As competition among manufacturers and distributors rises and demand for products increases, you will be challenged to fulfill orders quickly and efficiently, leaving no time for inventory inaccuracies or shipment delays. “Losing” inventory or miscounting can wreak serious havoc on your productivity levels and customer satisfaction. Therefore, maintaining inventory accuracy is crucial if you wish to continue staying in your customers’ good graces and meeting your company’s financial goals. Achieving full inventory control, however, can be challenging, especially if you don’t have the right tools or processes in place to maintain accurate inventory numbers.
In an effort to help you operate the most efficient (and accurate) warehouse possible, we’ve create 6 tips to help you improve inventory accuracy and utilize inventory management technology. Keep the following in mind as you assess your current strategies and implement changes in your inventory management practices:
- Reorganize your warehouse. Make sure that all storage locations are clearly marked, and store fast-moving products in easy to access locations. Group similar items in the same location, use shelves and bins, and avoid clutter in all areas of the warehouse. This will make it easy to find and account for inventory items, not to mention improve order fulfillment efficiency.
- Perform cycle counts on a regular basis. Rather than relying on the year end physical count for your inventory numbers, start performing cycle counts on a regular basis. You can perform these monthly, quarterly or even daily depending upon the amount of inventory stored in your warehouse.
- Implement barcoding technology. If you are still using paper and manual processes to track inventory numbers, it’s time for a change. Managing your inventory manually not only decreases your efficiency, but it also contributes to rising paper costs and inaccurate inventory numbers. Manual processes can never be 100% accurate; therefore, if you truly want to improve your accuracy, you need to invest in barcoding technology, such as ScanForce.
- Train your employees on inventory management best practices. You cannot improve your inventory accuracy on your own. In order to be truly successful, you have to involve your employees in every step of the process. Make sure your team is aware of any changes in inventory management policies and practices, and train them on new technology or systems. The more informed and aware your employees are, the better your chances of seeing lasting change.
- Create strong relationships with suppliers. Your relationships with your suppliers are just as important as your relationships with your customers. Believe it or not, maintaining a good relationship with your key suppliers can help you reduce inventory costs and fulfill orders faster.
- Monitor and track inventory cycles with inventory management software. If you are not using technology to track and manage your inventory, you are doing yourself a disservice. Today’s warehouses and distribution centers run more efficiently when managers integrate ERP solutions with inventory management software (like Sage Inventory Advisor) to manage the daily tasks of inventory management. These solutions can provide you with a snapshot of your inventory levels and provide you with the reports you need to make critical inventory decisions. Using automated solutions for the purpose of inventory management will also reduce the number of human errors when processing inventory data, leading to greater accuracy all around.
With improved inventory accuracy comes many benefits: reduced overhead expenses, improved customer satisfaction rates, increased efficiency, and improved cash flow. If you are looking for ways to improve your inventory accuracy and streamline inventory management, contact us today. We offer a variety of inventory management solutions, from barcoding technology to Sage Inventory Advisor, to help you keep track of your items as they make their way through your warehouse.