The Top 5 Methods for Optimum Inventory Management

Does your operation save money or bleed money?

The pressure for your warehouse to improve the customer experience, enhance sales opportunities and save on overheads is relentless.  Multiple locations may mean your business is growing, but without effective inventory management, you can literally be throwing money away.

Boost your performance with the top 5 methods for optimum inventory management.

Done well – inventory management is a fluid, cost-effective element of your business that can boost order fulfilment.  Done badly – you will provide a negative customer experience, incurring waste and unnecessary cost.  Add the challenge of multiple locations and inventory management can become disorganised and bleed money from your business.  Optimised technology, expertise and following a proven process allows for optimum inventory management, regardless of the number of locations.  Here, we share the top 5 methods for improved inventory management.

What is Inventory Management?

Whether you are in retail or manufacturing, more and more pressure is being applied to the warehousing department to perform and reduce costs and waste.  A component of supply chain management, inventory management supervises the flow of goods from manufacturers to warehouses and then from these facilities to point of sale.

How can you optimise your inventory management?

1. Warehouse Management System (WMS)
Sophisticated stock control and real-time data enables improved forecasting and buying decisions.  Having a live view of sales and stock allows intelligent stock replenishment to take place – based upon products that have been sold, how fast and at what location.  A warehouse management system (WMS) optimises your entire operational process, allowing for less error and keeping it easier to maintain the right inventory level across all sites.   A good WMS can be updated in real-time and will allow for complete management of all locations.

2. Visibility
Avoiding mistakes requires an integrated real-time view of your entire inventory, across all channels, your warehouse and even goods in-transit.  There are many opportunities for manual error when relying on employees to track and manage inventory.  Utilising handheld wireless scanners at your locations will ensure all staff follow the correct processes, as intuitive software provides instructions and guidelines; from stock-taking through to despatch.  Full visibility across all sites will tell you how much quantity of each item is stored at each location without wasting time.  This allows you to simplify decision making as you can assign shipments from a location that has sufficient stock and closest proximity.

3. Integration
Integrating with suppliers is a must for effective inventory management.  Knowing what stock is coming in, going out and having up-to-date information about price, availability, lead times and back-orders – all from within your system.  The practicality of integration is a must for both parties, as suppliers can use the system to see when your inventory levels drop and easily prompt for more stock.

4. Data back-up
Data back-up is essential for both regulatory reasons and to protect your business from the devastation that loss of data incurs.  While systems are down, you are losing money and sales whilst you try and restore your data.  Robust operational and technical measures keep your data known and safe. Loss of data leaves your business vulnerable, results in lost revenue and potential reputational damage.

5. Increased sales
There is a clear correlation between inventory management and sales.  Comprehensive inventory management enables increased selling opportunities.  A warehouse management system allows for total stock control and avoids products being sold out and the subsequent loss of revenue.  It ensures perishable items are sold in time and makes sure you have the right stock in the right quantity, for sale at the right time.  In doing this, you reduce the costs of carrying excess inventory whilst maximising sales.

Conclusion
You cannot afford to run a single or multi-site operation without an effective warehouse management system.  Vardells are a market-leading supply chain technology partner.  We work with leading brands such as Bargain Booze, Smyths Toys and Yours Clothing.  Our solutions, spanning point of sale through to the warehouse, save time, improve accuracy and help increase margins.

To discuss how we can help streamline your operation, please get in touch.