The manufacturing industry is on the upswing. According to a report released June 1 by the Institute for Supply Management, an increase in hiring and new orders helped motivate manufacturing growth for the first time in six months this May. The U.S. manufacturing index rose to 52.8, which is the highest it has been since February. Despite the slow start to the year and economic growth only happening incrementally, the uptick in manufacturing is a good sign for the economy to be able to continue its upward trend.
The global manufacturing market is more mixed. According to the May report from the National Association of Manufacturers, the global manufacturing sector continues to expand, but not at a very fast pace. Despite low rates of growth on a country-by-country basis, the industry continues its expansion, which could spell good news for the warehousing industry as well.
What does this news mean for warehouse managers across the country? An uptick in manufacturing means more products to be sold and shipped - ultimately, more inventory to keep track of. Warehouses should be ready for the potential growth by investing in the proper technology to make inventory management more productive and effective.
Technology to the Rescue
Warehouse and inventory management can be made easier through the use of the proper technology. Enterprise resource solutions help companies keep track of the products on their shelves and provide a database of information to track them through the supply chain, all the way to the customer. The Houston Chronicle cites having an effective tracking system as one of the signs of good inventory management. Being able to organize products within ERP software can help with finding and picking those items later, and companies can also stay on top of cycle counts.
The Mobile Data Collection Factor
Supply chain optimization can be made easier through the use of data collection tools like barcode scanning devices. Placing barcode labels on items can facilitate tracking throughout the warehouse and supply chain. This can be crucial in maintaining productivity and maximizing operations in light of a national or global increase in manufacturing - after all, you want products to be found and shipped to their end destination on time and with fewer mistakes, and that process starts with knowing what you have in your warehouse and where those products are.