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Dec 7, 2023 // Caroline Kronenwerth
“Almost everyone knows someone who is sick at the moment. The number of respiratory illnesses is higher than in previous years,” writes Merkur, the Munich-based newspaper publisher, on its website.* News like this indicates that employee absences due to waves of illness are currently pervasive. This blog post explains how inventory sampling is not only an efficient solution for a company’s annual stocktaking activities, but is also an effective safeguard against the challenges posed by absences due to illness.
The end of the year often means that stress levels are high again in many companies. Increasing waves of illness pose additional challenges for enterprises. They have to complete their inventory efficiently despite staff shortages, contain the risk of infection internally as much as possible, and develop their business strategy for the coming year – all these circumstances together create a state of emergency that plays out year after year.
Leverage the benefits of inventory sampling for effective, stress-free stocktaking
One risk that should not be underestimated is the amount of time it takes to complete a full inventory. It often not only causes enormous stress for staff, but also poses an additional risk of infection because personnel work together in close proximity. The good news is that there is a way to prevent inventory stress and staff shortages – it's called inventory sampling.
Inventory sampling is a simplified inventory procedure that is permitted under commercial and tax law. And it's the only method that drastically reduces the number of inventory items to be counted. As a result, inventory sampling is a process that requires significantly less staff, causes much less stress, and it doesn't disrupt company processes.
Free up more time and safeguard against infections
Instead of manually counting or weighing every single product, intelligent inventory sampling automatically records just a representative selection. This reduces stocktaking efforts by up to 95 percent compared to a full inventory. As a result, the number of employees working in the warehouses is reduced and so is the risk of infection. Furthermore, this form of stocktaking takes up to 90 percent less time – the process is easy and stress-free, requiring significantly less staff when absences due to illness are up.
A healthy workforce and satisfied customers
The inventory sampling process also prevents potential warehouse closures and production stops. Since this process doesn’t rely on full manual counting, staff shortages have less of an impact, resulting in smoother warehouse and production processes without interruptions. Companies can thus maintain the best possible customer service, as they are able to meet delivery deadlines and keep warehouses running without major interruptions even during inventory time – an aspect that also has a positive impact on customer satisfaction.
Easier inventory to free up time for strategic tasks
Moreover, unlike inventory sampling, full inventory requires valuable personnel from various departments. At the same time, personnel with specific roles are also heavily involved in end-of-year planning for the following year. This planning includes an in-depth analysis of the current business situation and the definition of strategic goals for the coming year – a considerable additional challenge alongside inventory and in times of staff shortages due to illness. By simplifying the inventory process, inventory sampling frees up valuable time for important strategic tasks, allowing employees to start the new year well prepared.
Conclusion: Inventory sampling is the smart answer to staffing challenges when cold and flu epidemics strike
In light of the upcoming waves of colds and flu and the associated staff absences, inventory sampling is proving to be an intelligent solution to counter staff shortages at the end of the year. Supported by innovative software solutions, this inventory simplification process offers a stress-free, infection-proof and efficient way to successfully manage stocktaking even during periods of absence due to illness. Companies that opt for this current yet proven inventory method can not only ensure the accuracy of their inventory process, but can also minimize their employee workload and strategically position themselves for the coming financial year.
What do you do to ensure that stocktaking at your company is safe and stress free?
* "Krankheitswelle in Deutschland: Erkältung, Grippe und Corona auf dem Vormarsch – Experten ordnen Lage ein“, URL: Krankheitswelle in Deutschland: Experten ordnen Lage bei Erkältung, Grippe und Corona ein (merkur.de) (Epidemic in Germany: Experts Assess the Cold, Flu, and Coronavirus Situation (merkur.de)], as accessed on November 27, 2023
About our Expert
Caroline Kronenwerth has been working as PR Manager at INFORM since 2021 and focuses on trends and topics related to optimizing processes in supply chain management and simplifying inventory.