Should You Hire a Stocktaking Services Company?
We’re not going to lie; stocktake can be a huge undertaking, especially for small businesses with large amounts of stock or new businesses lacking stocktaking experience. Thankfully, there are stocktaking services that take out a lot of the hard work - but are they worth it?
We’ll take you through the pros and cons of outsourcing your stocktake, as well as what to look for if you do decide you want to hire a stocktake services company.
Remember, you don’t have to outsource the entire stocktaking process; many companies offer specific services that you may wish to take advantage of, such as stocktake equipment hire, stock auditing services, stocktake training, and more.
Why hire a stocktaking company?
This might seem like an obvious question. The short answer is, because they can do everything for you and you don’t have to worry about it! But as with anything, there are two sides to the story. We’ve listed the pros and cons here so you can weigh things up for yourself.
- Account managers and stocktake staff are fully trained in all equipment and do this for a living. Basically, they are stocktake experts, whereas your employees may not be
- Due to the level of expertise, you can expect to see more accurate results with a stocktaking service
- Stocktaking services won’t just dump you with the data - they take you through the whole process, including analysis and auditing. This is great if you struggle with reporting and finding key insights
- Stocktaking services generally provide you with all the equipment you may need, including PDA barcode scanners, forklifts, and any other necessary tools
- A good service will typically appoint a stocktake manager, who will manage all of their staff so you won’t have to get involved if you don’t want to
- Many companies provide software to link up to scanning equipment and reporting data
- If stocktake training is offered, you can have your employees trained so you don’t have to hire a company the next time around.
- Cost is often prohibitive for some business owners
- Lack of involvement means you won’t know your stock situation inside-out (this is, of course, avoidable if you work alongside the company in a prominent role)
- Some business owners feel that the lack of specific stock knowledge can be a disadvantage when stocktake is outsourced
- If you dislike the company you hire and decide to discontinue, the next stocktake you complete may have software clashes if the next company doesn’t use the same program or equipment.
What you should look for in a stocktaking services company
Choosing a stocktaking services company is dependent on your individual requirements. Some businesses may only wish to hire stocktaking equipment, while others will want the full stocktaking service, including data analysis and conclusions.
Here are some items you may want to take note of for when you’re researching a company that is right for you and your business’s needs:
- Up-to-date PDA barcode scanning devices
- Forklift hire (if you have a large storeroom or warehouse and many pallets of stock)
- Ability to integrate data capture equipment with your existing software
- Dedicated account manager for your project
Reporting and analysis
- Full access to all reports and data
- Sophisticated documents and reports (ask to see examples of their previous clients)
- Customised reports based on your needs
- Stock auditing and stocktake discrepancy investigations
- Stocktake specialists in your specific industry or sector
- Stock management training to ensure future stocktakes run smoothly
- Stocktake training for your employees
Conclusion: To hire or not to hire?
In summary, we don’t think there’s anything wrong with hiring a stocktake services company. If you have the budget for it and have found a company that works well with your business, it can certainly be a weight off your shoulders.
However, it’s important to move towards self-sufficiency, and it’s a great idea to have your own staff trained in stocktaking procedure, so you can rely less heavily on an external company. If that sounds like where you want to be, make sure you hire a company that will also train you and your employees.
Have you used a stocktaking service before? Would you recommend it?