Cloud Inventory Shares How Cloud-Based Cycle Counting Improves Inventory Accuracy

Steve Russell is the Vice President of Software Engineering for Cloud Inventory®, a company that empowers organizations with real-time inventory visibility at all points in the supply chain, from the warehouse to the field.

An accomplished IT executive with extensive experience in hands-on technical design, development, and implementation operations, Steve’s history of expertise, particularly in enterprise-based integrations, interoperability, and implementation services management, makes him a decisive and intellectual leader who regularly delivers business intelligence solutions.

Based in Kansas City, Cloud Inventory’s global team has the supply chain knowledge and mobile-first development expertise to deliver solutions that solve today’s business challenges.

Listen to the full podcast on Cloud Inventory’s website: https://www.cloudinventory.com/podcasts/cycle-counting-improves-warehouse-inventory-accuracy

Full Transcription below:

Eric Dye:

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This episode of Enterprise Radio is brought to you by the Before It Happened podcast series from transportation and AI to just anything you can put in your home, office or pocket, you’ll hear from the innovators themselves, as they tell their stories of how they brought those visions to life. To listen in or to subscribe, simply visit beforeithappened.com.

Steve Russell:

Welcome to Enterprise Radio, the signature show of The Enterprise Podcast network, featuring some of the most prominent business professionals in the world today. And now your host, Eric Dye.

Eric Dye:

This is Eric Dye. Once again, welcome to Enterprise Radio, a part of VPN, The Enterprise Podcast network. Today, we’re speaking with Mr. Steve Russell, the vice president of software engineering and an experienced supply chain leader at Cloud Inventory. Steve joins us today to discuss cloud-based cycle counting and explain its benefits in warehousing. Mr. Russell, thanks for joining us here today on Enterprise Radio.

Steve Russell:

Thank you Eric. It’s good to be here.

Eric Dye:

Hey, you bet. Great to have you out and thanks for your time. Tell us in terms of warehousing, why should companies use cycle counting instead of physical inventories?

Steve Russell:

Sounds good, Eric. That’s a great question. Thanks. Well, I mean, physical counts are often done annually and one of their problems is a lot of times you have to shut down your operations when you do them. It’s very infrequent and it can affect your productivity.

Steve Russell:

Where cycle counting in a more iterative way to count inventory, doesn’t require operations to seize, it preserves your productivity, counts are created based on how fast your inventory turns over, so it’s more adaptive to your actual operations and the type of product you sell.

Steve Russell:

It can also unearth issues a lot sooner. If I do a physical count and a week later there’s a problem, well, I may not catch that until way later. Whereas I’m constantly cycle counting on a schedule more frequently, I can fix those as they come up and it makes sure you can maintain your compliance and also make sure you have the inventory there when you need it that’s in support of your revenue generation.

Eric Dye:

Now here’s a good question for you. What are the consequences of having an inaccurate view of inventory? I’d like to hear your input on that.

Steve Russell:

Increase your costs. A lot of those are not obvious costs. For example, I’m adding waste throughout the process potentially because let’s say I need to pick an order and I go to the location where it tells me to go and it’s not there. Now I got to go take time to research what’s the problem, find it in a different place. It just adds extra steps, which adds costs throughout the entire operation.

Steve Russell:

You also just can’t trust what the system says. If you have constant mismatches between what’s really there in the physical world versus what the system tells you, then users aren’t going to trust the system. You want to narrow that gap as much as possible and cycle counting on an iterative schedule helps you do that.

Steve Russell:

It also just, it can create delays in shipping and deliveries. Again, that again, ties back to cost. If I can’t find an item then I can’t ship an item. You want to minimize that everywhere you can.

Eric Dye:

Looking at challenges, what challenges do companies face when completing cycle counts in the field? Get into some of those details.

Steve Russell:

Sure. I mean, the field is definitely somewhat of a unique situation versus doing it in the warehouse. Number one, you’re out in the wild. There’s often poor or no connectivity, especially in some of the, maybe a remote job site. You need to have the correct data in order to do a account so you need to bring it with you because you may not have a connection you can rely on. You need to be able to work offline.

Steve Russell:

You need to be able to create account because you’re out there at a job site, you may not have the connection. You need to be able to create an account on the device that then gets counted by that worker on their phone, and then that information’s set up when you do have a connection. If you’re doing manually counting with the old paper, write down on paper and some of the incident in much later, then it just creates that ripple effect of inaccuracy upon inaccuracy. You want to reduce that as much as possible.

Eric Dye:

Certainly do appreciate the insight and detail shared so far. Now, again, this episode of Enterprise Radio is being brought to you by our partners at the Before It Happened podcast series. Before any world changing innovation, there was a moment, an event, a realization that sparked the idea The Before it Happened podcast series is a show about that idea.

Eric Dye:

Each week, Donna Laughlin takes a deep dive into a singular light bulb moment that inspired the visionaries to push forward and change our lives. To listen in or to subscribe, visit beforeithappened.com. Again, that is beforeithappened.com.

Eric Dye:

Today we’re visiting with Mr. Steve Russell, the vice president of software engineering at Cloud Inventory, a company that empowers organizations with real-time inventory visibility at all points in the supply chain, from the warehouse to the field. He’s joined us here today on Enterprise Radio, a part of VPN, the Enterprise podcast.

Eric Dye:

Now we’re now looking at cloud inventory. Tell us some of the key benefits of cycle counting through your company. In other words, why is Cloud Inventory set to be a leader for cycle county?

Steve Russell:

Sure. For example, we have a release coming out here very shortly in the next week or so, 21.2. We got a whole new desktop experience for creating, reviewing and approving cycle counts. It’s fast, it’s very intuitive, great user experience that we’ve designed to be a step above what you may find in [inaudible] system, for example.

Steve Russell:

We also, one of the things about our solution that’s rather unique is we span warehouse and field on 21 set applications. They all work together so that field cycle counting app can feed data back to the normal desktop, same view you would use for reviewing and approving and updating a warehouse cycle count. That’s really unique.

Steve Russell:

The really powerful thing about Cloud Inventory that a lot of companies find difficult to achieve is we can aggregate data from multiple source systems. If you’re going through a merger and acquisition, you’ve got multiple ERPs, we can bring that together into one view if that, for example, that inventory comes from two systems, but using one business process, we can bring it into one aggregate view so the users don’t need to deal with multiple systems. They just deal with [inaudible] inventory to their accounts, makes it a lot simpler for them.

Eric Dye:

It certainly sounds like it, and good stuff there. Also, what’s next for cycle counting in terms of innovations and improvements?

Steve Russell:

I think in general, as we’ve all seen a big push towards computer vision, artificial intelligence, using leveraging sensors in the counting process, I think the holy grail would ultimately be, and probably a good goal to try to go towards eventually, is that you don’t need to do cycle counting. But the gap between the physical world and the system is so small and you can detect whether what is exactly in the location without a human having to look at it, I mean, that’s probably the ultimate goal, and driving as close as we can towards that kind of eventuality would be where we would love to go.

Steve Russell:

Then the other thing, just driving contextual actions to make it very … For example, I do an inventory adjustment in a cycle count, I’m sorry, inventory adjustment in a location. I adjust it down to zero. I want the system to be able to just create a cycle count because I want to check that. I want to make sure that’s accurate because that has a direct impact on my revenue and my bottom line. Things like that where it’s just more workflow oriented, more workflow driven, we want to build as much as that into the product as we can.

Steve Russell:

We always want customer feedback and want to provide new features that always align with the size value pillars, so we want enhanced productivity, want to increase compliance, we want to optimize your inventory and we want to build applications that enhance your revenue generation. That’s what it’s all about in the end.

Eric Dye:

It certainly is and it’s amazing technology and how it is making a difference in inventory and the cloud and you guys are certainly making it happen in this space. Where can listeners get all the details on Cloud Inventory and be in touch accordingly?

Steve Russell:

The best way to do that is just go to cloudinventory.com. It has all the information you need to reach out and get more information or contact us for a call back.

Eric Dye:

That sounds easy enough. Again, listeners, it is cloudinventory.com, Mr. Russell, all the best and thanks so much for joining us here today on Enterprise Radio.

Steve Russell:

All right. Thank you Eric. It’s been a pleasure.

Eric Dye:

Again, we’ve been speaking with Mr. Steve Russell, the vice president of software engineering at Cloud Inventory, a company that empowers organizations with real-time inventory visibility at all points in the supply chain, from the warehouse to the field. For all the details visit cloudinventory.com.

This is Eric Dye and you’ve been listening to Enterprise Radio, part of VPN, the Enterprise Podcast network. Tune into our live location as we are streaming live 24-7 around the world at epodcastnetwork.com/live. You can also find our live stream on iTunes radio and TuneIn radio, as well as the TuneIn radio app for your listening convenience. As always, we thank you for your support and for tuning in. Thanks for listening to Enterprise Radio. To subscribe to more of our programming, visit epodcastnetwork.com or listen here.

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