Optimizing Your Inventory Management with Cycle Counts
Managing inventory is a crucial aspect of any business, and the frequency at which you count your items plays a significant role in balancing time and costs. In this guide, we'll explain how to use cycle counts effectively to optimize your inventory management.
Cycle Count Categories
Each inventory item is assigned to one of four count frequencies. These frequencies are determined by analyzing your order history. Items are assigned a cycle count frequency on the cost and consumption patterns specific to your hospital. Items ordered 1-2 times in the past twelve months will be automatically hidden.
Read more about each category below.
1. Weekly Count
Items in this category are counted every week and are typically your most expensive and critical products. Counting them weekly has several advantages:
Cost Reduction: Frequent counting helps reduce the total cost of inventory on hand.
Preventing Stockouts: Regular counting ensures minimal chances of running out of essential items.
Enhanced Calculations: Frequent updates to your order history provide Inventory Ally with more data for calculating minimum and maximum quantities.
Exceptions for Weekly Count:
New Items: Newly added items should be counted weekly for 6-12 weeks to establish a pattern of demand. Afterward, consider reassigning them to a lower count frequency if appropriate.
Consumption Changes: If the consumption pattern changes significantly, such as due to seasonality or new trends, switch items to weekly counts for 6-12 weeks to help the program recognize demand changes faster.
2. EOW (Every Other Week) Count
The EOW category divides items into two groups, with each group counted every other week, creating a six-time count over twelve weeks. These items are essential but less critical than weekly items and account for approximately 20% of your unhidden inventory. Many parasiticides and some vaccines often fall into this category.
3. Monthly Count
About 25% of your inventory is assigned to the monthly count category by default. These items are less critical and less susceptible to consumption fluctuations. They are also less expensive, making it easier to stock up on them without breaking the bank. This category is suitable for Quarterly items that take up too much space.
For example, if you order pill vials once per quarter, you can count them monthly to reduce the amount you carry and reorder them once a month instead of once per quarter.
4. Quarterly Count
The quarterly count category covers the rest of your managed inventory, making up 50% of your total items. It mainly includes "white goods," items consumed in the clinic rather than sold to clients. These items have a longer shelf life, so they can sit in storage without expiring or taking up excessive space when ordered in bulk. Think of items like cotton balls, gauze, some syringes, or low-volume medications with 6-12 months before expiration.
Some items in your inventory, such as those no longer needed or ordered once or twice a year, do not require regular cycle counting. These items are automatically hidden for you to streamline your inventory management. You can easily unhide them by selecting the "Show Hidden" toggle at the top of the page.
Hidden products are displayed in grey text, and you can choose to toggle the hide/unhide button for any products you want to hide. Conversely, if there are items on your count sheets that you do not need to engage with regularly, simply hide them by toggling their hide/unhide icon to the "on" position.
Balancing time and cost in inventory management is a critical component of running a successful business. Cycle Count "Frequency" in Inventory Ally refers to the number of times you count and order an item over the course of twelve weeks. By categorizing items into different cycle count frequencies, you can optimize your inventory management and ensure you have the right items in stock when you need them, while also controlling costs and preventing stockouts.