Stocktaking is the process of measuring your current stock levels of items in your Inventory. You access Stocktaking functions through Stocktaking in the main Navigation.
Admins have access to different Stocktaking functionality than regular Users, and different functionality is available on the mobile app compared to the desktop.
Types of Stocktake
In Silo, there are two types of stocktake available:
- A full stocktake, which covers every item in your Inventory
- A Smart stocktake, which covers items selected by Silo to provide the most important information
Stocktaking a full inventory is a time-consuming process. It is more efficient instead to focus stocktakes on particular items in the Inventory that need to be checked more frequently, or specific items that should be checked because their stock level has not recently been updated.
Silo does this via Smart Stocktakes, which select a subset of the inventory to be checked. Using Smart Stocktakes saves time because only important items are checked. Because of this, we recommend using Smart Stocktakes, and only doing a full stocktake occasionally.
Smart Stocktakes prioritize items based on the following criteria:
- Items in Stock Crisis
- Items in Re-Order Now state
- Items recently requested
- Items for which the stock level has not been recently checked
For more information, see the article How does Silo calculate stock levels?
Full stocktakes allow you to perform a complete audit of your inventory. As mentioned above, these are more time-consuming, and so do not need to be performed regularly. You may wish to do a Full stocktake if you are conducting a periodic financial review of your company, if you move locations, or if other major events happen that put in question a large number of items in your stock.
Starting a Stocktake
Silo will remind Admins when to conduct a Stocktake via the Dashboard, or on the Stocktaking page.
Stocktaking on mobile versus desktop
In Silo, the quickest way to stocktake is using the mobile app, because this allows you to scan the QR codes on item labels using the phone's camera.
Stocktaking also involves physically moving around your storage space to examine boxes and other items, which can be hard with a laptop. For this reason, we recommend you stocktake on a laptop only if you have a smaller inventory or have a specific reason to do so.
Admins can notify a regular User to start a stocktake, either on the Dashboard or on the Stocktaking page. The User will be able to start the Stocktake on their mobile app.
Pausing, Resuming and Deleting a Stocktake
Any stocktake that starts is 'In Progress' until it is finished. Users can abandon a stocktake halfway through, and return to it later. One User can start a stocktake, leave, and have another User complete the stocktake.
Only one Stocktake can be In Progress by one User at any one time. This is to prevent duplicate information or duplication of effort.
If a stocktake is in progress, a User or an Admin can delete that stocktake and start over. For instance, if a User starts a stocktake on a Friday, and gets called off for another task, the information may be out of date by Monday — so it may be better to start the stocktake again. In the mobile app, when viewing a Stocktake in Progress, a user has the option to delete the stocktake.
When you have started a stocktake, the app will show you a list of items to be checked, ordered by their Location.
As an Admin, if you want to determine the order that Locations appear in a stocktake, go to Settings -> Locations and drag and drop the Locations into your preferred order.
To stocktake an item, the User brings the QR code of the label into view of the camera, and the QR code is automatically read by Silo. The phone will buzz and the item will be marked as present.
For a given product, each case that is present must be scanned.
If the same label is scanned multiple times, it will only be marked as present once - because Silo labels have unique codes on them. For the same reason, it is important to treat cases as unique, and not apply labels from one case to another.
It is important to be consistent about the stocktaking of empty and partial cases:
- Empty cases must not be marked as present.
- We recommend that you set a guideline for employees to mark partial cases as present or not present. For products where you keep a large number of cases on-hand, the issue of an individual case being full or not is not critical, but for situations where a single case represents most of your stock of one item, consistency is important. You may also wish to switch the measurement of this Product to a volume-based measurement (see below).
For products where you measure the amount remaining by weight or volume within a container (often liquids) you can adjust your item Settings to allow this in a stocktake.
Examples might include a pallet of compost mix, a sack of hops, a drum of oil
Visit the Item's settings page by finding the Product in your Inventory list, then find Item Type in the list of settings, and choose Weight or Volume from the dropdown.
In the mobile app, at the beginning of a stocktake, all cases that are currently marked as present in Silo are indicated with a red question mark. As each item is scanned, the icon for that case turns to a green check.
Items that have been marked as 'consumed' before a stocktake do not appear, as Silo knows they are gone.
For a more detailed view of the cases scanned, you can tap on a Product, and see each case's ID. Green cases are marked as present, and red ones as missing.
To change an error (such as marking an empty case as present) you can tap on any case to change its state from present to missing. When done, click the Back arrow to return to the main stocktaking list.
Completing a Stocktake
Once all items have been scanned, click Finish. Silo will present a brief summary, and ask you to confirm. Click Submit to finalize the stocktake.
Stocktaking on Desktop
Stocktaking on desktop is similar to stocktaking on the mobile app, with the key difference being that you must mark cases present manually, instead of scanning them. As in the mobile app, the list of Products to check is presented in Location order. As cases are marked, they will disappear from the list, making it easier to find cases by their ID.
When the stocktake is complete, click Finish. You will have the chance to review a summary of the stocktake before submitting.
When a stocktake is finalized and submitted, a notification is sent to Admins with a summary of the stocktake. This is a good time to review which items have entered a new status, and may need to be re-ordered. You can also see how quickly the stocktake was completed.