To run lean and effectively, perhaps no segment of supply chain management is more integral than inventory control. Inventory shrinkage is a huge contributor to losses by distribution companies and manufacturers. While some shrinkage and control problems are unavoidable, others can be controlled with more current technology that improves data collection and inventory.
In a recent article, Manufacturing Business Technology cites a list of six inventory control killers identified by Wasp Barcode Technologies. The six pitfalls to avoid are: outdated systems, obsolescence, failure to return, shrinking meat (inaccurate receiving), light invoices and value loss due to a fickle public.
Data Collection Helps Organizations Avoid Inventory Shrinkage
A good deal of inventory shrinkage comes from systems that simply can't handle the distribution demands of the 21st century. Whether it's outdated legacy systems that can't connect multiple warehouses, or employees that can't keep up with paper invoicing, new data collection systems are the answer. For managers hesitant to upgrade systems, balancing the cost of new equipment with the cost of inventory errors should make the decision a clear one. There are many ways automated data collection solutions can reduce the cost of poor inventory control:
- Mobile data collection solutions can arm more employees with RF guns or barcode scanners, meaning more data related to the movement of inventory in the warehouse can be tracked. This allows managers to identify possible points of shrinkage.
- Have employees using barcode scanning solutions at the point of entry. Inventory will certainly be inaccurate if there is no record on how much of each product entered the warehouse.
- Inventory control solutions can also help reduce obsolescence and prevent racks from filling with products that will never sell. Obsolescence likely stems from inventory control systems that don't provide data throughout the supply chain. If a warehouse is ordering additional stock of a product that is not selling, then someone has the wrong information.
- Returning items is also easier with real-time inventory tracking and automated date collection. If an organization is aware of stock that is not selling or even defective, it should be able to locate the product and return it the supplier.
Improving inventory control doesn't have to mean high costs or downtime
With the solutions provided RFgen, automated data collection software will patch seamlessly into existing ERP software so that updates are inexpensive. Inventory management software from RFgen will start improving inventory control the moment it goes online.