26 Sep Inventory Management
Know what you have and where to find it.
Effective Inventory Management
October is already here and before we know it the holidays will be, too. For many businesses, that means busy season is approaching quickly. So with the increased demand for goods, the importance of an inventory management system is also rising.
“It is crucial for any company to know how much inventory they have and
exactly where it is for them to best take care of their customers.”
– Gary Randall
How do you implement an inventory management system?
The most successful approach to inventory management is implemented in phases. It starts with barcoding the goods. Many products do not come with barcodes assigned to them, so the first step is to make sure that everything you want to track is labeled. In some cases it might make sense to move to RFID down the line, but you want to walk before you try to run.
Once items have their appropriate barcode, we can move into the location phase. This is when we associate products with specific locations in the warehouse. For best results, take into consideration the flow of receiving goods in and shipping them out. Working with the flow will improve efficiency; trying to alter the flow can have the opposite effect. For seasonal products or your most popular items, it can make sense to move them toward the front of your warehouse, especially during their peak season.
With the first two phases in place, you can start cycle counting, or perform them with increased speed, accuracy, and frequency. You also have the opportunity to automate the warehouse systems for shipping and receiving.
What are the system components?
Each system has their own needs and unique factors, but there are a few components that are commonly used for managing inventory. These are the tools that work together to create a cohesive and comprehensive system.
Mobile computers, like the CK65 Rugged Mobile Computer
Large multi-touch displays, superior scanning and battery life offer you more ways to send and receive information. Offers O/S versatility, too – which is highly important with the upcoming Windows to Android migration.
Handheld and hands-free scanners, like the Xenon XP 1950g & 1952g
Quickly manage and process your asset data, send information out to the field and back to the system. The best part – you can do so in real time.
Vehicle-mounted computers, like the THOR VM1A
Task management becomes aligned with the warehouse management system.
Vocollect™ voice solutions
Create improvements – up to 10-25% – in productivity by transforming your workflows with voice-enabled devices.
What’s in it for you?
First and foremost, inventory management systems increase visibility into your warehouse. When you know what you have and where to find it, you are in control of your inventory. This grants you the power to utilize your assets – including your inventory, people and equipment – effectively and efficiently.
When you know exactly what you have and where to find it, you’ve eliminated the issue of ordering more than you need. Inventory management systems that are successfully implemented allow you to increase the capacity of your warehouse without expanding the footprint. The improved visibility allows you to bring in only what is needed, making costly overstocking issues a thing of the past.
Ultimately, when you know exactly what you have and where to find it you are able to spend less, increase productivity and maximize your facility in a way that optimizes your profits.