Experts agree: warehouse management consists of properly managing inventory. Too little inventory causes backorders, which can lead to customer loss, and too much inventory increases your storage costs. As the holiday distribution season ramps up, you probably won’t have much time to start new warehouse habits, but if you do your best to follow the three best-practice recommendations in this article, you can better ensure that your stock levels remain reasonable before, during, and after the holiday rush.
Growth-focused distributors succeed with warehouse management tools that help them optimize stock levels, improve labeling, and increase profitability. Contact Scanco online or at (877) SCANCO-1 for a free consultation that shows you how you can streamline your warehouse with tools you already have close at hand.
Streamline your warehouse activities when you:
- Ignore Advice on Stock Leveling
Stock leveling can make purchasing easier, but it isn’t very effective for warehouse management. In fact, leveling stock can increase your likelihood of overstocks and stock-outs. When you choose to stock more of your most popular items and less of your least popular items, you’ll be better prepared for large orders and you won’t waste valuable square footage on obsolete product.
You should also keep watch on your safety stock levels. Daily inventory counts help you take care of potential issues quickly and avoid stock-outs. Daily checks are easy with tools like Scanco Counts which helps you perform physical, barcoded, and automated counts 75% faster while offering real-time insight into quantities.
Expert tip: Pair Scanco Counts with the only free Multi-Bin tool for all Sage 100 users to ensure that you know where your products are at all times.
- Get Detailed with Your Labeling
Distribution facilities often minimize their labeling because less data can save time when creating paper labels. However, labels with little information won’t help your temporary staff during the holiday rush, and may result in hours wasted on training those temps to read your vague labels.
Instead of using bare minimum labeling, consider detailing what the item is, what type of stock it is (replenish, excess, or obsolete), and when it expires. This data will help you easily identify stock status and may increase pick speed.
Savvy warehouse managers choose barcoding systems and voice-activated picking to speed warehouse operations, reduce errors, and make training easier during rush seasons, but another option that helps make labeling easier is to implement on-demand label printing direct from mobile devices. Barcode label printing keeps your labels detailed with no manual entry by auto-populating information straight from your Sage 100 system onto your labels so employees can print in just one-click.
- Carefully Track Distressed Inventory
Another benefit to having detailed labels and accurate inventory counts is that you’ll always know your stock status so you can easily track and dispose of distressed inventory. Include information on your labels about when an item entered your warehouse, then track item status using an easy-to-read dashboard.
Reducing distressed stock can help you increase profits immediately. Best practices suggest that to handle overstocks efficiently, you’ll need to establish two strategy teams:
- Team 1 should focus on the root cause of your excess inventory and work with warehouse employees and operations to address overstock causes and optimize production.
- Team 2 should determine selling strategies to get excess stock out of your warehouse, then work with sales to create discounts and incentives that move near-obsolete stock fast.
Expert tip: Knowing item throughput can also help you improve your forecasting and profits because you’ll understand which items move faster—and which don’t move at all.
It’s Time to Make Warehouse Management Easier
Running a warehouse day to day is hard work, especially during the holiday rush, but there are ways to make it easier. Following the three best practices listed above will help your warehouse stay productive and profitable. When you’re ready for assistance in streamlining your processes to reduce your workload, we’re here to help.
For nearly thirty years, Scanco has supported busy distributors who want to accomplish more using intuitive and effective warehouse management tools. Mention this blog post to get your free consultation when you contact Scanco online or call (877) SCANCO-1.