Accurate and reliable inventory management is a major key to success in your business’ supply chain. If you don’t have enough product on hand, it can take an unreasonably long time to get it into the hands of your customers. And if you’ve got a huge amount of safety stock, you’re likely overspending on warehousing costs. To find that sweet spot, you’ve got to partner with the right inventory manager. Here’s what we suggest you keep an eye out for:
Warehouse Tech that Increases Inventory Accuracy
The internet of things has made warehouses much more technical in the last decade, and has led to more accurate inventory while minimizing wage costs. Utilizing RFID scanners will allow your team to take stock of everything going in and out of the warehouse, and advanced tracking tools like GPS trackers allow your team and customers to see the location of product at any moment across the globe. These logistics IT solutions will minimize the need for audits and enable you to use inventory automation tools as well.
Clients with Just in Time Supply Chains
If you’re wanting to maximize the potential of your inventory management, then you’re sure to be looking at creating a just in time supply chain for your business. In its ideation, JIT supply chains forecast demand to time manufacturing so that new products arrive at the warehouse just as a customer places an order for them. But even if you’re not looking for one yourself, choosing an inventory manager with just in time supply chains under their purview means you’ll have access to tools for growth and synchronicity.
Strategically-Placed Warehouse Locations
One of the easiest ways to simplify your inventory management plan is by being closer to your customers, as it requires less advanced notice to meet customer expectations for shipping. These days, if you’re an online retailer, that’s two days. Choosing partners with multiple strategically-placed warehouse locations is a great option because even the best placed warehouse in the U.S. will be more than a day’s drive from more than half the population.
A Plan that Includes ABC Priorities
ABC Priorities are considered one of the basics of inventory management, but they do a lot of heavy lifting in helping set your business up for success. Basically, these priorities categorize your products into levels of priority based on their ROI, customer popularity, scarcity of supply, ability to be bundled, and more. Higher priority products are given more space and easier access in the warehouse, and lower priority products give way for their higher-value counterparts. This process can be great for helping your business refocus product lines and streamline manufacturing as well.
Models for Forecasting Demand
Accurate demand forecasting is one of the most complex and useful parts of logistics planning, and therefore inventory management. This is doubly true for businesses with products that are affected by seasonality. By selecting a partner with demand forecasting tools, you’re more likely to be able to set accurate par levels, reorder points, and safety stock to have on hand during peaks and valleys. And the more accurate your forecasting, the easier it is to implement an automated ordering system.
Bad inventory management can tank a successful business. So, by ensuring you are partnered with someone great, you’re maximizing your business’ potential. To learn more about how you can implement better inventory management practices for your business, reach out to our team.