Many companies have some sort of counting system in place – though it is typically tedious, manual, and not very effective. The good news is there are mobile solutions for NetSuite that automate this process, allowing you to gain visibility to your inventory at any given time. Whether you are evaluating a NetSuite SuiteApp or just trying to set up your counting strategy, there are a few counting options to consider.
Counting Definitions You Need to Know
In RF-SMART, we call counting, "Stock Counting," which is our universal term for inventory counting. There are three main types of Stock Counting available with most mobile WMS tools for NetSuite:
- Stock Count – This is more closely related to a physical inventory where you may be doing a wall-to-wall count. The key piece is that you are not telling the person counting which items they are supposed to count. What you ARE going to be telling them is WHERE they are going to be counting. For example: Tom - Aisle 1, but you’re not going to tell Tom specifically what items to count.
At the same time, in NetSuite, a count sheet with a list of the expected items will be generated and available for management to view, which is updated in real time as the count progresses. However, the mobile function will not display the items or bins to be counted. You can still enter items that are not “expected” on the count sheet, and these are added to the count sheet as unexpected items. This is how missing inventory can be “found” as the count takes place.
- Stock Count (Directed) – This is more closely related to performing a cycle count (a specific set of items over a specific period of time, or as a spot check for an item or small number of items or bins). The key here is that you are telling people exactly which items/bins they are going to be counting. This can make Stock Count (Directed) easier to manage, because you are only targeting specific items. Stock Count (Directed) should be for a limited number of items or bins, and counted and approved in a short period of time.
It’s important to note that Items not included in the directed count cannot be entered. This leads to a key difference: this type of count will not find lost items. However, it does allow your employees to specifically confirm if they do not find an item. For example: Tom is directed to count a specific item – if he can’t find it, he can enter zero.
- Stock Count (Dynamic) – This function is simply designed to allow an employee in the warehouse or store to create a stock count on the fly. This is accomplished by allowing the creation of a stock count directly from the mobile device. The functionality of actually executing the count is the same as a regular stock count.
No matter which counting type you select, each version of stock count should have a scan item option.This forces the user to scan each item instead of entering a quantity counted. The scanned value can be the Item Name/Number, UPC Code, Vendor Code or Multiple UPC. If none of these are found, then a NetSuite global search can be used.
If you’d like to learn more about leveraging mobile stock counting in your operations today, speak with our team today.
(For RF-SMART customers, we walk through setting up each Stock Count type in our NetSuite Customer Support Training series.)