Warehouse management involves many processes that businesses must ensure their efficiency, accuracy, and the steady flow of products in and out. To boost warehouse productivity, businesses have applied automation technologies. Some of these processes seem to be error-free; however, inventory management is more prone to mistakes and challenges.
According to McKinsey & Company report in 2019, overall warehouse costs on a global scale are approximately $385 billion each year which does not include the additional costs for fixing errors and mistakes. This raises a question for businesses that how can they solve the inventory management issues efficiently at a minimised cost? Let’s take a look at five common issues below and see how to deal with them!
One of the most common issues in inventory management is the inability to locate or identify stocks within the warehouse. Accordingly, the main reason for this issue is poor warehouse layout and deficient warehouse space. Poor inventory visibility may cause delayed, wrong or partial shipments, which will deliver bad customer experiences, hamper businesses’ bottom line and dent their reputation.
To achieve an optimal warehouse layout, businesses can consider both horizontal space and vertical space available for use. Good arrangement of labour equipment and machines is also helpful for inventory accessibility and employee safety. In addition, companies can seek help from real-time inventory/warehouse management systems such as tranquil ERP software to have accurate details regarding stock availability and location data. This will help to gain better and easier location of stocks, ultimately leading to better order fulfilment and customer satisfaction.
Synergix ERP software offers a proper inventory management and tracking system by properly labelling the stocks with barcode and batch/lot/serial numbers. The system also supports sorting inventory according to stocks’ designated locations, brands, categories, suppliers, customers, and manufacturers. These features, for certain, will significantly empower businesses in inventory visibility.
Production planning is of critical importance. If there is no appropriate production plan and sales forecast, businesses may face insufficient or abundant stock, as well as budget overflows. Inappropriate production planning can also cause inventory stock not to arrive at the warehouse in time to meet the demand-supply cycle. Meanwhile, customers’ expectations and demands are constantly changing, especially in the period of seasonal demands.
The first thing businesses need to do is learning and understanding customers’ insights to meet their demands and expectations accordingly. Later on, businesses can utilise Synergix ERP system that offers the features of planning, scheduling and forecasting. Specifically, in the Manufacturing and Inventory module, Synergix software enables fast and responsive production planning scenarios by auto-recommending alternative plans to the planners. The system also monitors all material and stock status required to meet manufacturing demand and achieve lean manufacturing. In terms of forecasting, the system will record all previous order and transaction details to aid in analysing customers’ behaviours. Based on this, businesses can easily plan for appropriate product quantity, stock level maintenance, and budget balance, avoiding insufficient or abundant stock.
Inventory Data Hub
Inventory and warehouses can generate huge data silos. When businesses grow, stocktaking from multiple locations may drive stock data discrete, which results in shipping complexity and delays. This is a common mistake since businesses usually do not invest in a digital hub for all workers to access and update data during the work.
Efficient inventory data management will ensure there is no communication gap among workers, driving more smooth processes. Using a centralised ERP system can give businesses comprehensive visibility and control of inventory data in one single location, making stock tracking simpler. Workers can also access and update data in real-time, saving lots of time while working on-site.
Poor picking is also a common struggle that easily disrupts and holds inventory control systems back. Mistakes usually happen during receiving or put-away tasks when picking is done in a rush to assist urgent customers and in a tense environment. Wrong quantity, product damage, or heavy compensation are serious consequences that businesses have to face.
In this case, it is advisable to enhance inventory layout and warehouse automation systems to reduce picking errors and increase picking efficiency. There should be quality control workers who are in charge of recording vendor accuracy and stock rotation during picking, packing, and shipping.
Businesses expand, so too will warehouse management strategies grow and change to make all inventory processes more efficient. Synergix ERP solutions offer solutions and modules to free businesses from these above hiccups. As Synergix is a pre-approved vendor by the IMDA, eligible SMEs can receive the funding up to 70% of the qualifying cost when implementing the Synergix system. Should you have any concerns, do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation!