How to keep your warehouse on top of its stock
Immobile stock in your warehouse is not an asset to you or your business; the longer time it spends in your warehouse, the more it will cost. Taking a look at how you manage your inventory can assist you in improving effectiveness, the flow of your current markets and lessen their time in the market.
The way in which you manage your inventory might be costing you too much money. Streamlining and optimising the flow in which your products enter and leave the warehouse is a good idea, as it offers you a number of cost-saving benefits, such as reduction in logistics cost burden, offering savings in decreased obsolescence, increasing your revenue from lost sales orders, and lower working capital.
Here are 6 tips on how to manage your inventory flow to improve your profit:
Inbound Logistics should be addressed
You need get what you need, only when you need it, in time for dispersal to your patrons. Your yard management and appointment scheduling should also be followed up on, to make sure that a seamless delivery and loading process is guaranteed.
The receiving process should also be optimised to make sure that and flaws and errors in the system are reduced, thereby minimising the impact on your inventory control later. How you receive products, the documentation used, labelling and logging inventory upon arrival should be tightened up. Reverse logistics also needs to be fluid and deal directly with your patrons in a way that is both efficient and can be tracked.
Finally on this point, your WMS (Warehouse Management System) should allow you to match orders that facilitate cross-decking in a way that is sustainable. This includes flow through, merge in transit, ship to mark for and simply cross-decking. Using this in accordance with warehouse processes such as put to store, resourceful substitution and distribution for the ease of tracking and better control of your inventory.
Warehouse management for easier movement
While the newest technology is great to simplify control of your warehouse inventory, it doesn’t mean anything if a practical strategy is not in place to allow products to move around the warehouse. From receipt, to packing away and outbound orders.
What you can do here to ensure easier movement:
- Your floorplan should be practical, simple and easy to navigate.
- Shelving should permit simple picking and return of products, and needs to be designed to fit all of your product types, sizes and requirements.
- Products should be labelled clearly in a standard way that avoids confusion.
Manage your putaway process
The majority of ERPs will not allow you to sell inventory that is not already in your possession. Therefore, the process of packing away should be simple, easy to understand and easy to follow when fulfilling orders.
Stock takes and Cycle Counts
Stock taking, whether bi-annually or on a more regular basis, gives you the most information on the current state of the stock in your warehouse. Therefore, it is a good idea to do these often, and it also ensure that there is an account of any lost, stolen or damaged stock, and it can also act as a deterrent to anyone who might want to steal from the warehouse.
It also important to focus on your cycle counting. Whether planned or done on exceptional days, the accuracy of these cycle counts can save the time of a full stocktake.
Keeping track of serial numbers and lots
Serial numbers, batches and lots form a large part of how effective your warehouse is, especially in the inventory control of technology manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and food distribution. If you are an operator in one of these sectors, a consolidated view of what is in your inventory is needed, with this information included. This is where your WMS is important, to track these easily and efficiently.
Your picking process is one of the vital parts of your warehouse running seamlessly. It is also the part of the process that needs a precise inventory in order to function. It gives you the added benefit of inventory control that you require in the customer-order process.
Taking all of this into consideration is important when assessing how efficient your warehouse processes are, and it is worth it to optimise all of these when you want your warehouse to run at an optimum level.