- WHY RFGEN?
Managing warehouse inventory is a pivotal part of ensuring even flow of goods from one area of the warehouse to the consumer. However, inventory management and other supply chain obstacles often prohibit this from happening. As you can imagine, this easily damages a company's bottom line due to lost sales, higher product returns and possible increased turnover due to workplace safety hazards and high stress.
To solve this issue, companies need to identify weaknesses in their current inventory management strategy and possibly draft a new one. Here are four problems that may hinder any inventory management strategy plan:
1. Strategy Lacks Clear Vision
Warehouse supervisors have a lot of responsibility. They have to manage shipping and receiving lines, picking, traffic, safety and equipment maintenance, and cycle counts, to name a few. But if their inventory management strategy lacks clear vision and direction, their entire supply chain and supply chain management strategy can come to a grinding halt.
Creating a plan is complex, and it takes a team of experienced professionals to not only gather all of the data, but develop the strategy and present it to upper management. Assuming you already have one in place, evaluate your strategy to see if it addresses the following:
2. Plan Lacks Clear Performance Measurement Procedures
We mentioned that part of developing a clear inventory management vision involved identifying problems. It's difficult to do this, however, when management can only subjectively - instead of objectively - identify problems based on hard facts.
In order to accurately measure a warehouse's performance, managers must set benchmarks. Benchmarking is the practice of comparing current inventory management (or supply chain and supply chain management) procedures to processes that happened at some point in the past. Benchmarking often involves managers analyzing each of their company's warehouses (internal benchmarking), while also consulting other companies for advice on how they operate their supply chains (external benchmarking).
Benchmarking can accomplish a number of inventory management feats such as:
The list goes on from here, but you likely get the point. It's critical to measure a warehouse's performance, but managers must set benchmarks if they want to gain insight into how well their facility is truly operating.
3. Strategy Doesn't Address Latest Technology
In the last two segments we outlined the importance of developing a clear strategy and just how crucial benchmarking is to form that plan.
However, that strategy will likely fall apart if you're not using the right automated data collection solutions. By integrating these devices and software into your warehouse operations, you provide your workforce with an eagle's-eye view into your inventory management and supply chain procedures.
The question you likely have is: Which type of solution should I purchase?
While we wish we could say there was a do-it-all solution that fits every industry and company, there simply isn't. The first step in figuring out which is best for your business is by identifying key pain points. From there, you can hone in on an enterprise system that can take your warehouse management operations to the next level.
While there isn't a one-size-fits-all system, there are a few things all companies should consider:
4. Employees Are Under Qualified or Poorly Trained to Carry Out Strategy
Employees are the heartbeat of your supply chain operations. Without qualified, experienced, engaged leaders manning the helm, your supply chain (and everything that comes with it) will collapse. Failing to hire the right employee can:
There are a number of ways distributors can analyze, repair and ultimately optimize their inventory management processes. If you're not sure where to start, the four suggestions presented in this article are great foundations pieces for your inventory management goals.