Your warehouse plays a vital, central role in your business’ storage and exchange of goods. From storing raw materials and finished goods to providing the physical infrastructure for picking, packing, and shipping orders, the warehouse is truly the beating heart of distribution. Like keeping your own heart healthy, it’s important to keep the heart of your distribution healthy for the best output and increased longevity.
A well-oiled warehouse doesn’t just happen. It takes intention and attention, with the right warehouse inventory software solutions added in for good measure. Take a look at how warehouse inventory software and other technical solutions can build the health of your warehouse heart.
It’s About Being Lean in Warehouse Operations Practices
In manufacturing and business, “lean” is the concept of doing more with less by cutting out unnecessary steps, reducing waste, and automating wherever necessary. Lean produces highly efficient processes. Warehouses began as storehouses of goods. With the growth of the globalized marketplace, warehouse operations have expanded to include high-level inventory management, quick turnaround receiving and shipping, and accurate pick and pack services.
When those operations run lean, it opens up the opportunity for long-term and sustainable savings, starting with time and resulting in money. Think about how one change can have far-reaching effects: Updated organization using data from warehouse inventory software can improve pick and pack times, while scanning or voice-activated devices can improve accuracy, which then directly impacts the frequency of returns and improves the perception of customer service.
Teach Employees How to Use Technical Solutions
You can have the most efficient warehouse and distribution setup in the industry, but if your employees don’t understand those setups, all that efficiency potential is lost. It’s important to train employees so they understand the technology available and how they’re expected to use those tools. Training reduces the likelihood of users creating workarounds that negatively impact the performance of your warehouse inventory software. Training can also help promote safety, which reduces accidents on the floor and in turn contributes to improved efficiencies and innovation.
Make the Switch to Omni-Channel
Believe it or not, ecommerce was still new as recently as a decade ago. When ecommerce was in its first years, there was often separation in warehouse and distribution centers between ecommerce inventory and brick-and-mortar retail inventory. The new, emerging trend of multi-channel—also known as omni-channel—fulfillment centers is to handle the inventory, fulfillment, and distribution for all channels under one roof. Inventory for brick-and-mortar stores is on the same floor as the inventory for the ecommerce sales. Omni-channel distribution and fulfillment centers are driven by inventory efficiencies, but also leverage the efficiency of a common labor pool.
Back to Basics With A-B-Cs
Inventory categorization is probably one of the more popular ways of drastically improving distribution efficiency. ABC categorization involves assigning hierarchy to your inventory items based on their dollar value. A-level items are priority stock or big-ticket items that need to be tightly monitored since they bring in the most money. Generally, these items are kept in smaller supply and access is locked down.
C-level items have lower value, but larger volume. B-levels sit in the middle. Once levels are assigned, you’ll want to establish a stock review and reorder cadence for each level. Due to their high cost and shorter supply, A-level items will need more frequent reviews to maintain enough inventory. Accordingly, C-levels do not require nearly as much, and B are right in the middle. Implementing the right warehouse inventory software solution will allow you to review and monitor your stock trends for accurate inventory and future planning.
Healthy Efficiency With PositiveVision, Inc.
Warehouse inventory software and other technical solutions give you the information and tools you need to streamline warehouse processes and manage stock with minimal hassle. Like the heart in your own chest, the more efficiently the heart of your distribution runs, the healthier your business will be.
Could your warehouse inventory software use a personal trainer? PositiveVision has built decades of success on making business management systems not only work, but work together. With the right systems, training, and integration, PVI can set your business up to reduce inefficiencies and grow revenue. If it’s time to get your warehouse into shape, let us help you take the first steps.