How To Avoid Inventory Discrepancies in Your Auto Dealership

  Mike Bachara   |     Jun 03, 2021

Automotive parts inventory control may sound like a straightforward responsibility. But if you have had any experience behind a parts desk, you know this is one of those things that’s easier said than done. Specific skills and strategies are needed to properly control inventory, without it things can quickly get out of hand. 

Anybody who has anything to do with your parts inventory needs to understand this – otherwise errors are much easier to make. 

So today we’ll look at what you can do to reduce inventory discrepancies. But first, let’s take a look at some common discrepancies.

What are the common causes of auto dealership inventory discrepancies 

To ensure an accurate inventory, you need to minimize the opportunities for discrepancies. To do this, you need to know why they’re happening. Here are some of the reasons you may have frequent discrepancies in your inventory records: 

Human error – this includes miscounts, calculation errors, clerical errors and issues with data entry by one of your staff or another coworker. 

Unit measure error – this includes incorrectly weighing parts or using the wrong unit of measure when taking inventory or selling parts.

Misplaced parts – these types of errors are often caused by mislabeling, putting parts in the wrong spot or mistaking similar parts. 

Theft – theft is a reality, and not just by external parties. Internal theft is common and is especially easy at companies that keep poor track of their inventory. 

Receiving errors – this happens when inventory receivers do not properly verify the number of parts ordered and the number received.

These are just some of the common causes of discrepancies. The good news is, there are easy ways to prevent them. 

How can your auto dealership avoid inventory discrepancies? 

✔️ Train your staff 

Make sure that anybody handling your inventory is trained on the proper practices and procedures. 

✔️ Make sure your staff are following what they have learned in training 

Even if you spend hours training your staff, they can sometimes stray from the procedure. Maybe they think it is easier another way or stop doing something because it seems redundant. 

That’s why it’s important to supervise your staff to ensure they are following the processes and training. If they aren’t, remind them of the right way to do it and make sure they understand why it’s important. Also be open to updating processes if there are steps that could be improved upon. 

✔️ Keep proper records 

Make sure you take full advantage of your inventory system and include the location properly updated. 

✔️ Organize your parts 

Make sure your parts are properly organized. This means keeping each SKU in a single place. You also want to have parts, bins and locations well marked to reduce the risk of parts being put back in the wrong place. Have obvious boundaries for where one part starts and another stops, whether it is separate bins, separators between parts in the same bin or lines taped off on shelves. 

✔️ Restrict access 

Whenever possible, limit the number of people who are allowed to retrieve parts and put them back. This will reduce the risk of parts being misplaced.  

✔️ Properly receive products 

When your team is receiving products, make sure they are properly counting and reconciling quantities with the packing slip. This will ensure proper records and help your team deal with mistakes in a timely manner. 

For more information on reducing discrepancies, or for help getting your stock in order, contact our team of inventory professionals today

Guide to Optimizing Inventory MGMT

By Mike Bachara

Mike Bachara | Owner of Pro Count West
Mike Bachara | President Pro Count West

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