If your organization has any type of inventory, developing strategies to manage that inventory most effectively is essential – regardless of what industry you happen to be in. Effective inventory management can save your company time, money and aggravation and also better prepare you for the future. If you could use a little guidance in this area, here are a few helpful pointers to get you started.
Appoint a manager. Someone should be in charge of making sure your inventory is properly handled. In most instances, this means hiring or appointing a designated inventory manager. For larger companies, there may be a need to hire an entire team of inventory professionals. For smaller firms, it may be an individual who also juggles other duties as well. In either case, this is a critical step for success.
Develop best practices. Work with your inventory manager and/or team to develop a list of best practices for the inventory process. This may include everything from designation of duties, scheduling activities and even how much of each item should be kept on hand on an ongoing basis. For best results, get as detailed as possible, including if/then scenarios.
Invest in a system. Trying to keep track of inventory manually is not only incredibly time consuming, but it can also leave your business especially vulnerable to costly human errors. Investing in a system that has been specifically designed to help manage inventory is wise, particularly if you happen to carry a large amount of inventory or it turns over frequently.
Leverage automation. Whenever possible, put the power of automation to work for your business. This is most often applied to the re-ordering step, which can be programmed and carried out without the need for much (if any) human input based on real-time inventory levels and past trends. Most quality inventory management systems feature this option.
Stay on top of levels. The more you stay on top of your inventory levels (through a management system), the less likely you’ll be to experience either an over or understock situation. Yes, it takes work and dedication (which is why hiring a manager is so important), but the time and money you’ll save in the long run will make it well worth it.
Are you confident that you’re truly getting the most out of your inventory management plan? Could your company benefit from the advice and assistance of an experienced inventory professional? Give us a call today and let’s discuss how we can help!