Leveraging ASRS for Cycle Counting and Efficient Stock Audits

Cycle counting is an essential inventory management practice that involves regularly counting a portion of current stock to maintain accurate inventory records. Traditional manual cycle counting can be time-consuming and error-prone, leading to inaccuracies in inventory data. 

Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) offer a powerful solution for improving the efficiency and accuracy of cycle counting and stock audits in a warehouse, when paired with a Warehouse Management Software (WMS). This integration is necessary to gain the full benefit of some ASRS solutions and certainly necessary for cycle counting and stock audits as it allows warehouse managers to leverage the power of WMS combined with the data provided by ASRS for cycle counting and stock audits, ensuring that inventory management processes are as efficient and accurate as possible.


In this blog post, we will explore how leveraging ASRS and WMS technology can streamline cycle counting process and enhance overall inventory management.


Improved efficiency in cycle counting

The first is a bit obvious, and really puts the automate in automated storage and retrieval systems. With ASRS, warehouses can automate the cycle counting process and significantly reducing the time it takes to complete a stock audit. By eliminating all the tedious and repetitive manual tasks that go with a stock audit – like finding, searching, tagging, and labeling items, and then manually updating inventory records (risking data entry and counting errors), a warehouse team can automate the process and greatly reduce the work it requires to complete a stock audit.


Higher accuracy in inventory records

ASRS systems when coupled with WMS provide inventory tracking in real-time, ensuring that inventory records are always up to date and accurate. This continuous tracking reduces the likelihood of errors in inventory data, which are the whole reason cycle counting and stock audits exist. By having higher accuracy in inventory records, there are less errors, which mean the already fast and automated stock audits are even faster because there are less errors to resolve during the stock audit.


Greater flexibility in scheduling cycle counts

One of the hardest aspects of a stock audit or cycle count is scheduling. It frequently requires production or order fulfillment to come to a standstill and for many workers to spend their valuable time manually counting and updating inventory records. ASRS systems allows warehouse auditors to schedule cycle counts at any time, providing greater flexibility for these critical inventory management processes. This flexibility enables more frequent cycle counts or the ability to perform stock audits during off-peak hours, minimizing disruptions to warehouse operations.


Enhanced visibility of inventory discrepancies

The real-time inventory tracking provided by combining ASRS with WMS allows reduces the amount of time it takes to identify discrepancies in inventory records. In a manual system an inventory discrepancy is often found too late, at the point at which an order is already being picked. With an automated system, inventory discrepancies and other errors and be identified much earlier in the process thanks to the heightened visibility provided by ASRS. This increased visibility enables businesses to address inventory issues promptly, ensuring that stock levels remain accurate and up-to-date.


Streamlined reconciliation process


When discrepancies are identified during cycle counting, ASRS solutions can help streamline the reconciliation process by providing detailed information on the location and movement of inventory items. Having accurate and timely information on where inventory is and what the issue is enables quick resolutions to these errors and makes it easier to update inventory records, further improving the accuracy of stock data.

By leveraging ASRS technology for cycle counting and stock audits, warehouses can significantly improve the efficiency and accuracy of their inventory management processes. With increased accuracy in inventory records, improved efficiency in cycle counting, greater flexibility in scheduling cycle counts, enhanced visibility of inventory discrepancies, streamlined reconciliation processes, and integration with warehouse management systems, ASRS solutions transform warehouse operations and contribute to a more effective inventory management strategy.