Prepare for cycle counts

Written By Ascend knowledge base (Administrator)

Updated at June 14th, 2023

A cycle count is a quick spot-check for inventory accuracy. One or more categories are counted before or after store hours. Every category in the store is counted several times a year, according to a planned schedule.

During a cycle count, every salable product in the category under review is counted, regardless of location (e.g. sales floor, back stock, etc.):

Scan all products currently for sale (on the sales floor or in backstock) which are assigned to the category scheduled to be counted.

Do not scan:

  1. Items on layaway transactions.
  2. Items on work order transactions.
  3. Unreceived orders.
  4. Non-inventory items (e.g. miscellaneous hardware for repairs).
  5. (Multi-Store Retailers) Pending transfer items.

Create A Cycle Count Schedule

Appoint one or two key staff to own the Cycle Count process.

Perform cycle counts 4 or 5 days per week, ideally before or after store hours.

Count each category at least quarterly. Categories may be counted more often as needed.

Determine which categories to cycle count most frequently:

  • Categories with high value products, e.g. Bikes.
  • Categories with high turnover, e.g. Tubes.
  • Categories with high shrink values, e.g. Kickstands.

Post the cycle count schedule in a highly visible location.

Review and update your cycle count schedule regularly.

For an example, view the 5 Week Cycle Count Template or the 12 Week Cycle Count Template.

When you’re first starting cycle counts, you don’t need to count all categories right away. Start small –pick a few key categories (see above) to count while you get used to the process. Then, gradually work your way up to all categories.

Cycle Count Prep Checklist

Perform the following tasks before a category's cycle count is scheduled:

Create an Inventory Event. Article: Using the Inventory Center for Cycle Counts and Full-store Physical Inventory 

Verify your scanner was charging overnight.

Verify your Ascend system was backed up the previous day. If not, run a backup.

Segregate the following items from the cycle count:

  1. Items on layaway transactions
  2. Items on work order transactions
  3. Items waiting to be received
  4. (Multi-Store Retailers) Unresolved transfer items

Print the Inventory > Inventory report for the category counted.
Note: Be sure to file this report for future reference. Ascend does not track historical inventory values.