Here Are 8 Things You Need to Decide Before You Ever Do A Physical

Will your business be taking physical inventory soon?  Before you do your first physical, there are some things you’ll need to figure out. 


First, here’s the research.  Inventory discrepancies that most properties experience are from the following:

80% - Internal Process and Paperwork

16% - Associate Theft

3% - Guest/Member Theft


Let’s address the biggest cause of variance, the internal process, starting with your team:

1.       Is there a culture of seriousness around physicals?  Establish one.

A kickoff meeting with your team will set expectations.

2.       Frequency

How many times will you take inventory?

3.       Pick the least stressful time and set the date

You can change this as needed, so don’t stress.  Does this need to be at the end of the month?  No!  That’s a myth, you can take inventory any time. Set a time-of-day deadline and pick something firm so your team has a clear understanding.  “By end of day Tuesday the 4th”, or “By 2pm on Thursday”.

4.        What will your countdown process look like?

You’ll need a 7-day checklist leading up to the event.  This will include tasks like processing all damaged items, bringing all products back to sales floor, running negative on-hand reports, and organizing store rooms and printing zone sheets.  To see Yellow Dog’s full checklist, visit our home page and click on “Inventory Best Practices” for a downloadable list.

5.       Determine your physical approach.

What are your zones and assignments?  Will you scan each tag individually or scan and enter the quantity?  Discuss problem items.  How will you handle?  Who will handle?  Where?  Be very specific.

6.       What are your thresholds?

This depends on your ownership.  When will you recount, and what is the criteria?  What is an acceptable shrink due to theft – 3%?  2%?  Will you take the time to investigate variances?  Which ones?

7.       Cycle Counts

Create a schedule of when to cycle count and what to count.  Adjust your frequency to the high variances – High=Monthly, Low=Quarterly.  Don’t go a long time without resolving variances – the bigger they are, the harder they are to figure out.

8.       Reporting

What kinds of reports need to be generated after each physical?


If you figure out these 8 things, you’ll be well on your way to a chaos-free physical inventory process.  For a more complete list, download our “Physical Inventory Best Practices Guide” available for free on our home page. 



Pinehurst Partner Cup

We are just getting back from our 5th Pinehurst Partner Cup. It’s an outstanding event with a great premise. Have your vendors pay to bring clients/prospects/guests to an iconic property to experience it as a premier customer. It deepens the relationship between the vendor and the client. It also freshens the touch point so that customer is never just a number to the vendor.

Way to go Pinehurst Resort!

Just saying.....

We recently had a POS Partner take 4 weeks to determine that they changed the spelling of one part of their interface and hence, we could not create or update items. Four weeks………I find that unbelievable that any company would allow their clients to suffer and not provide the proper escalation resources to resolve this within a few days…..maybe a week at the most. Maybe being privately owned with the world’s thinnest management layer has its benefits.

Here at yellow Dog, everything seems to go to DEFCON5. I had a client tell me that “It always seems like anything we report becomes an emergency”. I told him that issues are emergencies……that the bar is to not have support.

Newsletter to Newsvideo

In today’s world, we have come to realize that the written word may not be dead, but it sure is a lot harder for general audiences to digest. Blame it on tv, the internet, and iphones, but we live in a video world.

With that in mind, we have switched from sending our clients newsletters to a newsvideo. Basically, we have recorded a presentation of all our updates into a 15 minute youtube video. The video is being sent to the announcement section of our software so everyone will get a chance to see it when they login.

So we may spend a little more time on graphics instead of prose, but the complete content will be better!

Apologies to my brother, the College English Professor.

Networking the Bar Code Printer

We recently switched to the latest Zebra bar code printers - a basic direct thermal (burns the image) and an all environment printer which can print the roll onto the label (better graphics and handles heat/cold).

These printers have slots that allow us to insert a ethernet card to enable network printing. We will be adding these cards to our website shortly. Price under $100.

So now, all your users can share the central bar code printer!

The start of a new day

Hello World.

The start of the Dog’s Blog.

It’s remarkable the breadth of clients types that can use the Yellow Dog Inventory System. We have Mom and Pop gift shops, a chain of restaurants, a corporate pantry operation, to a large multi-store stadium. At the end of the day, all these businesses are looking for control over their spend and their return on inventory. The products vary….but the intent is all the same.

We will use the Dog’s Blog as a way to share news, updates, best practices, and thoughts on the work flows we provide and the industries we serve.