Manage Your Warehouse Inventory With These Top Tricks
The goal of a warehouse facility is to achieve both efficiency and effectiveness in supply chains. However, with the continuing globalization of the supply and demand chain, achieving and maintaining both order and value becomes more and more challenging.
Reverse logistics, supply chain logistics, information technology, and environmental sustainability are always evolving. This is exactly why warehouses and distribution centers are now called upon to go beyond simple order fulfillment and, instead, to provide an ever-expanding array of value-added services.
To better serve your customers (and help make your company a higher profit), here are the top management tricks that will amplify accuracy, improve storage, increase the distribution and shipment speed, and manage the performance of your warehouse inventory.
Automation is often cited as the solution to upping order accuracy. A word of caution, though. An across-the-board automation strategy can actually become more of a problem rather than the right answer.
“Automation of other processes (e.g. receiving, locating/storage, order filling) may become a critical constraint particularly if there is a significant variation in demand (e.g. seasonality), change in product characteristics, or change in product mix.” -David K. Ecklund, Director – The Global Supply Chain
So how do you get the advantages of accuracy through automation without having to deal with the constraints? By using a customized inventory management solution that allows for the flexibility needed in order to scale with your company’s growth and to adapt to meet future requirements.
It’s best if your inventory management platform offers the following features:
- Is well-designed and easy to use
- Performs in real time
- Provides 24/7 visibility
- Seamlessly interfaces with your back-office software
- Gives maximum functionality and streamlines processes
- Offers complete lot control management
- Is FIFO guaranteed
- Manages both large and small shipments
- Delivers product quarantine when necessary
- Details every transaction, every step of the way
It is important to choose the right platform because a poorly chosen inventory management system can end up costing you too much money in the long run if it is unable to meet your needs as your business continues to grow and develop.
There are many determinants when it comes to space utilization and storage efficiency of your products. They can include weight, dimensions, packaging, shelf life, temperature, lot control requirements, and hazardous material requirements.
All of your product’s unique characteristics, requirements, and intricacies must be considered so they can be matched and optimized for storage, layout, equipment selection, and business processes.
Remember, these supply chain logistics must be managed with both forward and reverse flow in mind. Otherwise, returns will be processed slowly and a lag in a return to storage will decrease the accuracy of your inventory, possibly causing missed sales opportunities.
Increase Distribution and Shipment Speed
One of the main ways to increase distribution and shipment speed is by choosing a distribution center that is located in close proximity to manufacturing plants and customer location.
Another way to maximize speed is the successful determination of which information technologies are critical to optimize receiving, storing, and shipping operations. For example, the use of handheld bar-coding devices optimizes efficiency and reduces errors by permitting real-time information of inventory status.
A fundamental principle to achieving success is by tracking performance in order to reach a measurable goal. Essential items to track include:
- Accuracy of Records
- Damaged Merchandise
- Fill Rate
- Dock-to-Cycle Time
- Order Cycle Time
- Inventory Turnover
The trick to tracking performance is to utilize a wide range of automatic reports related to reverse logistics. These metrics and reports must be able to be read quickly and immediately understood thoroughly, which will help you to know how to improve business controls for a higher return on your investment.
To learn more about how to optimize your warehouse management or for more information on the best Utah distribution company, contact Elite Ops today!