How to Improve Inventory and Warehouse Management in 6 Ways
If you are unsure of what, exactly, is in your warehouse or have lost items because of a lack of proper inventory management, it is likely time to consider a warehouse management system. Inventory management is a common struggle felt by warehouses globally, but you do not have to have inaccuracy issues and fulfillment delays. With accurate inventory numbers, you can be successful even with increasing demands and more complex orders.
In an effort to help you operate the most efficient (and accurate) warehouse possible, we have created 6 tips to help you improve inventory management accuracy. Keep the following warehouse management system tips in mind as you assess your current strategies and implement changes in your inventory management practices:
- Organize the warehouse. Make sure that all storage locations are clearly marked, and store fast-moving products in easy-to-access locations. Group similar items in the same location, use shelves and bins, and avoid clutter in all areas of the warehouse. This will make it easy to find and account for inventory items, not to mention improve order fulfillment efficiency.
- Perform cycle counts. Rather than relying on the year-end physical count for your inventory numbers, start performing cycle counts on a regular basis. You can perform these monthly, quarterly, or even daily depending upon the amount of inventory stored in your warehouse.
- Train your employees on inventory management best practices. You cannot improve your inventory accuracy on your own. In order to be truly successful, you have to involve your employees in every step of the process. Make sure your team is aware of any changes in inventory management policies and practices, and train them on new technology or systems. The more informed and aware your employees are, the better your chances of seeing lasting change.
- Implement barcoding technology. If you are still using paper and manual processes to track inventory numbers, it’s time for a change. Managing your inventory manually not only decreases your efficiency, but it also contributes to rising paper costs and inaccurate inventory numbers. Manual processes can never be 100% accurate; therefore, if you truly want to improve your accuracy, you need to invest in some sort of automated inventory management system such as barcoding technology.
- Create relationships with suppliers. Your relationships with your suppliers are just as important as your relationships with your customers. Believe it or not, maintaining a good relationship with your key suppliers can help you reduce inventory costs and fulfill orders faster.
- Monitor and track inventory cycles with technology. If you are not using technology to track and manage your inventory, you are doing yourself a disservice. Today’s warehouses and distribution centers run more efficiently when managers are using warehouse management systems or other software to manage the daily tasks of inventory management. These solutions can provide you with a snapshot of your inventory levels and provide you with the reports you need to make critical inventory decisions. Using automated solutions for the purpose of inventory management will also reduce the number of human errors when processing inventory data, leading to greater accuracy all around.
Improving inventory and warehouse management accuracy results in increased cash flow, reduced expenses, increased efficiency, and improved customer satisfaction. If you are looking for ways to improve your inventory accuracy and streamline inventory management, Mindover Software is here to help. Please contact us.