Inventory Day: Behind the Shelves

This is what it looks like when 140 people count over 7 million products in one day.

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If you were around last week, you know on Friday we shut things down around here for our annual Inventory Day – an entire day each January when we bring business to a screeching halt and lock every SparkFun employee in the warehouse to count every last piece of our 7-million-plus item inventory. It's a very...special day, and while by the end of it more than a few Funions have succumbed to delirium, it also brings everyone together to make sure our catalog is accurate – for you! That being said, if you've ever wondered what exactly Inventory Day is like around here, well, you're in luck.

Comments 7 comments

  • scharkalvin / about 9 years ago / 2

    If you guys do it right, I guess Inventory day could be a real team building experience (I suppose you send out for lots of Pizza!). I shudder to think about things getting misfiled and lost in the frenzy though, towards the end of the day people are going to get a bit 'punchy'. I also imagine that you find a lot of stuff you forgot you even had, which then ends up in the next dumpster dive. Hey WHY is inventory day AFTER the dumpster dive, should be the other way round!

    • M-Short / about 9 years ago / 5

      Yes, lots of pizza, but no beer to help prevent us getting punchy. We also do recounts of anything that seems to be too far off, and since no one wants to stay late to do recounts we do try to get it right the first time. We actually do dumpster dive before inventory day so we don't have to count stuff we don't need. We are still going through stock alerts though to figure out what to do with that retired part we found 2 of. Some will end up back on storefront, some will probably head to dumpster dive, and some may end up in our Emporium to be sold to our customers stopping by our location.

  • Wylly / about 9 years ago / 1

    Wow!! The guy counting the components in the reel is REALLY fast :)

  • Dragon88 / about 9 years ago / 1

    Have you done a cost-benefit analysis on this? I take it you have done the math, and that accounting for every resistor in the building makes up for the lost day of productivity, and all of the stuff that gets damaged or misplaced while being handled and manually counted.

    • bbotany / about 9 years ago / 1

      I believe that they are located within a jurisdiction that has an inventory tax. This can create a surprisingly large risk reduction on the benefit side of a full inventory. It also keeps accountants happy and reduces "dust build-up" in the warehousing area.

  • thewillsterr / about 9 years ago / 1

    I wish I worked at SparkFun!

  • jma89 / about 9 years ago / 1

    Conveniently my Dumpster Dive back-order has now arrived. :-)

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