Business that provide products to people in return of monetary will know the importance of the managing the warehouse correctly. Despite knowing the fact, many business owners or warehouse managers often settle for a simplistic program such as Excel, spreadsheets, Word documents to manage warehouse inventory. There are benefits of using these programs for specific tasks, however they fail to add efficiency, accuracy, and quality control to the process.
From the art of movement and storage of inventory throughout the warehouse, to monitoring the progress of products through the warehouse - how can you manage your warehouse better?
Below are some tips and tricks that you need to keep in mind as you assess your current tactics and implement changes in your warehouse management practices:
1 – Organize the storage space
Whether you have a single or multiple warehouses - organizing the area, is the foremost thing you should consider for a better warehouse management. Ensure you organize the storage location by creating signage that will make it easy to track inventory. The best idea is to group similar inventory in the same area, and store best-selling products in easy-to-access locations (near the entrance) to quickly spot and account for inventory products, as well as improve fulfilment efficiency.
2 – Adopt labelling method
It becomes very important to quickly procure products from the warehouse and fulfil the customer order as soon as possible. Apart from creating signage, it becomes quick and easy to spot for products that have a printed label which defines the products specification. Adopting labelling method for the products in your warehouse, your staff can immediately trace the product in a glance and send it for fulfilment on-the-fly.
3 – Implement barcoding technology
Tracking your warehouse inventory manually increases paper costs and the risk of inaccurate inventory levels. If you are still using spreadsheets to track your warehouse inventory, it's time to change. Implement an automated inventory management system such as barcode scanner that will not only make it easy to track your inventory, but also reduces the number of human errors when processing inventory data, leading to greater accuracy all around.
4 – Create unique relationship with suppliers
You may have to deal with a number of suppliers to procure product in order to keep your business running. Hence, maintaining good relationship with your suppliers are just as important as your relationships with your customers. The best way is to frequently have an informal chat or call your suppliers on special occasions. By doing this, it will not only build stronger relationships but also reduce inventory costs and help you fulfill orders effectively.
5 – Always keep your staff in loop
With so many phases involved in warehouse management, you cannot improve inventory accuracy on your own. Hence, you'll hire employees for managing your warehouse. Ensure your warehouse staff are sound with the inventory management best practices that you follow. Apart from that, perform tanning programs to train your staff with the latest technology so you can adopt modern systems to manage your warehouse effectively better.
Implementing the above tips and tricks in your warehouse management will result to an increased cash flow, efficiency, and customer satisfaction, all at a reduced expense.
Managing inventory is not an exciting part of becoming an eComm retailer, but it can make or break your store.
Without an effective management, web-stores can land up blocking capital in excess inventory, loss on sales in stock-out scenarios, create fulfilment problems in warehouse, and in the end let down their customers.
But, let me tell you, integrating your store and others channels together with a correct inventory management system can help you build a loyal clientele, optimize cash flow, and improve their bottom line.
What to look in an inventory management software?
An inventory management system optimizes complex distribution networks by enabling a central management of inventory, labor and process across multiple warehouse facilities.
Your inventory management system should enable you to:
1. Manage and allocate inventory across all your warehouse locations.
2. Co-ordinate multi-channel order management process.
3. Manage inbound receiving process.
4. Respond quickly to customer-specific, value-added services requests.
In order to have a smooth inventory flow in your store and across all your sales channels it is very important for you to select an inventory management system that allows multi-warehousing features.
How multi-warehousing feature can facilitate inventory control?
Efficiently manage multiple location/warehouses
This feature will allow you efficiently manage inventory across multiple locations. It allows you to create multiple locations, transfer stock between them and specify what warehouse stock is going into and out from.
Transfer stock between warehouses
When your store receives an order, this feature will help you transfer stock between warehouses and ship the order from the nearest warehouse to expedite the order fulfillment process.
Dispatch stock from a specific warehouse
With a multi-warehouse inventory management software in place you can specify the warehouse you wish to send good from. So, when you receive an order, the stock from that warehouse will decrease when the order is fulfilled.
Receive stock at a specific location
For any purchase order you can specify the warehouse you wish to receive the stock . So, when the purchase order is received it will push that stock in that specific warehouse.
Warehouse management software will give you a proper insight of all your inventories and warehouses in real-time. This way you have a complete insight of your inventory levels in store and across your warehouses.
With real-time analytics you can measure each location’s sales to see which warehouse are more profitable than others and which have a higher demand for certain products. Then you can adjust your inventories to meet demand and avoid shortages or production delays.
Benefits of warehouse management software
1. Increased inventory accuracy.
2. Improved order fulfillment accuracy.
3. Reduce order pick up times.
4. Improved order fulfillment speed.
5. Reduce order fulfillment cost.
6. Ability to meet customer specific needs.
7. Ability to sell more.
Of course, the need of multiple warehouses depends on the size and scale of your operation, as well as the cost to expand. That's why it is always recommended to indulge with a fulfillment service provider who already has warehouses in multiple locations. This way you can extend a wider footprint without added time, money, and expertise needed to build or purchase and staff warehouse space.
Simple, yet powerful