Improving Inventory Management with Automated Data Collection

Dustin Caudell
Wed, May 29, 2013

 

Automated data collection can help companies manage inventory, optimize warehouse performance and provide a greater level of transparency across the supply chain. When inventory management systems are integrated with existing accounting and tracking systems, companies can realize numerous benefits. 

There are various factors that make it likely companies could benefit from integration, explained American Machinist:

  • Prices of products vary
  • Promotions are offered regularly
  • Inventory is tracked using serial numbers, lots, dates or pallets
  • Vendors require minimum and maximum order quantities
  • The business has difficulty prioritizing orders
  • Picking is performed more than once a day
  • Inventory is stored across multiple sites
  • Physical inventory is frequently needed and difficult to complete

Integration can also help companies become more lean throughout their supply chain. DC Velocity explained that lean processes are important, especially in organizations that have to manage and deliver lots of products, because they eliminate transportation, time, inventory and production waste.

By using automated data collection in inventory management, companies can easily track the number of items in their warehouses at any given time. When this is linked to existing financial reporting or other tracking systems, companies can better track stock availability, packing needs and operational costs.

One integration benefit that provides especially significant value to an organization is optimizing inventory to meet product availability and financial goals, explained American Machinist. This allows executives to evaluate costs throughout the supply chain and the number of departments that need to be involved in a process. Real time data collection also ensures data integrity and reduces the risks of errors or discrepancies. 

A second key benefit of integration is that executives can achieve a higher level of visibility throughout the supply chain. This allows them to see how inventory levels fluctuate over time, identify peak sales times and plan accordingly to ensure products are available, reported American Machinist. Over time, data collection enables business leaders and warehouse managers to forecast fluctuations and plan for seasonal changes.

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