Many warehouse managers would say that one of the main reasons for lack of warehouse visibility is that too many companies are still relying on pen and paper to record data. This is a fast-paced industry, and the hand-written spreadsheet method simply does not work anymore. It simply is not efficient and is not conducive to effective warehouse management.
Is it time to throw the paper away in your warehouse? Are you ready to upgrade to an automated solution? Contact us online or call (330) 645-9959 to schedule an appointment with a Scanco Solutions Expert.
Inventory Visibility Along the Supply Chain
Inventory visibility means you know exactly what inventory you have and where it is situated at any particular time. If you are operating a distribution business, your inventory could be situated in several places along the supply chain. It could be
- On trucks on its way to your warehouse
- On pallets in your warehouse
- In bins or on shelves in your warehouse
- Shipped as part of a customer’s order
All the inventory must be accounted for and it would be impossible to keep accurate records along the supply chain using a pen and paper.
Advantages of Inventory Visibility
Why should you make inventory visibility a priority? Consider these advantages:
- Saves Time and Money
Assigning your team members the task of manually tracking inventory is probably not the best use of their time. It is a tedious, time-consuming task that takes them away from other roles that could be generating income for your business.
If you own or manage a large operation where inventory is shipped between several warehouses, retail stores, and directly to customers, trying to keep track of items manually can add up to a lot of wasted time. Barcode scanners make tracking inventory in the warehouse quick and easy since the data is fed directly into the warehouse management software to give you real-time inventory visibility.
- More Accurate Ordering
There is an art and a science to ordering merchandise for a distribution business. The science part of the equation comes from looking back at prior years to find buying patterns from consumers. It stands to reason that specific products are more popular during certain times of the year: Consumers would tend to buy more swimwear before and during the summer than in the fall or winter.
The art of ordering merchandise comes from looking at which products have sold well previously. This information is used to decide how much inventory to order for each item.
If you had to use paper records to make decisions about ordering for a season, it would not be easy. You would have to calculate which items in your inventory sold best, as well as when the peak sales periods were for each one of them. Then you would have to make decisions about how much of each of your products you want to order based on your calculations, which you hope are accurate.
- Better Allocation of Company’s Resources
From a balance sheet perspective, inventory is cash that has already been spent. It is tied up in the goods sitting in the warehouse or somewhere in the supply chain. If you think about the dollar amount involved, inventory is probably your business’s biggest asset (and expense).
Ideally, you want to keep your inventory at the lowest levels possible, while ensuring that you have adequate stock to keep up with orders. If you can keep this balance in place, it means you can free up some cash that would otherwise be tied up on your warehouse shelves.
When you take steps to improve inventory visibility, you get a more precise view of how much inventory you are currently carrying in your warehouse. This data can then be used to help make better decisions about future orders.
- More Effective Use of Warehouse Space
Warehouse space is in short supply in many urban centers. Even if it were readily available, the logistics of planning and executing a move to a larger location and tracking inventory is not something all business owners are interested in doing. They would rather make the most of the warehouse space they have unless there is a compelling reason for them to move.
The warehouse manager is left to determine whether an order will fit in the warehouse based on information from pickers who have been working in a particular area and their own best judgment. A warehouse management system can tell the manager at a glance which items are selling the fastest. It can also indicate customer buying patterns. Based on this information, items often bought together can be placed in bins close together to help reduce picking times.
- Heightened Security
Inventory visibility is meant to help you keep track of where your inventory is located at each step along your supply chain. It also gives you increased security if you are selling high-value items or goods that may be subject to a recall, such as baby clothing or equipment. You will be able to remove recalled items from your regular stock before they can be sent to a customer.
Improve Visibility With Scanco 100 Warehouse Management
Scanco 100 Warehouse Management was developed for business owners and managers just like you. They want to keep processing shipments quickly and accurately, while keeping costs down. With the speed of business moving so rapidly, being able to capture real-time data from any location is a key part of decision-making. This business intelligence gives them an edge since managers do not necessarily have to be on the premises to have all the information required to make crucial decisions.
Our Physical Count app is integrated into Sage 100. It will increase your team’s counting speed for inventory by 75%. The human error factor is virtually eliminated, and your team members can use any number of hardware options to scan barcodes, look up items, and send counts into Sage. The counts are updated in your inventory software in real time. Your employees can use a barcode scanner, a smartphone, or several other hardware options.
Meet Dashboard—The New Management App From Scanco
At Scanco, we understand that distributors have their own set of challenges in business. On one hand, you want to keep up with the demand for orders. On the other, there is the constant balancing act of keeping “just enough” inventory in stock to fill orders without running out of stock.
When orders come in, you need to get them out the door quickly. That is where Dashboard comes in. This app allows you to monitor your team members to see how well they are doing in categories such as overall productivity, work completion rates, and efficiency. Assign “rush” orders to the most experienced or most productive employees so they will get processed fast.
Dashboard keeps you up to date on how your employees are performing in real-time. You can find out exactly how many orders each person on your team has been assigned and how many have been completed.
You can even communicate with your team through Dashboard—the app’s chat feature makes it easy and convenient to ask a question about a specific order or to check in on workers from anywhere you happen to be.
There is no need to be distracted by features that don’t apply to your warehouse. Customize Dashboard to suit your specific needs.
Scanco 100 Warehouse Management and Dashboard are two options to improve visibility in your warehouse. Do you agree that it’s time to throw the paper away and move into an automated system? Contact us online or call (330) 645-9959 to schedule an appointment with a Scanco Solutions Expert.