How Do You Conduct an Inventory of Office Supplies?


Quick Answer

Conducting an inventory of office supplies is an ongoing process which depends equally on accurate classification of goods and on the keeping of accurate inventory records. Since the process does not end, it is vital that records reflect the past and current states of the inventory.

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Full Answer

Since keeping records is vital to maintaining an accurate picture of an inventory and its uses, a manager should be appointed to oversee use of supplies. This individual can keep track of what is used and what is expended and, most importantly, they can apply time stamps and names to these expenditures.

  1. Classify inventory.
  2. Inventory is broken down into three classes based on bulk and value. Class A inventory accounts for about 15 percent of inventory, but constitutes roughly 75 to 80 percent of inventory value. Items like printer cartridges, small but expensive, are Class A items. Classes B and C constitute about 30 and 55 percent of inventory, and 15 to 25 percent and 5 percent of inventory value respectively.

  3. Implement cycle counting.
  4. Cycle counting is an ongoing process in which an audit is conducted on the inventory. Inventory is counted, records are checked against results, and inaccuracies are mapped and then traced to their sources.

  5. Adopt the 5S system.
  6. Japanese office environments commonly follow a workplace philosophy called the 5S system, which encourages workers to take pride in their company and work environment. This system makes everyone responsible for maintaining inventory in addition to other tasks.

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