As many manufacturers and distributors already know, inventory management is a numbers game. Proper inventory control relies on your ability to predict the right amount of inventory to have in-stock at any given time. Examining past trends and numbers can certainly help you plan for optimal levels; however, in order to effectively manage your inventory, you need to embrace a variety of strategies and techniques. You can’t just rely on techniques you’ve used in the past. In order to truly succeed, you need to implement new strategies for managing your ever-changing inventory.
Take a look at some of the following inventory management techniques. Are you using any of the strategies listed below?[gearlist]
- Organize your warehouse before you even begin trying to manage your inventory
You’ve heard it said before – an organized warehouse is a successful warehouse. This is one aspect of inventory management you don’t want to overlook. How items are laid out in the warehouse can have a direct impact on the amount of time your workers spend picking orders. Draw a map of your warehouse and plan the best layout for what you currently have in stock. Make sure the most popular products are in the easiest to reach places, and keep product size (and volume) in mind as you plan out your space. This may take some time and effort, but we promise – it will be worth it.
- Analyze your current inventory as it stands in the warehouse
In order to gain an accurate view of what you have on-hand, you need to analyze the inventory that is currently in your warehouse. Do you need everything in your warehouse, or were some of those items special ordered for a particular client? It’s important not to include every single item in the warehouse in your master plan. Instead of creating a permanent space in the warehouse for these special inventory items, create a “special inventory” section where you can place these items that come up occasionally. This will save you room in the warehouse and time during the picking process.
- Leave room for additional items in the warehouse and money in the budget
If you have gaps in the layout of your warehouse, don’t worry about filling these in right away. It’s good to plan for extra space should your company see an influx in orders. Consider saving space for buying frequently used/ordered items in bulk. Purchasing high volume items in larger quantities will help you save money overall.
- Implement advanced technology to manage your inventory levels
As you continue to analyze your inventory management procedures, make sure you analyze the techniques built into your software. A good inventory control system will do the work for you; all you have to do is run a report and access your current inventory numbers instantly (after performing extensive inventory counts, that is). If you are not relying on inventory management software to manage your inventory, now is the time to invest in a solution. Inventory management software will not only give you the tools to manage your inventory effectively, but it will also alleviate some of the everyday challenges so you can focus your efforts elsewhere.
If your inventory management strategy could use the help of inventory software, give us a call today at 330-645-9959. Our newest Sage 100 ERP (formerly MAS 90 ERP / MAS 200 ERP ) mobile solutions are designed to work with any iOS, Android, or Windows device to give you the flexibility you need in the warehouse.
Do you have additional inventory management strategies to add to the list? Feel free to share them in the comments!