You can get to this part of the system by clicking on the Inventory link in the blue Admin Toolbar and then clicking on the Variance button in the drop-down bar.
A Note About Portable Inventory Scanners
Handheld inventory scanners can be a hefty investment, with good quality models from reputable companies like Motorola and Honeywell ranging from several hundred to a couple thousand dollars. A more cumbersome but much more affordable solution might be to use a standard barcode scanner with a notebook and just scan directly into a spreadsheet file. It is likely you already have the hardware you need for this method.
Let's take a look first at exactly what we mean by inventory variance: Your variance count will be the difference in inventory quantities between the numbers in our system and an actual physical count of your inventory from your sales floor. So if our system shows a product as having three units in inventory but you count what is actually on the shelf as being five units, the variance would be -2 for that product.
So when you use our Variance module, you will need the following:
- All products need to have either a UPC number, a Manufacturer ID, or a SKU number listed in our system AND readable on the product itself (ideally in a scannable barcode, but that is not required).
- You need to download this file to use as your means of uploading your count for each item into the Variance module. See more below about Inventory Count. This file may display as text in your browser. If you have trouble with the download, please click here to watch a video on how to download it.
- You will need a separate file for each physical location you have in the system, and if you do your web inventory separately from your POS inventory, you would need separate files for each.
Getting Your Inventory Count
There are several methods you can use to get your inventory count for each item from your sales floor. They range from writing everything down on paper to going from item to item with a scanner plugged into a laptop to using a handheld wireless inventory scanner. For accuracy, we recommend using some kind of scanner just to make sure your product codes are coming in precisely.
Whichever method you choose, all that our system needs is one identifier number for each product (this can be either the UPC, Manufacturer ID, or SKU), and never more than one for each product, and it also needs the number of units in stock. This can be a whole number, for example, we have 16 cans of Glade air freshener on the shelf. Or for some products, it can be a decimal value representing a fraction, such as 4.25 yards of Rudolph Red Christmas fabric from Moda.
When working with the spreadsheet you can download above, it is by far the easiest and most accurate way to work if you scan your barcodes directly into the Product ID column. When you are dealing with hundreds or thousands of products, every time saving step should be incorporated, if possible.
You should save your spreadsheet as a .csv file (Comma Separated Values). Please make sure that there are NO BLANK CELLS in column A or column B, or the file will not upload.
Uploading Your Inventory Count
Go to the Variance module by clicking on Inventory> Variance. Choose the location you will be uploading for in the drop list, and then click to choose the file you will be uploading. You will see the following:
When you click to Load Variance, if your file has no errors, you will see a detailed inventory screen load. If there are errors, nothing will happen. Please review your spreadsheet and make sure that each cell in columns A and B have something in them and that it has been saved as a .csv. You should not alter the row 1 headings at all, or the file will not upload!
Inventory Variance and Updating Your Inventory Count
Once the Variance loads, you will see a screen like this:
PLEASE NOTE: The Update Inventory button should be the last one you click on, as it will clear the screen and update your inventory numbers in the system.
Qty Short - This tells you how many total units were short for their count in the system prior to your update.
Qty Over - This tells you how many total units were over the actual quantity for their count in the system prior to your update.
Variance - The difference between your Qty Short and Qty Over numbers.
Value Short - The total value of inventory that was not accounted for prior to the update due to count falling short of the actual numbers.
Value Over - The total value of inventory that was mistakenly in the system due to inventory count numbers being too high prior to your update.
Variance - The difference between your Value Short and your Value Over numbers.
Using the Line Items
By default, all items in the list will have the checkbox active. If you don't need to update Count or Cost for an item, you can un-check it. In addition to the product title and Product ID, you can see the Inventory Count (the new numbers you entered for quantities) and the Current Count (current quantities in the system). The proposed inventory Adjustment number is the change that will be made, plus or minus, to the quantity for the product that is at present in the system.
You also have the ability to add or adjust the per-unit Cost for each product, if you like. This can be very useful, because you may have products that don't yet have a Cost number in the system, which will be throwing off your total inventory value and your profit margins.
The value listed shows you what each line item adjustment will be made, plus or minus, to your total inventory value after the Variance is updated. If you don't need to adjust or add Cost numbers, you can click the Clear Costs button and no adjustments will be made in the system for per-unit costs or totals.
If you would like to have a record of the Variance report, you can click the Export link in the upper right to download a .csv version.
After you have everything you need entered, adjusted and/or noted and saved, click the Update Inventory button to make the changes to your Inventory Count, individual product Cost, and total Inventory Value. You will see the following once the adjustments are live in the system:
If you need to run a Variance report for another location, you can do so at this point by changing the location in the drop list, and then choosing the appropriate file with the Choose File button. Repeat the steps above for each location.