6 Tips to Improve Your Warehouse Inventory Management

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The availability of goods in your warehouse is an indicator of how well your business is run. If you have a lot of stock, that means much of your inventory is readily available to customers. A well-stocked warehouse also indicates that your company has predictable demand and ample capacity to fulfill orders.

However, a high percentage of your inventory could indicate problems with the way it’s stored and tracked or a flawed storage system that causes an excess or obsolete stock to pile up faster than it can be used or sold. Improving your inventory management can make a huge difference in how efficiently you run your business.

Here are some tips on how you can get started:

Track and Communicate with Your Inventory

You don’t have to be a seasoned inventory expert to track and manage your warehousing fulfillment inventory. Bad stock management is almost always the result of poor tracking practices, so begin by logging all transactions relating to your inventory. 

The log should include the date of the entry, the name and location of the supplier, the quantity, the unit cost or rate, and the date of the sale or transfer. Next, keep a close eye on your stock. Check your inventory frequently to ensure it’s accurate and to see if any of it is getting low. 

Decide on a policy for when to reorder and when inventory is discarded. Keeping track of your inventory will help you determine if your stock has room to grow or if it’s getting low. If the former is the case, you can either wait for it to come back to you or go ahead and order more. If the latter is the case, you can decide to dispose of it.

Check Your Stock Frequently

Knowing when your inventory is low is the first step toward being able to reorder or discard it efficiently. A frequent inventory check is essential, but it’s not enough. You must also do other checks to ensure you maintain accurate records

Make sure you have an accurate record of all of your measurements. Don’t trust your memory alone. Make sure you have a system in place for accurately taking inventory measurements. You should also record inventory counts at least once a day. 

Counting your inventory will provide you with an accurate figure and help ensure it’s not low or high. You can also use a counting system to help keep track of your inventory. A simple notebook system for recording inventory counts is a good way to start. As you use it and get more comfortable with it, you can add more features to improve its usefulness.

Have an Accurate Head Office Database

A head office database is essential for keeping track of inventory transfers and ordering stock. This should be a central database that’s used to track all inventory, purchases, and orders and that anyone is able to use. 

It should include information about all locations where your company has a presence and the locations of key employees. You can use a head office database to keep track of inventory and to track inventory transfers. 

Always Aim for a Zero-Inventory Policy

You probably want to maintain some stock in-house. However, you can increase efficiency by keeping your inventory as low as possible. Aim for a zero-inventory policy. Doing so will not only help improve your efficiency, but it’ll also save you money as you won’t have a lot of random inventory sitting around that has not been sold. 

You can’t control when your customers will place orders or how much they’ll pay, but you can control how much you have on hand. When you have a low inventory, you’re not only more likely to have the right item in stock, but you’re also less likely to have obsolete or damaged stock that needs to be discarded.

Establish a Standard Operating Procedure for all Inventory Movements

When you have inventory in your storage area, there’s always a chance that it could get damaged. It can also get damaged while being used or transported. Standardizing how your inventory is moved and tracked will help reduce this and make it easier to track each item. 

You should make sure your inventory is moved systematically. If it moves from one area to another, it should be done in an organized fashion. The inventory that moves should be grouped with other inventory items that are moving. This will help you keep track of where each individual item is and help you if one of the items is damaged.

If your inventory is being moved solely for the purpose of moving it somewhere else, it should be done so in an organized fashion. 

Automate as Much as You Can

Adding automated systems to your business can help reduce labor costs, improve inventory management, and increase productivity. Implementing workflow automation in your warehouse will save you time and energy while improving inventory accuracy. 

Automation will help you stay efficient and make decisions accordingly. There are many different types of warehouse automation systems available. Depending on your business needs and budget, one may be better suited to your needs than another. 

One of the most common types of warehouse automation systems is a computerized inventory control system (ICCS). This type of system is designed to manage and track your inventory. It’s ideal for larger businesses that need to track more inventory items and have higher requirements for reliability and accuracy.

Conclusion

The only way to improve your inventory management is to practice. Start by keeping track of your inventory and keeping it as accurate as possible. Next, make sure your stock is moved in an organized way and that it’s kept away from potential damage sources. 

Finally, implement automated systems as much as you can. While pen and paper do work, automation saves time and is more accurate. These tips will help you improve your efficiency and save money as well as get rid of obsolete or damaged inventory.