Keys to conducting accurate inventory

These are the most important aspects of the inventory process. If you lack in one of these areas then most likely the results will be jargon and make no sense.

  • Get organized 
  • Have a process
  • Be methodical 
  • Be consistent 
  • Double check your work 
  • Hold managers accountable 

Get organized

If you’re not sure where your product is located then how do you expect to get an accurate count? This is the number one error associated with the inventory process. Stock rooms, Bars and storage areas should be well organized in a manner to easily identify products by category and type and stored in a way to allow easy counting. Products received should be put away in the appropriate location and Invoices collected and stored in a central area so the auditor can collect them. This is the number two error associated with the inventory process, missed or lost invoices! I cannot stress enough this critical aspect of being well organized. The more organized you are the easier and faster your task of inventory will be. 

Have a process

Your organization should have written policies that outline the handling and storage of products, and the handling of deliveries and invoices. 

Be methodical

I like to refer to this as have a method to the madness. Many times, Inventories are conducted by different staff with different skill levels. It is important to develop a system of inventory specific for your bar based off the volume of products you have and layout of your facility. This may take several inventories to nail down the most efficient way to complete an inventory. Determine your order and the process for inventory. Which locations to inventory first and the process of proceeding through the stock rooms or areas. Example- Inventory products in stock room “A” from left to right, top to bottom which correlate to your inventory sheet. Then proceed to Stock area “B” etc… 

Be consistent

Once you have developed the most efficient process, ensure all auditors are performing the inventories the same way. You can go as far as writing a policy that outlines the inventory process. 

Double check your work

Even with all the controls, policies and training in place, mistakes will happen. To narrow down the most common ones, it is a good practice to double check your report on site. Look for discrepancies on your report and re-count those products in question. 

Hold Managers accountable

You hire a manager to manage your bar, staff, inventory and sales. These duties certainly fall under a manager’s job description. Many owners that use our Full Service Providers, hire and fire staff and managers based off our reports and in the same token, reward based off our reports as well.

Hold staff accountable to ringing up the correct POS sales key for what was poured. This is the most frequent problem identified with our software. Pouring Crown and ringing well bourbon that indirectly solicits larger tips is a common occurrence with many of our customers. Some bolder bartenders will bring in their own liquor or even refill empty bottles with inferior product. Our software will pick this up as well.

If you focus on the key aspects of the inventory process as we just covered, you will be running accurate meaningful reports in no time.