The Fourth Counting app, when paired with Purchasing & Inventory (formerly known as Adaco), easily allows stock counts to be carried out on the move using a mobile device (phone or tablet).
Staff can count what is in front of them rather than what’s on a sheet, helping to ensure accuracy. The app does not require an internet connection for the inputting of data, this is useful if stock is stored in an area with no WiFi/network access.
The Counting app can be accessed via the main Fourth app on a mobile device, or through supported web browsers on a desktop/laptop computer. Data from the Counting app can be fed into Fourth’s Purchasing & Inventory product.
This article contains screenshots taken on a variety of devices but the general look, feel, and functionality remains the same regardless of whether using a mobile device or web browser. However, the barcode reader functionality is only available via the iOS or Android mobile apps.
Please Note: This article is for using this app with Purchasing & Inventory only. For an article on using this app for the Inventory solution, please see the following article - P2P&I - Counting app
Also see - Counting app Video
Application Launch and Selecting Location
To open the Counting app:
- Log into the Fourth app on a mobile device or go to https://secure.fourth.com/ (or https://secure.na1.fourth.com/ for the North American Fourth Platform) in a web browser
- Select Counting from the list of connected apps
Fig.1 – Selecting the Counting app
Depending on the user’s Location access (single or multiple outlets within one or more properties), the application will either:
- Open directly into a single Location
- Present a choice of Locations to be selected
To choose a Location:
- Make a selection from the Location drop-down menu and then select CONFIRM
Fig.2 – Selecting a Location
Please Note: If a user has access to multiple properties, they may see multiple Locations with the same name, e.g. STOREROOM. We recommend appending a property reference at the end of such Outlets in Purchasing & Inventory, e.g. STOREROOM [Tampa], STOREROOM [London], etc. for easier differentiation.
The data load for the Location will then commence.
Location Data Load
When the Counting app is launched on a device for the first time within a stock period for a Location, it will perform a full download of stock items and count data (if existing). This download of data is required to make offline counting possible.
A download screen will display – see Fig.3.
Fig.3 – Item and count download screen
Please Note: It may take a little bit of time for all of the Location’s data to be downloaded and stored on the device.
Synchronizing, Creating, and Managing Areas
- It is recommended to always select Update Areas when launching the Counting App to synchronize any Area or Count data available from other user or device activity
On accessing the Counting app for the first time within a particular Location (outlet), one of two things will happen:
- If the Outlet is set up by Location in Purchasing & Inventory, then the shelf-to-sheet list of Areas will be populated according to their core application configuration (which can be found under Inventory > Maintain Guides)
- If the Outlet is set up by Category in Purchasing & Inventory, there will be no Areas set against the mobile Counting App Location
- If point 2 is the case, to get started, select New Area
Fig.4 – Selecting New Area upon accessing the app for the first time for a Category-based Outlet
A prompt to input a name for the Area will display.
- Input a name for the Area (Bar, Kitchen, Cellar, etc.) and select the check icon
Fig.5 – Adding a new Area to a Location
As many Areas as required can be created to reflect the layout of the Location. Fig.6 shows an example of multiple Areas in a single Location.
Fig.6 – Multiple Areas setup against a Location
- To edit or delete an Area, use the icon and then select either Edit area or Delete area
Fig.7 – Options to edit or delete an Area
If there are no items contained within the selected Area, a prompt to start ‘filling’ the Area will display – see Fig.8.
- Select Add Product
- Utilize the Barcode scanning option
Fig.8 – A new Area that needs products adding to it
A list of available products at the Location will be displayed in alphabetical order.
- To start adding products to the Area, simply input a Quantity against each desired one
Please Note: In cases where the items have multiple count units, they will always be listed in alphabetical order, e.g. “bottle” then “case” vs. “case” then “each”.
Fig.9 – Adding products to an Area
If a product is found (as per Fig.9), the following options are available:
- Enter the quantity
- Replace the product associated to the barcode
- Close the currently scanned product
- If a product is not found (as per Fig.10), either Scan the next item or Assign to Product to the currently scanned barcode
Fig.10 – No product found
The counted products will be added to the Area automatically. By adding products to a new Area, the first stock count is being carried out.
If an item has been added to an Area in error, or during a future stock count decided that it should be removed, the 'Remove Product from Area'feature can be used:
Each Product Card within an Area will now have an ellipsis (three dots) button in the top-right hand corner.
To remove a product:
- Select the ellipsis button
Fig.11 – The ellipsis button on a Product Card
- Alternatively, if using a mobile device, swipe left on the product to reveal the Remove button
- Select the Remove (red cross) button
Fig.12 – The Remove button
The product will then be removed from the area.
A notification message will display to indicate the successful removal of the product from the Area – see Fig.13.
Fig.13 – Notification for successfully removing a Product
Searching for items
On both the ‘Area’ and ‘Add Products to Area’ screens, it is possible to search for products or recipes.
- Use the search bar at the top of the screen
Fig.14 – Using the search bar on the Add Products screen
The search is triggered automatically on character input.
On both the ‘Area’ and ‘Add Products to Area’ screens it is also possible to filter the products by category.
- Select the Filter button
The filter pane will slide out.
Fig.15 – Filtering products
The filters available will be restricted based on the products available in the list. On selecting a top level category (Segment in Purchasing & Inventory) filter, it is possible to drill down to filter on the category and so on.
- To apply counts, simply input the actual Quantities in the sequence that they appear in the stock location
- Utilize the barcode scanning option
The sequence in which the counts are inputted will be displayed in one of two ways:
- If the Outlet is set up by Location in Purchasing & Inventory, the items will be sequenced according to their core application configuration (which can be found under Inventory > Maintain Guides)
- If the Outlet is set up by Category in Purchasing & Inventory, the items will be remembered by the app, so for the next count against an Area, the items will be displayed in the same order
Submit and Update Areas
- When all items have been counted, the data can be updated to the core system for review, if necessary, within Inventory > Physical Inventory Count
- Scroll down beneath the list of Areas and select Send Count and Synchronize Areas
Fig.16 – The Send Count and Synchronize Areas button
Please Note: In cases where there have been no local changes, this button will display as Check for Updates
The following will then happen:
- Areas created will be uploaded to the system
- Areas deleted will be removed from the system
- Product changes will be applied, including addition of new Products
- Counts against Areas that have been changed will be updated in the core system
- Full count data across all Areas will be downloaded from the core system
Please Note: This is the only action in the application which requires access to internet. Before selecting the action, please ensure the device being used is online.
If the Outlet is set up by Category in Purchasing & Inventory, there is no concept of Areas in the core system. Upon synchronising counts from the app, the counts across Areas will be aggregated against the stock item in the core solution.
The concept of “last writer wins” for updates to an Area applies. This means that if multiple users are updating counts for the same Area, it is the last synchronising user’s counts that will apply.
A notification will appear at the bottom of the screen following a successful submission.
Fig.17 – Notification of successful submission
If attempting to submit when the device being used is not online, a notification will also display.
Fig.18 – No Internet Connection notification
In the event of synchronisation failing with the system, though the device is online, the notification will display as per Fig.19.
Fig.19 – Notification of failed submission
Period to Period
On closing of the period inventory within Purchasing & Inventory, the period in the app will roll forward. Products which were counted in Areas within Category-based Outlets in the last period will be preserved in the sequence input.
The period status is reflected within the Counting app.
Fig.20 – Stock Period showing as OPEN
When the period is closed, it will not be possible to enter and synchronise any count data. Access to Areas will be disabled.
Fig.21 – Stock Period showing as CLOSED