7 Ways To Improve Inventory Control
Inventory control is absolutely crucial. If your warehouse is chaotic then there’s a high chance that your finances will be too. If your messy warehouse is coupled with business practices that aren’t accurate or speedy then things can turn very ugly very quickly! With that in mind, here are seven simple ways that you can improve inventory control for your business today. Starting with…
1. Introduce inventory cycle counts
Be sure to carry out routine cycle counts of your inventory and monitor any discrepancies. Over time, patterns will start to emerge. Investigating these patterns will help you to spot fraud in your business which has been estimated to account for up to 44% of inventory shrinkage. Stay alert!
2. Ensure that you ‘book in’ goods correctly
Inventory discrepancies will always happen, but most can be traced back to simple mistakes made at ‘booking in’. Train your staff to carefully check that the inventory received matches what was expected. Being thorough at booking in will yield dividends in terms of trust in your systems and improved customer satisfaction levels. It cannot be overstated how important minimising mistakes at this juncture is. Be thorough!
3. Use barcode labelling on products and locations
A great way to prevent “Put-Away” errors is to scan both the product and the location barcodes as a double-check. Putting a single product in the wrong location can cause you serious problems down the line, so eliminating such elementary mistakes is crucial. Barcodes are a great way of achieving this which leads us neatly on to the next point…
4. Use barcodes and scanners to improve efficiency
Every customer expects timely, accurate deliveries these days. As a result, any picking or packing mistakes will have a serious impact on customer satisfaction levels, your supplier ratings and your profit margins. Failing to meet customer expectations can also result in costly fines plus additional transport and administration costs. By using barcodes and scanners for inventory put-away, picking and packing, your on-time and in-full delivery performance will be markedly improved. To learn more about barcode scanning take a look at Tasklet Factory’s Mobile WMS solution. Get it right the first time so there isn’t a second time!
5. Use warehouse layout, signage and ergonomics to boost productivity
Smart warehouse layout and clear signage will make a huge difference to your overall operating efficiency. Clearly label your stock locations with both the product name and the barcode number. Additionally, having your inventory at a comfortable height so that warehouse personnel do not have to climb too high or stoop too low will help reduce the number of errors and improves productivity. It also cuts down the risk of injuries to staff. Simple, but significant.
6. Avoid inventory mix-ups
Make sure inventory locations have sufficient capacity to comfortably store the required inventory. You should eliminate the danger of inventory overflowing and becoming mixed up with a neighbouring item. Having inventory clearly separated improves put-away and picking operating efficiency exponentially. It sounds basic (and it is!), but being organised in this way saves valuable time and lots of money! Is this obvious? Of course! Is it effective? Absolutely!
7. Don’t be a hoarder
Typically, warehouse space is at a premium, so don’t fill it with inventory that is slow-moving, out of season, superseded or obsolete! Take immediate action to sell it off, donate it, scrap it or recycle. Again, this sounds like obvious advice but the number of businesses that hoard useless junk never fails to amaze. If it isn’t useful, just get rid of it! Spring-cleaning isn’t just for the home!
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