If your inventory troubles are piling up and choking the life out of your supply chain, you’re not alone. Out of control inventory situations are the primary reason our customers turn to us in the first place. After trying software solution after solution and implementing a variety of strategies, many of our customers are desperate to get their hands on inventory management software that actually works. As a result, we’ve spent years creating the perfect inventory management applications and strategies to help manufacturers and distributors emerge victorious from their inventory management challenges and establish a place of residency in today’s competitive market.
Inventory management is an area in which many get wrong and few get right. As pressures mount to save costs and improve efficiency, however, many manufacturers and distributors are looking for ways to improve the process in order to save themselves time, money and long-time customers. By implementing tried-and-true inventory strategies along with innovative inventory management applications (such as our Sage 100 mobile inventory management applications), you can begin to transform your inventory situation and breathe life back into your warehouse.
Practical Strategies You Can Take Back to the Warehouse and Distribution Center
As you know, too little inventory can put your company at risk for losing sales (and customers) from out-of-stocks while too much inventory can add bulk to virtually every part of your organization. In order to prevent both understock and overstock situations, you need to have tested inventory management strategies in place. Below you will find 6 practical strategies you can use to solve the inventory challenges you are currently facing and improve your chances at success:
- Use inventory management software. We cannot stress the importance of using inventory management software and applications in addition to your ERP and WMS systems. Inventory management solutions help you optimize your inventory efforts and allow you to gain a realistic picture of your inventory situation. Our Sage 100 ERP inventory management applications even allow you to access important inventory information on your smartphone and tablet so you are always informed.
- Employ real-time analytics for inventory planning purposes. The days of Excel spreadsheets are over, and for good reason. Spreadsheets can only provide you with limited information when it comes to your inventory situation. By using real-time analytics, executives and managers can make informed decisions and gauge their progress when it comes to improving their inventory situation. With so much real-time information at their fingertips, managers can capitalize on unique inventory opportunities and forecast inventory scenarios with ease.
- Don’t treat all of your inventory the same. Many manufacturers and distributors make the mistake of treating all of their products and items the same, resulting in a divided focus. Each and every product within your warehouse does not have the same supply and demand pattern, so don’t treat them as though they do. Focus your attention on the 20% that make up 80% of the volume and manage that inventory well in order to maximize your profits and sales. While you don’t want to completely neglect the remaining 80% of inventory, you do want to give your highest selling inventory the attention it deserves.
- Manage your suppliers well. Creating partnerships with quality suppliers is important to practicing good inventory management. We suggest closely monitoring supplier activity and evaluating whether or not your current suppliers are still a good fit. Suppliers who are constantly late or fail to deliver on their commitments are only hindering your business and costly you more.
- Track essential inventory information using barcoding solutions. Barcoding solutions are a life-saver for warehouses and distribution centers both big and small. Not only do they help streamline the inventory tracking process, but they also capture important information that would otherwise go unnoticed. We suggest using barcodes to track product genealogy and traceability in case your product has a recall later on down the road. Barcodes can capture a variety of information, such as country of origin (COO), serial numbers, and vendor lot numbers, then automatically send that information via EDI to the next part of the supply chain.
- Don’t neglect slotting. Slotting your inventory in the proper place is just as important as getting it loaded and shipped out of the warehouse. Not only does it free up space in the warehouse, but it also appropriately locates fast-moving items closer to shipping docks and more accessible locations in order to maximize productivity. Slotting should be a daily activity, not a weekly or quarterly practice, if you wish to make it completely manageable. Waiting to do it on an annual basis will only serve to overwhelm you and add to your labor costs.
By implementing the above inventory management strategies, you can begin to reduce the stress that comes with inventory management and start breathing easy once again. For more inventory management tips, stay tuned to our blog. To take your inventory management to the next step, consider investing in one of our inventory management applications. Contact us to talk to one of our inventory experts today!