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Cycle Counting

Improving Inventory Accuracy with Computer Vision enabled Cycle Counting

In an effort to improve warehouse inventory accuracy, cycle counting is the go-to strategy for identifying and reconciling WMS discrepancies.   As in any measurement process, it is beneficial for 3PLs and warehouse management to establish a baseline to improve upon, and well performed cycle counting will do just that.   In fact, as a practice, most 3PLs have agreed upon inventory accuracy targets with their customers and effective cycle counting has been a key tactic to achieving these service level agreements (SLAs).  Historically there have several different methods to conduct sufficient cycle counts including counting inventory based on their physical location, order popularity or in some cases sporadically counting a variety of SKUs across the warehouse to achieve a greater representation of overall inventory accuracy.

Eliminate manual cycle counting with automated computer vision solutions
Labor intensive pallet receiving can be improved through the use of automated pallet scanning and inventory processing.

Regardless of the method, most warehouses will confess to not performing cycle counting as much as they should. While this auditing process is much easier than a full physical inventory count, it is still a challenge to conduct using the typical process of warehouse Associates walking the aisles (sometimes with pen and paper). One of the biggest reasons offered by warehouses as to why cycle counting is not performed more often, is due to the drain on resources.  Reassigning warehouse associates to cycle count tasks impacts their day-to-day duties.  Additionally, cycle counting can impact the put away and picking processes in the warehouse.  Auditing inventory requires full access to stored goods, and that will typically require shutting down aisles or even areas of the warehouse to support cycle counting.  This problem is even further compounded by multi-location sites.

Reduce Labor Dependencies while Improving Cycle Counting Results

cycle counting high bay shelves
Automated computer vision validates inventory locations and also looks for damaged goods, missing labels and even conducts empty bin audits

The move to leveraging Vimaan computer vision has relieved the inventory cycle counting pains experienced by 3PLs and warehouses.  Deploying an end-to-end, receiving to shipping computer vision system allows for tracking and recording inventory status, placement, and condition at any time.  As goods enter the warehouse, Vimaan computer vision captures all label information and begins reporting back and comparing against WMS manifest data.  Various Vimaan sensors placed throughout the warehouse also track and report on inventory as it is put away, relocated, picked, packed, and finally shipped.

Featured Inventory Cycle Count Process

Image stitching provide warehouses with a comprehensive view of their inventory.

Inventory Image Stitching

All images captured by Vimaan computer vision sensors are automatically stored in photo archives for future and ongoing analysis. Vimaan combines these images together providing 360 views of shelves, pallets and packages for easy access and analysis. Learn more about inventory image stitching.

WHAT IS INVENTORY ACCURACY… AND WHY 3pLs and brands need to care

Inventory cycle counting is key to better understanding warehouse accuracy and enabling greater picking productivity and order processing.

Inventory accuracy is a challenge in almost every warehouse we walk into, and the reasons behind the inaccuracies vary. Understanding the truth behind your inventory involves not just cycle counting of stored inventory, but also accurate tracking of inventory movement starting with inbound pallet receiving to outbound shipping all while reconciling it in near real time against your WMS. 


Inventory Cycle Counting Resources

Inventory Cycle Counting Solutions

StoreTRACK Ground

Mobile cycle counting cart scans mezzanine level locations, capturing highly accurate inventory status. 


Reduces reliance on manual auditing – complete reporting of inventory placement and movement.


Scans, Tracks and INSPECTS High Volume Packages during inbound receiving and outbound shipping.

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