Be Counted.

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The process of managing inventory is integral to the smooth running of many businesses. One critical aspect of inventory management is the full inventory count, which, as the name implies, entails conducting a detailed tally of every item in stock. In this post, we’ll explore the advantages and drawbacks of full inventory counting to help businesses make an informed decision.

Pros of Full Inventory Counting

It’s not just about counting products on the shelves. It’s a systematic approach that ensures that the actual items in stock align with what’s recorded in the inventory management system.

Establishing a Baseline

Full inventory counting serves as a solid foundation for businesses, helping them determine their current standing. When you conduct a complete count, you’re setting a baseline, which is indispensable for monitoring progress, planning for future sales, and managing inventory turnover. This baseline is essential because it lets businesses know where they stand, laying the groundwork for the time that follows.

Uncovering Hidden Inventory

Not everything that should be in your stock is always where it should be. Items get misplaced, go missing, or are simply not recorded correctly in the system. A full inventory count shines a light on these issues.

By exploring deep into the process, businesses can identify items that aren’t reflected in their system—those products that were assumed utilized but were instead misplaced or overlooked. In simpler terms, full inventory counting helps businesses locate lost inventory and rectify discrepancies to ensure the system remains accurate.

Cons of Full Inventory Counting

While the benefits of full inventory counting are evident, there are challenges and drawbacks that businesses need to be aware of.

Time Consumption

The most notable disadvantage of conducting a full inventory count is the time it demands. Depending on the size of the business and the state of its inventory, the process can span anywhere from a weekend to several months.

For some businesses, dedicating this amount of time isn’t always feasible. Some places spend a month or even up to four months sorting their inventory. The time invested in a full count might not be something all businesses can afford, especially those with tight operational schedules or limited resources.

The Fine-Tooth Comb Approach

In cases where the inventory status is particularly messy, a meticulous, fine-tooth comb approach is necessary. This means examining every item closely, ensuring that everything is correctly cataloged. While this method is thorough, it’s also exceedingly time-intensive and can be daunting for businesses, particularly if they lack the requisite expertise or manpower.


Full inventory counting offers undeniable advantages: establishing a clear baseline and uncovering hidden inventory. It’s an excellent tool for ensuring system accuracy. However, the time and resources it demands can be challenging for some businesses to commit to, especially if their inventory status requires a highly detailed approach.

When deciding whether to engage in full inventory counting, businesses need to weigh these pros and cons, considering their unique circumstances and operational needs. For some, the benefits of accurate inventory management outweigh the time and effort. For others, alternative inventory management strategies might be more suitable.

If you’re unsure about which approach to inventory management suits your business best, or if you have questions about the process of full inventory counting, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to guide and assist you every step of the way.

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