Hazards In Cycle Counting
Cycle counting is not always a panacea. things can and do go wrong and produce a lot of cost
and effort with little result. among the hazards:
Insufficient Staffing--This results from under-estimating the number of counts required when
the program is initially planned.
Diversion of Effort--To the rest of the organization, cycle counting seems to accomplish
little of immediate importance. Cycle counters become a convenient source of staff for all sorts
of odd jobs. Over time the practice of borrowing cycle counters dilutes the effort and
reinforces the perception of non-accomplishment.
Ignoring Error Creation--Error prevention is always more productive than correction. Some
systems create errors so fast that it is impractical to cycle count enough for high
Insufficient Training--Cycle counters need training on counting properly and on resolving
discrepancies. Others in the organization need training to support the program.
Motivation--Cycle counting tends to be boring and specific means should be employed for
recognition and rewards.
What To Expect
Figure 4-- IRA with
Cycle counting, by itself, takes considerable time to show results. As accuracy rises to the
90% range, further results are even slower because each weekly sample contains fewer errors.
Figures 3 and 4 illustrate.
With insufficient staffing and counting, the IRA curve can rise much slower or even decline
as counters struggle against a tide of new errors. The key to improving effectiveness at high
accuracies is prevention through reducing
transaction volume and reducing transaction
There is, of course, more to implementing
and designing a cycle count program than we present here. Cycle Counting, itself, can be and
should be quite simple even if the statistical theory is not so simple.
Most organizations need a comprehensive Inventory Accuracy program, not just cycle counting.