Let’s face it, stock audits aren’t much fun.
Inventories are both dull and time-consuming and generally regarded as an obvious downside of working in a warehouse.
As unpopular as it may be however, stocktaking is an essential task. So too is check weighing items, a legal requirement for any business selling goods priced by weight.
In short, this kind of work is inescapable.
Foremen hoping to accelerate the process - without compromising on accuracy - need look no further than counting scales. And they can do so without any obligation to buy.
How They Work?
Digital counting scales and balances, to give them their full title, simplify a painstaking job.
But don’t just take our word for it, ask the big supermarket chains we all visit weekly. The likes of Tesco and Sainsbury’s have relied on exactly this kind of weighing equipment since the early 1980s. And there are good reasons for that.
Counting scales streamline stock audits. Here’s how…
Modern, digital versions use what’s known as an Average Piece of Weight – or APW – to determine the number of parts placed onto a scale’s surface.
The process itself could not be easier.
Operators simply take a small sample of items that need to be weighed and input this into the scale. The machine then does the work for them, calculating the APW automatically.
This means that when an unknown quantity is placed onto the scale after this point it will reveal how many there are based on that previous calculation.
And just like that, a laborious process is changed for the better.
Counting scales typically come in two forms. The first boasts a standard counting function, the second three displays – weight, sample weight and quantity.
Which you opt for will be depend on the precise nature of your stock audit.
Whichever you purchase (or hire), you’re sure to enjoy immediate benefits. There do however remain a handful of things to be mindful of…
Firstly, counting scales are renowned for being incredibly sensitive. In many ways this is a great thing, but it can also lead to miscalculations in the face of vibration, drafts and even changes in temperature. They must also be placed onto a flat surface to avoid their equivalent of drift.
As mentioned, counting scales are incredibly simple to operate but a degree of concentration is still needed. It’s important to zero the scale between measurements and tare off any containers that may be present.
As a rule of thumb, bigger scales are not quite as adept at weighing smaller parts. Conversely, small scales struggle with a total weight that exceeds their maximum capacity. This should be factored into any audit.
Finally, it serves to place loads approximate to that initial sample used for the all-important APW. Suddenly piling on far more will lessen the chance of an accurate reading thereafter.
Now that we know exactly how to operate counting scales, let’s focus in on why you might hire them for a short period.
There’s nothing like an upcoming stock audit to focus the mind. Many businesses plan ahead and lease equipment when it’s likely to be needed, as opposed to seeing it collect dust in the interim. Hire scales provide the perfect solution in this instance.
Others realise at the very moment they come to begin an audit that their scales have succumbed to old age and technical faults. Again, hire scales present a quick fix, in more ways than one if you sign up to a service contract and have the same supplier fix yours…
Start-up companies, meanwhile, particularly those with limited budgets, make use of the hire service as they view it as a cost-effective alternative to splashing out on new models. This makes sound, financial sense.
Similarly, those contemplating a purchase may favour the ‘try before you buy’ approach and see a stock audit as the perfect trial run.
Whatever their reason for loaning hire scales, recipients know they’ll arrive fully calibrated and guaranteed to serve a purpose.
The reasons uptake is so strong within warehouses and for stock audits especially are plentiful.
To begin with, such tasks are better executed with counting scales than by hand. Stock audits can span days and its neither economic nor fair to expect staff to physically count items over that long a period.
It’s also not uncommon for errors to be made when adopting the age-old approach. Miscounting is accidental yet inevitable. Counting scales guard against this and improve efficiency.
As outlined above, they are easy to setup and easy to use. No in-depth training needs to be arranged to get the hang of the process – meaning even new staff can oversee audits almost immediately.
In shaving time off inventories, counting scales help business owners save on resource. They do, in effect, pay for themselves.
But most importantly they are incredibly accurate, with many capable of weighing items as light as paper.
All of our equipment falling under this category is Class III approved and manufactured by some of the biggest names in the industry.
We can offer a choice of A&D, Excell, Ohaus and T-Scale models and arrange for them to be sent out for a set period, depending on your exact requirements.
Stock audits will never be fun, but they don’t have to be painful either. Hire counting scales and see for yourself.