10 May 6 Inventory Management Best Practices
Making Your Inventory Management System Work at Its Peak
So, you’ve decided to implement an inventory management system. That’s great! You are already one step closer to optimizing your supply chain and boosting your bottom line. But like any new system, inventory management does require companies to follow a few structured steps in order to work properly. Here are some best practices for inventory management, whether you’re new to this system or just want some ideas on how you can maximize your ROI and make your supply chain better.
Yes, everything. Start with all your inventory. You may have done that already, and if you have, kudos. The next step is to consider labeling racks or locations. Labeling racks and locations is essential in taking inventory and helps you better associate your products to their locations.
How this makes you better: This keeps your inventory organized and saves your staff time when searching for an item.
Organize Your Stock to Match Demand
As you begin to collect data on your inventory, you will notice which items perform well and which sit longer in your warehouse. One excellent way to increase efficiency is to organize your stock based on its popularity or even seasonality. If it is a popular item, move it to the front of your storeroom to make it easier for your employees to access it.
How this makes you better: Keep up with today’s fast-paced market by quickly getting items out for shipment.
Group Items by Location
One common practice for inventory management is grouping similar items to a designated location on your warehouse floor. This is where labeling racks and locations come in handy. This not only makes it easier for your pickers to access it, but it also consolidates your cycle counts. Group by like items or even by item popularity to maximize your time and locate your stock quicker! Consider organizing your hot ticket items at one location to maximize efficiency.
How this makes you better: Your employees can easily locate your products and better prioritize where they should conduct their cycle counts first, especially when counting top selling items.
Automate Inventory Taking
Taking inventory by hand is an efficiency killer. It burns through time and opens your business up for costly mistakes. But with automated data capture like barcodes or RFID, you can achieve at least 99% accuracy on your inventory count, and in less than half the time! This enables your workers to continue on to other tasks sooner.
How this makes you better: Automated inventory tracking not only provides accurate inventory. If you choose, it even enables you to take inventory more frequently, giving you an even greater oversight into your products.
Follow GS1 Standards
There are many benefits to following GS1 Standards. Among them is that your barcode data can be read anywhere, even by your product’s distributors! They also will not have to relabel the product or use a new barcode, as it follows a recognized standard.
How This Makes You Better: GS1 standards add a level of consistency that takes the guesswork out of your barcode labeling and item identification.
Keep a Close Eye on Your Data
You collect a ton of data throughout your workday. There are many ways to put it to use, from knowing where each item is located and how much of it you have in stock, to forecasting the demand for your products. This data may also identify other key figures in your operations, like areas where you can improve your workflow.
How this makes you better: When you identify your data baseline, you can make the adjustments you need to continually upgrade your operations’ performance.
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