Warehouses of all sizes and in all industries can benefit from improving the management of information in the entire production cycle. You will need to transition from fragmented manufacturing operations to a fully integrated value chain to drive improvements from manufacturing all the way through to warehouse and inventory management. In order to maximize your manufacturing efficiency and not over or under produce, you’ll need a warehouse management system to house what is manufactured and to keep track of what it contains.
In an effort to help you operate the most efficient warehouse possible, below are 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 to make manufacturing and distribution practices the best they can be:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Be sure all workers are trained in 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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. Positive Vision offers a variety of Warehouse Management System (WMS) solutions. Please contact us to learn more about warehouse solutions and manufacturing solutions to meet your specific needs.