than last year, and so far the final adjustments look to be that we keep our current balance count–which is pretty good. Although there is a week of audits to go through by the management staff, the counts numbers may vary by a tenth of a percent.

I am glad it is over.

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