Saturday, February 16, 2008

Taking Stock of Stocktaking

As an Access database programmer I have often had to figure out solutions to tricky problems, but keeping track of stock has never been one of them, until now.
It seems like such a trivial thing: count up all the stock items, and then track all the sales and deliveries for a given period, and then predict what should be there. Simple!? No. It turns out to be a lot more tricky than that.
Say we do the stock count on Monday. Does one include the Monday sales or not? What about deliveries? Were they received before, during or after the stocktake was done? Some companies close their doors during stocktaking. What if this isn't possible?
Then there is the question of partial quantities. If items come in packs of a dozen, what do you do about open packs? Is this regarded as part of the production stock or not? So many questions are raised but not always answered. It's not as simple as it looks, that's for sure!

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