Cycle Counts to Make Inventory Accurate


A part is taken off the shelf and no ‘issue’ transaction is performed in Mainsaver. In another case, a mechanic issued several parts in the system, only used a few and just put the unused parts back on the shelf. These cases and other missed transactions cause the inventory to be inaccurate. A cycle count is the process of counting and updating a selected section or the entire inventory.


The cycle count is done by creating a ‘count book’ in Mainsaver Core which may be used to count a subset of the inventory. The count books may be used one time or kept after the first count to be re-used periodically. Once the count book is defined, printed and counted, an update is done to the inventory which also reports on the variance between the amounts stored in the system and the true amount present on the shelf. In addition to the method detailed below, Mainsaver Connect provides the capability to perform a single item count and adjustment in one quick step.

1. 1. Determine the method to organize parts into count books. This is a policy that should be reached with the Accounting department to determine how often parts should be counted and how to identify parts that should be counted more frequently than slow moving parts. One tool in Mainsaver (Materials, Parts Master, Tools and Options) is the ABC Analysis Utility. This will assign an A, B or C rating to every part in the inventory based on cost, usage or a combination or both. In the example below, the top 25% of parts based on cost and usage will be identified with an A in the ‘Item Class’ field.

2. Define a count book. (Materials, Reconciliations, Maintain Count Books).

3. Select an empty count book letter or re-define an existing count book by pressing the  button.

4. Check both boxes on the next window

5. The next window (below) is where the items are selected for this count book. Select the Master Location from the dropdown listing. Select the Area Location from the Dropdown listing. Describe the contents of the count book.

6. Click “Select Records” to define the query, selecting desired stock records for the count book.

In this case we are finding all of the parts on Rack 16. User may query on any field in the parts master including Item Class.

7. After developing the query for the stock items to be included in the Count Book, click OK. This will take you back to the Count Book Definition Menu.

8. Click “Verify” to view the quantity of records that you have selected. If you do not see the correct quantity, click “Select Records” to return to the query screen, where you will be able to redefine the query.

9. Click OK to return to the Count Book Table View.

10. Print the selected count book to provide a means of manually entering the physical counts for the count book. At this point the items in the count booked are locked out from issue and receipt transactions.

Verify button to show how many parts have been selected

NOTE: If this Count Book criteria may potentially be utilized again for future cycle counts, click ‘Save.’ Provide a stored Query Name and click OK.

Printing the count book. Notice the printed report does not show the on-hand quantities in Mainsaver in order to ensure a blind count.

11. For Manual Update of counted items, select  displaying the following screen.

12. Select Step 1, ‘Update Count Books.’

13. Highlight the count book to be counted and click ‘Count.’

14. Enter the physical counts for each stock item in the ‘Item Count’ fields.

15. Be sure to enter zero for items not found. Double click the entry area to copy the default quantity. When all entries have been recorded, click ‘Update’ then close the window.

16. Confirm that you have counted and updated all items in the count book, and that you are ready to perform the Parts Master update.

17. At this point you may click the Variance Report button to print items out of count. If needed, the count values may be changed by going back to step 11.

18. Select , Step 2 to update the inventory. Click OK to update the Parts Master records with the physical count. Select the count book to update and select the ‘Proceed’ button. This will also clear the item locks.

19. A Variance Report will be generated, displaying the differences between the former on-hand quantities and the physical counts.


When the inventory is accurate, it reduces the chance of downtime due to critical spares not being in stock. The variance report also helps to indicate systematic problems of parts being taken with no issue transaction being recorded. Accurate inventory also provides better inventory valuations and reduces the chance of overstocking parts.