Inventory Ally is a powerful tool that streamlines your inventory management by automatically assigning items to a cycle count schedule. This schedule is determined by algorithms that take into account your cost and volume data from your order history. While this automated system can significantly improve your inventory management, it's crucial to ensure it aligns with your specific needs and space limitations. This help article will guide you through understanding and optimizing your inventory cycle counts with Inventory Ally.
1. Understanding Cycle Count Frequencies
Inventory Ally classifies items into one of four cycle count frequencies: weekly, every other week, monthly, and quarterly. This classification ensures a balanced distribution of inventory checks throughout the year, allowing for efficient time and resource allocation.
2. Space Limitations and Frequency Adjustment
Inventory Ally's algorithms don't consider space limitations. Therefore, before using the software, it's essential to verify that the assigned product count frequency suits your practice. If you find that you don't have adequate space to store inventory for the assigned cycle count frequency, consider increasing the count frequency.
For example, if you don't have enough space to store 50 boxes of cotton balls for a quarter, you may need to adjust the count frequency to monthly to avoid space issues.
3. "Max" and "Min" Quantities
When verifying your inventory items, pay attention to the "max" and "min" quantities. These values are crucial for determining your stock levels. Here's what they mean:
Max: The calculated quantity required to cover a full cycle, plus any buffer stock. The buffer stock varies based on your practice's demand and order history.
Min: The minimum quantity necessary to cover a full cycle count.
If your inventory levels have not fallen below the "min," you should have sufficient stock on hand to last another full cycle for that item, regardless of the assigned count frequency.
Best Practices For Inventory Management
New Items. New Items should be counted weekly for a while to establish a pattern of demand so Inventory Ally's algorithms can make the best recommendation for cycle count frequency. New items without prior order history should be counted every week for up to 12 weeks to really establish what you go through in a typical quarter. Keep in mind, initial recommendations are generally too low so you will need to use some judgement on your order quantity as the site learns. Learn how to adjust an inventory item's frequency by clicking here.
Demand Increase. Sudden Changes in demand require some extra attention. Adding or subtracting doctors or sudden seasonal changes usually need to be manually adjusted for a lag in the data. This is only required for a few weeks until the system responds to your uploaded orders and can make correct recommendations. In addition, we have released a feature allowing administrators to adjust their buffer stock levels. Learn more about buffer stock control for individual inventory items by clicking here.
Hide Items. Anything discontinued and that you no longer want to count can simply be hidden by toggling the hide icon on the right side of the product. Don't waste time searching for, and trying to count items that aren't in your practice. Learn how to hide an item by clicking here.
Merge Items. Have multiple SKUs for the same product? Merge multiple products and their order history into one primary item to count and order. Learn more about Merging Items by clicking here.
Video Walk Through
Prefer a video guide on how to verify your item set up? Simply click the video below.