Physical Count Worksheet

Acclamare provides a means to conduct counting of physical inventory in a variety of approaches. Some companies may elect to perform a count once per year while others perform regular ongoing "cycle" counts throughout the year. The Physical Count Worksheet interface includes several fields for filtering and controlling how a count worksheet will be created, and we'll review each of those fields later in this article. It is first important to understand the timing of the data generation, what quantities are being captures, and how the actual counted values update the inventory on-hand.

Quantity Fields

Acclamare contains a single "hard" record of quantity, which is the net quantity from a variety of transactions adding to and subtracting from Quantity On Hand. That is basically reflecting "what is in the facility". Acclamare also has other "non-hard" or derived quantity values. These are arrived at based most on documents and document status.

Quantity Picked: Quantity committed on a Sales Order, Vendor Return, or component of a Rework Order that is in Being Picked or Being Shipped status. Quantity committed of a component on a Kit that is in Being Built status.

Quantity Available: All the the above PLUS any quantity committed on documents which are NOT in the status as list above.

EX: 100 Ea are on hand with 10 committed to a sales order that is in Being Picked status, and 5 are committed to a sales order that is in Open or Partially Shipped status. Inventory for this item will reflect On Hand: 100, Being Picked: 10, Available: 85.

"Available" is meant to convey to sales desk staff how many units are not already allocated (committed) to other demands and can be sold from stock at that moment. The value for "Being Picked" is a factor impacting Physical Count Worksheet. Quantity On Hand - Picked is referred to as "Shelf Count"

Count Concept

There are some timing factors to be aware of with performing a physical count. Acclamare has taken steps to eliminate the timing of the posting of the actual count. However, the generation of the count worksheet and when user actually performs the count are critical. It is recommended that physical counts are performed at the end of the day or the beginning of the day. Most clients elect to have a regularly set period of time each day or day of the week to perform counts. The Physical Count Worksheet should be generated AFTER the day's or prior day's shipments at posted. It is at this time that the least number of Being Picked documents exist. Another recommendation to help reduce the number of transaction in Being Picked status is to establish guidelines for when Pick Tickets are printed. If staff knows that Friday morning is "counting day", then late Thursday orders should not be printing if it is expected to not be pulled and shipped until Friday. And on Friday morning, order should not be printed until "after 9:30". Of course there will be exception, but this general rule helps improve the accuracy of the counts and makes the counting more efficient as you will read below.

When generating a Physical Count Worksheet, Acclamare is taking a snapshot of "Shelf Count" at that exact moment. It is this value which is going to be compared against the value the user actually counts. In the previous example, a Shelf Count of 90 (100 On Hand - 10 Being Picked) exists for the item and it 90 that Acclamare is expected the user to physically count. If the Pick Ticket for that order of 10 Ea is still in the warehouse and the product has not been removed from the shelf and placed in a staging area, the user will likely count and record 100 as the count quantity. Then when the count is posted, it will INCREASE inventory by 10 ea. So it is for this reason that it is recommended that perform counts when the least number of print pick tickets exist, and/or the quantities for such pick tickets are tagged or removed from the stocking shelves.

The printed worksheet can be configured such that it displays the expect quantity or hides that quantity. There are differing opinions on which approach is better. One thought is that by not displaying a quantity forces the counter to count the units, eliminating the possibility of the counter looking in a bin and guessing that "1,043 units looks to be the number in that box". The other thought is that by listing the quantity of 1,043 and the counter finds a significantly higher or lower quantity, the counter will question the count and will proceed to look recheck item#, recount, or look in other locations for more boxes. This later makes the assumption of the counters being conscientious and not of the "looks to be about number" type. If using the approach to display the Shelf Quantity on the printed worksheet, it can also display the "Being Picked" quantity. This can be a big help in reducing count accuracy. Going back to the example again of 100 On hand and 10 Being Picked, the printed worksheet will being printing 90 Ea which is also what Acclamare is expecting to be be found. But the worksheet can also display "Picked = 10 Ea". So when the counter opens bin and finds 100 Ea ans sees that 90 ea were expected, the counter can go look to see if the 10 Ea shown as "Picked" have or have not already been removed from the shelf and placed in stage area for the Pick Ticket. Or it could be that product was already pulled and order is out on a delivery truck and the order has not yet been processed into a Invoice.

Count Worksheet Fields

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Filters

Warehouse, Begin/End Item, Begin/End Bin, and Begin/End Bin rather self explanatory, though it is important to note that the Begin/End ranges are not drop down lists of existing values. Instead, user will free-from establish these values. Depending upon the naming convention you have for items, bins, or groups you can use this free-form method to easily control the range filter. Assume you have a naming convention for one of those fields wherein a prefix of "10" exists. You could set Being At to "10" and the End At to "10zzz"; this will filter for all records match "10" as the preficx.

Begin/End Reorder Class does provide a dropdown list of movement class 1-15 and "Not Filtered". The value of this filter option is so that you can narrow your counting to only those items which are higher movement items which are not only more important to maintain accurate counts, but are also more susceptible to having discrepancies due to higher volume of transaction handling.

Vendor field allows you to filter based upon the vendor assign as the item's Primary vendor in the Vendor Item Maintenance screen. Typing in a partial value will bring up search grid to find the vendor's code.

Counted On or Before is a date value which is evaluated against a value stored in the Stock Item record. Each time a count is posted and the item was "checkmarked" in the count grid, they current date is written to the Stock Item record. This is very useful in two scenarios. If you had built a filtered worksheet of say 100 items and for whatever reason the counter could only get to 70 of the item. When posting this count, uncheck the 30 items which were not counted and proceed to post. The 70 items will record in Stock Item with a Last Count Date of current date (10/15/2017). You can now build a new count worksheet for the same filters as previously except for setting Count On or Before to "10/14/2017". This will exclude the item counted on 10/15/2017. Another use of Count On or Before is fora catch-all manner to locate items that simply fell through the cracks of not meeting any of your filtering plans. For instance you could set this to a date 1 year prior to current date to find all items not counted within past year.

Quantity On hand allows user limit based upon the quantity of the Shelf Count. The default setting of "0" means to ignore this filter. Any other value will exclude item having a Shelf Count greater than the value input. If an item has 200 ea Shelf Count and 10 Ea was input for Quantity On Hand filter, the item will be excluded from the results. These filter can be used to optional only force a count of only items arriving at a very low stock level which requires to be checked.

Include Item with Zero System Quantity On Hand is a means to to exclude items which have 0 On Hand, This can substantially reduce the volume of records retrieved into. However, there can be a downside to not including these items. This goes back to the conscientious counter verses the "lazy" counter. A conscientious counter will meticulously work along the shelves, count the items, and record the value on the worksheet. If the item is not on the worksheet, the counter will write-in the item number and count. This is a great way to find inventory you never knew you had. The "lazy" counter will work from the worksheet to find an item on the shelf to count. If an item is not listed on the worksheet, the user will likely miss or ignore other items that were sitting on the shelf.

Include Items With no Recent Activity can be used to exclude items having no receipts or sales in the last 6 months. The default setting of "Yes" (checked) includes items regardless of activity date. The setting of "No" (unchecked) will exclude item that which have not had any activity in the last 6 months.

Settings

Number to Count limits the number of item#' retrieved. The default value of "0" means to ignore this setting. In other value will limit the results to that number of records

Assign Workers By is used to distribute the items across multiple "workers" (counters). The count interface has a right-side grid into you you use the drop down list to select one or more counters. The field "Assign Worker By" determines how the distribution will occur. If this setting is set to "By Number if Item", the distribution will be such that each counter is assigned an equal number of Item records to count. If 100 record retrieved and 2 counters, then each counter will be assigned 50 item records to count. If this setting is set to "By Sku Count", the distribution will be such that each counter is assigned an equal number of "quantities" to count. Let's assume you have 100 records with the majority having quantities of 1-20 Ea and there is one item having a quantity on 5000 Ea. In this scenario, one counter may be assigned 99 item records to count while the other counter is assigned only the one item having 5000 Ea.

Unit of Measure Display controls whether the values displayed will use the Item File Maintenance SKU or Quantity. For example an item may be set up such that SKU is "EA", and Quantity UM is "CASE" were 1 Case - 12 EA. The Setting Unit of Measure Display establishes which value you will to display onscreen and on the printed worksheet,

Count Sequence (**please consider carefully**) The intent of this setting is to control the sequence of how the the records are retrieved into into the count. If left to default of "By Item Number", the result will include all items listed in a sequence of that of the item numbers. If set to "By Bin Number", the results will be listed in sequence of Bin Number + Item Number. HOWEVER there is a caveat to the "By Bin Number" choice in that any items NOT HAVING a Bin Number will be EXCLUDED form the results. The recommendation is that the setting of "By Item Number" always be used, and if desired, the printed worksheet can be configured to print in Item Number or Bin Number sequence for the convenience of the counter.

General

Any number of Physical Count Worksheets can exist at the same time. You may wish to create 3-4 different counts to break up the counting into smaller focused counts by products groups or geographic bin locations. Once an item has been retrieved and exists on a "non-posted" count worksheet, it will not be retrieved onto subsequent count worksheet.

After user creates, saves, and prints the the worksheet, this is a snapshot of inventory that moment. It is important for counter to count the items as soon as possible, limiting any physical pulling from or adding to inventory to that designated shelf space. Counter may have hand-written items onto their worksheet, and now handed the worksheet back to user. The user will "Open" and select the Count Number which will display the same data values as when the count was generated. The Actions menu provides "Add and Item" so that user can add hand-written items found by the counter. The user proceeds to work through the lower grid of item results and changing value in the column "Actual Count". Input the actual quantity counted, not a "difference" or "adjust by" value. The grid defaults to all records checkmarked. These should remain checked even of "0" quantity was found for the item, as this will update the Last Counted Date to this date along with 0 quantity. The only time you should uncheck am item is when the counter was unable to perform a count on the item. This will not set the Last Counted Dated for this item.

Before Posting the count worksheet, click Save and make note of the Count Number. Optionally run "Physical Count Variance Report from Report Manager and input the Count Number. This provides a report to review for significant dollar or quantity variances, and possibly hand back to the counter to recheck. Once satisfied with the count values, re-access the count worksheet and proceed to Post. The post process will increase or decrease the current quantity on hand by the difference (variance) found by the counter. (Potential commit error - see Troubleshooting section below.)

Build Random Count

There exist a menu option (Actions - Build Random Count) within Physical Count Worksheet which is targeted toward clients performing routine cycle counts (at least monthly or more frequently) and wanting an automated methods of deciding what items need to be counted. The tradition approach is that user has a spreadsheet or calendar list the items, groups, or groups in a repetitive loop. When time arrives to count items, user refers to this document to determine what is next to be counted. The "Build Random Count" feature takes this approach much further and does not require the user to keep track of what needs to be counted next. The goal of Build Random Count is that every item will be counted over the course of the year. High volume items will be counted 4 to 6 times per year, mid volume items will be counted a couple of times, and slow movers will be counted once.

After creating a NEW Physical Count Worksheet

  • Input ONLY the desire Warehouse.
  • Do not change any other fields in the "Filters" section, as they will be ignored.
  • In the "Settings" section you have the ability to control ONLY "Number to Count" and "Assign Workers By".

All other filtering is pre-programmed to accomplished the follow:

  • Include class 1 - 3 items that haven't been counted for at least 2 months
  • Include class 4 - 6 items that haven't been counted for at least 5 months
  • Include class 7 - 9 items that haven't been counted for at least 8 months
  • Include class 10 - 12 items that haven't been counted for at least 11 months


Troubleshooting

If you are attempting to generate a count and expected items are not appearing, the most likely reason is that an existing count has been created (for testing or otherwise) and ist has not been posted or delete. An item in and existing non-posted count worksheet is excluded from subsequent generating of records. To look for these, access Physical Count Worksheet, click "Open" and input wildcard (%) into search criteria. Only non-posted counts will appear if they exist. Select the count and determine whether it needs to be posted or deleted.

During posting it is possible that you will receive an error message regarding committed quantity. This can arise if the posting will be decreasing the current quantity on hand to a value which is LESS than the quantity committed - Quantity Picked. To resolve this, use Dynamic Inquiry - Outgoing Stock and identify the document(s) on which this item is committed. Access the documents and reduce the quantity commit as needed so that the net committed quantity does not exceed the new quantity on hand you are attempting to set.

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