“Planning and collaboration are key to achieving the right balance. One weak link in the supply chain has a ripple effect. If a supplier unexpectedly ships too little product, fulfillment is delayed and deadlines are missed,” states Rich Hite, President of QC Software, an innovative supplier of Tier-1 Warehouse Control Systems for the material handling industry.
Guidelines for better inventory management include:
Share data throughout the company. Integrate warehouse software with ERP systems to automate purchasing, receiving, invoicing, shipping, and returns for fast and accurate inventory processing.
Extend visibility to partners. Make sure vendors and partners receive updates. Keep them informed on issues so they can make contingency plans.
Use analytics and inventory optimization tools. Utilize analytic software that operates under one platform. Partners should share reports for a unified supply chain model. Optimization tools evaluate product demand and usage, market fluctuations, and other factors for more accurate supply planning.
Take advantage of product slotting. Slotting software determines the bestinventory locations for efficient order fulfillment and space optimization. Poor product placement affects the entire inventory lifecycle since people are working harder to accomplish each task.
Track important SKU attributes. Electronically track relevant data such as expiration dates, lot numbers, storage information, and received dates to reduce spoilage and losses, improve space utilization and manage recalls.
Focus on the fast movers. Manage by slot class. Keep more of the fast moving items on hand and less of the slower moving items. The general rule of thumb is to focus on the 20 percent that account for 80 percent of the volume.
Remove obsolete inventory. Implement a program to remove inventory that is no longer needed from the facility. This frees up space and reduces clutter.
Make sure suppliers deliver the goods. Monitor the supplier’s performance and practices to determine reliability and compliance. They should provide advance ship notices so the warehouse has sufficient resources to process inbound inventory.
With the right balance of supply and demand, distributors can operate more efficiently. They must improve forecasting and planning, and share information with partners to consistently meet customer demand.
QC Software is recognized as an industry leader in providing innovative and adaptive software solutions for order fulfillment and distribution centers. Their Tier-1 Warehouse Control System provides advanced management capabilities for inventory control, resource scheduling and order management. For over 17 years, their solutions have enabled customers to streamline their warehouse operations with one of the lowest total cost of ownerships in the industry.