How to reduce stocktake time

I managed at least two company-wide stock takes every year for the last 15 years.  Here’s a few tips I’ve learned to reduce stock take time:

1.  Break a large warehouse up into smaller, manageable stocktake ‘areas’.   Have stock take teams take responsibility for ‘their’ area’s accuracy and speedy completion.

2.  Which area holds the highest stock value?  Which has the most number of lines?  Use this info to assign the number and quality of people to stock take teams.

3.  Identify count vs. system differences (within each area) as quickly as possible – and have the responsible teams re-check!

4.  Find a way to monitor and control the progress of counting in the individual areas – and combine this info to get an overview of the whole stock take progress.

5.  Incorporate stock value into the above system – thereby allowing one to continuously see the ‘Nett effect’ of the whole stock take.  What is the overall ‘loss’ or ‘gain’ – and which area contributes the most toward this?

Let me know if you need assistance!

How to install an Informix ODBC driver on Windows 7 (for MS Office 2010)

It was a struggle. Here’s the shortcut:

1. Download the IBM Informix Client SDK3.50 – I used version 3.50.FC8 – for operating system Windows (64bit).
I found that the Infomix Connect 2.90 (choose the 64 bit option) also works – but you’ll have to run it as Administrator on Windows 7.

2. Edit c:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc/services and add

sqlexec 1526/tcp #

on the last line. Note the hash(#) at the end of the line.

3. Edit c:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc/hosts and add

(your Informix server IP) (your Informix server name)  e.g

12.345.67.89     #

on the last line.  Again, note the hash(#) at the end of the line.

NB:  Make sure you define your host (e.g in SetNet32!  (part of IBM SDK install)

Note:  If Windows 7 complain that you you’re not allowed to save or make changes to the file ‘services’ or ‘hosts’ – try opening Notepad as Administartor (Swift + Right-click) – or even copy the contents of the (say) hosts, rename the old file (hosts_old) and past into a new file (hosts).


4. Create a file (say) your_data_source.dsn in C:/Users/YourMachine/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Queries with contents


Note the ‘’ host as specified in point 3 – and Setnet32 – above!


Go Start > Control Panel > Adminstrative Tools > Data Sources (ODBC)  to add a User DSN or System DSN  (both work).  Or access via C:\Windows\SysWOW64\odbcad32.exe


5. Now the datasource should appear in MSQuery!