Although efficient inventory management is crucial in today’s supply chains, over 40% of retailers continue to struggle in keeping accurate inventory counts. The issue has resulted in over $900 billion lost in a year to surprise out-of-stocks and lost customers. To help improve operations, ValuTrack has taken a look into seven prevalent and easy-to-implement best practices that maximize inventory accuracy.
- Simplify the picking process – Warehouse pickers can spend over half the workday walking through aisles when compiling orders. To reduce wasted time, high-demand inventory should be strategically placed within easy reach. Quick identification is also beneficial to minimize confusion. Rugged barcode labels and RFID technology like Zebra’s Certified Consumables, can help retain product information as it moves down the supply chain, so your team knows when and where inventory is at all times.
- Consider ABC Analysis – ABC analysis is an efficient way to organize inventory by demand levels. High-demand inventory (A-items) will require more re-ordering and consistent monitoring since it is sold faster. Mid-demand items (B-items) will be given medium priority and can be restocked on a monthly basis. Lastly, low-priority goods (C-items), which are sold less frequently, can be carried in high quantities to avoid constant reordering.
- Track KPI’s that provide actionable insight – Key performance indicators provide you with crucial insight into current and future trends concerning inventory demand. A suitable warehouse management system can help you track:
- Inventory turnover rates
- Cycle counts
- Carrying costs
- Shipment time
- Order status
- Cross-Docking – To cut down unnecessary labor and confusing workflows, cross-docking allows you to move incoming inventory that’s ready to ship to the loading dock, bypassing storage. This accelerates fulfillment while also leveraging just-in-time inventory management to reduce carrying costs and inaccuracy.
- Establish a threshold inventory point – Because surges in demand can happen at any moment, we recommend setting inventory threshold points to alert your team when stocks are getting low.
- Carry safety stock – Working alongside your set threshold point, safety stock can help prevent surprise stockouts and missed opportunities since additional goods are stored in the event of sudden demand.
- Simplify stocktaking – Cycle counts and stocktaking are vital moments to certify your physical inventory matches your digital files. At ValuTrack, we leverage automated solutions such as enterprise mobile computing to simplify cycle counts through a user-friendly platform. By streamlining automated data capture and sharing, you can eliminate manual and paper-based processes that usually lead to costly errors. To explore intuitive next-generation mobile computers, download our Zebra brochure here.
To see how you can implement any of these best practices in your operations, contact our automation specialists today. To learn more, contact a ValuTrack specialist at 877-484-8187 or [email protected].
Thank you for reading our automated inventory management article!