How your company manages its inventory can tell a lot about the overall success of the firm as a whole. If your inventory team is on top of their game, using the right tools and implementing effective strategies, your business will flourish. If there’s inconsistency, over or under stock situations or excessive manual processes, chances are these issues are reflected in your company’s bottom line. To help set things straight and improve performance, here are 5 inventory management best practices you can start applying today.
Organize & Categorize
Generally speaking, certain portions of your inventory will typically move faster than others. To maximize efficiency and create a more streamlined process, your entire inventory should be organized and categorized in a way that makes accessing those more popular items as fast and easy as possible. Be logical about how your warehouse and inventory are laid out with the ultimate goal of efficiency and ease of use in mind.
Avoiding overstocks and underage situations isn’t as difficult as it may seem, provided your inventory team is applying the right techniques and processes. One important method for maintaining accurate inventory levels is to use forecasting to help predict the future needs based on past trends. This is particularly effective for things like seasonal fluctuations, which can cause mayhem if not property planned for.
Not only are manual processes incredibly time consuming, but they’re also much more prone to error. Even just one tiny mistake can end up causing significant and costly impact on the company as a whole, so it would be wise to leverage the advanced technology that’s available today. For example, automation can make the entire process of inventory management more efficient and much more accurate.
Identify Underlying Problems
If you don’t correct issues that are occurring, you’ll never get your inventory management process in shape. Start by examining your inventory history to identify patterns, such as overages of a certain product or during a particular time of month or year. These areas can be beacons that allow you to fix problems and develop a much more efficient, effective strategy moving forward.
Consider Other Options
Perhaps the reason inventory hasn’t been working well for your organization is because the method you’re using isn’t a good fit. For example, if you’re having issues with staffing levels or accuracy, switching to a vendor-managed-inventory (VMI) approach might help shoulder some of the burden. Even if things seem to be running relatively smoothly, it’s always good to stay abreast of the available alternatives and evaluate them from time to time. At least once per year, conduct an audit and determine what, if any, changes could and should be implemented.
Have questions about these and other inventory management issues? Need some guidance handling the tasks associated with managing your company’s inventory? We can help! Give our experts a call today to get started.