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Stocktaking: Procedures and Records


Stocktaking is counting what you have (ACTUAL or PHYSICAL STOCK) and comparing it to what you are supposed to have (BOOK or RECORDED STOCK). It is an essential activity that must be carried out at regular intervals. Any discrepancies should be accounted for and adjusted in the records. It is an operational necessity in order to be able to predict future requirements. Stocktaking acts as a control measure by highlighting discrepancies, thereby promoting investigation. It also acts as a deterrent for pilferage and ensures rotation of stock.

Procedure for linen stocktaking

Departments concerned must be intimated at least one day in advance. All linen must be counted on the same day or at least a similar type of linen is counted at a time (Room Linen is separated from F & B Linen), so as to prevent ‘borrowing’ to make up deficiencies. A convenient time is chosen when all linen movement can be halted without causing too much of a problem with the operations.

Importance of Stocktaking

Stocktaking highlights stock control issues and areas where a department needs to improve on in order to be even more profitable. The importance of stock-taking is as follows:

  • Stocktaking helps the Housekeeping Executive to find out any thefts in the department.

  • Regular stocktaking will also highlight problems with damaged stock, unprocessed or missing orders, and poor stock control practices.

  • Stocktaking will highlight any shortages department weren’t aware of and will prompt to order more next time.

  • Stocktaking acts to improve areas of weakness and loss.

Methods and Principles involved

  • Physical counting is done after every three months and is also known as quarterly inventory.

  • All items are segregated and grouped including discards.

  • Counting of items in circulation and in-store is separately done and added together.

  • Discards are stamped “condemned “and kept aside.

  • Counted total should tally with the last inventory figures plus issues received after that.

  • Inventory must be conducted in the presence of the housekeeper, Accounts clerk and auditor.

  • Stocktaking is conducted on three separate days, each for Uniforms, Room linen and Restaurant linen.


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