No matter how big or small your business is, you can learn from the masters at inventory control. Some companies have mastered inventory control like a ninja mastering the art of war. These companies have their inventory management down to a science, keeping costs low and productivity high. Learning from such masters can improve your bottom line, increase efficiencies, and reduce costs.
These three inventory control best practices can be implemented by both mom and pop type startups and companies with several locations around the country. When it comes to inventory control, size really doesn’t matter. What counts is how you count—count your products, that is.
Inventory Control Best Practices to Try
Best Practice #1: Establish Stocking Policies
The best way to control inventory levels and associated costs is to establish stocking policies, or policies regarding how frequently items are reordered. There are many ways to create stocking policies. Some companies use the ABC Method, or assigning a letter to a product by its cost. A items are the most expensive, B items are moderate, and C are least expensive. Then items are stocked annually (As), quarterly (Bs), and monthly (Cs). Other companies use just in time delivery methods, waiting until the very last moment to reorder products as bins or shelves run low.
However you choose to set your stock policies, just having one goes a long way to maintaining control over your inventory levels. Once you have stock policies in place, you can refer you team to them whenever questions arise about whether or not an item should be reordered.
Best Practice #2: Arrange Warehouses for Maximum Efficiency
One simple yet very effective way of helping to improve inventory control is to rearrange how you stock bins or how shelves are assigned. Keeping the best-selling products nearest the packaging center makes it easier to pick and pack fast-selling items. It also keeps them near at hand so you can quickly see when stock levels drop and if you need to make an exception to your current inventory stocking policies. Moving items closer to the packaging center also means your workers spend less time moving products from bins to packing station, thus saving time and getting orders out more quickly. It’s a little improvement that can lead to big time savings.
Best Practice #3: Move to Automated Inventory Control
Automated inventory control or perpetual inventory management systems keep data flowing constantly from the warehouse into your ERP system. Because the data is both timely and accurate, you can order products as needed and keep items in stock more easily. Software such as Scanco Warehouse NS, which integrates with NetSuite ERP, as well as Scanco Warehouse 100 that integrates with Sage 100, offer excellent value and efficiency for your investment. It’s a change from the typical inventory control methods that can yield big results over time.
Scanco, the Experts in Technology for Warehouses and Inventory Control
Scanco offers the best inventory control and warehouse management software to help our clients maximize their business potential. Our mission is to find and match the best technology to our clients’ needs. Big warehouses or small ones, single units or mobile warehouses, we can help. Contact us today for more information.