As the hotel industry becomes more and more competitive, it is crucial for hotels to keep a close eye on their inventory, particularly when it comes to bedding and bath supplies. A physical inventory should be conducted regularly in order to ensure that all items are accounted for and that there are no discrepancies. This will help to prevent overspending and keep costs under control. At the very least, you should do a physical inventory count once a quarter. But for best results, do it once a month
The physical inventory is a critical part of hotel operations. It is conducted by the executive housekeeper and the laundry manager working together. This inventory ensures that all the hotel's assets are accounted for and in good condition. The inventory count sheet is the official document that is used to record the quantity of each type of linen. The inventory process is as follows:
- The hotel's controller or a representative of the accounting department checks the accuracy of the inventory count sheet.
- The executive housekeeper and the laundry manager take the inventory count sheet to the hotel's general manager for final verification and entry.
- After the inventory is complete, the inventory count sheet is sent to the hotel's controller or general manager for final verification and entry.
Be sure to count all of the linens in all locations. This means counting the towels for the bathroom and pool, the sheets, the blankets, and all other bedding items. Don't forget to count any spare linens you might have stored away, too. The executive housekeeper should plan to take the inventory when the movement of linen between guestrooms and the laundry can be halted.
This typically means that the inventory is taken at the end of a day shift after the laundry has finished its work. After all, guestrooms have been made up with clean linens, and all floor linen closets have been brought back to their par levels. All soiled linen chutes should be sealed or locked to avoid any further movement of linen.
The next step is to determine all the locations in the hotel where linens may be found. The executive housekeeper needs to take all possible locations into consideration, including:
- Main linen room
- Floor linen closets
- Room attendant carts
- Soiled linen in laundry
- Laundry storage shelves
- Mobile linen trucks or carts
- Made-up roll-away beds, cots, sofabeds, cribs, etc.
The executive housekeeper should prepare a linen count sheet which can be used to record the counts for every type of linen in each location. This ensures that we have enough linens on hand at all times, and helps us keep track of inventory. To do this, we prepare a linen count sheet. a Space should be allocated at the top of each count sheet for the date, location, and names of the staff members performing the count. This sheet also lists every type of linen and the location where it's being used. We then count each type of linen in each location and record the count on the sheet.
Space should be allocated at the top of each count sheet as table with the following columns, | date | location | names of the staff members performing the count | Down the left side of each count sheet should be rows of every type of linen item to be counted. In making up the inventory list for the count sheets, the executive housekeeper should be sure to differentiate among all linen features including sizes, types and categories and other features. In addition, the counting process will be quicker and easier if the inventory listing is organized in the same way as linen items on storage shelves, floor linen room and room attendant carts.
Using the count sheets, two-person teams can conduct the physical inventory at each linen location. One person should count and call out the number corresponding to a particular kind of linen, while the other person records the quantities in the appropriate place on the standard count sheet. A third person might spot-check counts to ensure accuracy.
After the counting process is completed and all standard count sheets have been filled out, the executive housekeeper should collect the sheets and transfer the totals to a master inventory control chart. Once the totals are collected, the results of the inventory can be compared to the previous inventory count to determine actual usage and the need for replacement purchases.
To create a master control chart for your housekeeping department follow this procedure
- The first part of the form is a column (A) for inventory items in the hotel's linen supply. This listing should correspond to the listing of linen items used on the standard count sheets as rows on the left hand side of your sheet.
- The second column (B) on the chart identifies the date that a physical inventory was last taken. The executive housekeeper should transfer linen counts from previous inventory records onto this line.
- The third column (C) on the chart is used to record the number of new linen items received since the last physical inventory. These figures should include both un-opened linen shipments received and new linen items that have already been put into use.
- The fourth Column (D) totals the on-hand quantities ,(Column A) from the previous physical inventory and the quantity of newly received linen items (Column C).
- Next, Column (E) records the number of linen items known to have been discarded since the last physical inventory. These totals can be obtained by examining the linen discard record
- By subtracting the numbers of discarded linens Column E from the subtotals of column D, the executive housekeeper knows the totals for each linen type that can be expected to be on hand.
The second part of the form provides spaces for recording the totals counted for every linen type at each linen location.
- Enter the total quantity of each linen type counted at each location on the standard count sheets.
- Transfer the totals to the corresponding spaces on your form.
- These figures represent the actual on-hand quantities for every type of linen in the hotel's inventory.
- The second part of the form provides spaces for recording the totals counted for
every linen type at each linen location. These totals are obtained by tallying and transferring the totals listed for each linen type on the standard count sheets. The quantities of each linen type counted at every location are totaled on your form. These figures represent the actual on-hand quantities for every type of linen in the hotel's inventory.
The third part of the form helps the executive housekeeper analyze the results of the physical inventory.
- Subtract the counted totals for each linen item from the corresponding expected quantities to determine an accurate number lost for each linen item.
- Record the linen loss figure.
- If the variance between expected and actual quantities is high, investigate further.
After each physical inventory, the executive housekeeper should make sure that the par levels are brought back to the levels originally established for each linen item. The par numbers for each linen type represent the standard numbers of each linen type that should always be maintained in inventory. By subtracting the actual quantities of each linen type on hand from the corresponding par levels, the executive housekeeper can determine the quantities of each linen type that are needed to bring inventories back up to par. These amounts are recorded By subtracting quantities of linen items that are on order but not yet received. The executive housekeeper knows precisely how many of each linen type still need to be ordered to replenish the par stock. This figure is recorded as a result of the physical inventory; the executive housekeeper can determine which linens and amounts of each type are needed to replace lost stock and maintain established par levels.
The completed master inventory control chart should be submitted along with the linen discard record to the hotel's general manager. The general manager will verify and initial the report before transferring it to the accounting department. The hotel's accounting department will provide the executive housekeeper with valuable cost information related to usage, loss, and expense per occupied room. This information is useful in determining and monitoring the housekeeping department's budget.
Physical inventories of table linen used by the food and beverage department should be handled in much the same way as room linens. The same general rules and procedures should be followed and the same general forms used. Inventory lists should be prepared for each food and beverage outlet-including banquet facilities-that. Itemize all types, sizes, and colors of table linens the hotel uses. The inventory should be taken when the movement of table linens to and from the laundry can be halted and each food and beverage outlet is fully stocked to its established par levels. By following the same procedures used for room linens, the total inventory of table linens can be calculated, and the executive housekeeper can determine the need for replacement stock.