I once heard an inventory management expert compare the inventory in a warehouse to the gold in Fort Knox. It is that important and your inventory is your gold. It is arguably your most important asset. How well are you guarding your gold?
Inventory carrying costs have an important effect on business viability. By controlling your inventory accurately you can control and even reduce these costs. Inventory accuracy can reach approximately 99.9% when inventory is tracked using barcodes and RF handheld inventory functions. Inventory accuracy is ensured by scanning and validating locations and product barcodes. You gain the ability to reduce the amount of inventory in your warehouse, while at the same time maintaining adequate stock levels to fulfill orders. You also gain an extremely accurate view of where your inventory is no matter where you put it. Now you have much less chance of losing items. If you have items that have lot or date control restrictions you will be able to properly send the correct items to your customers. The positive side effect is improved customer satisfaction which equals higher revenues.
Warehouse management software should facilitate ongoing cycle counts, reconciled with financial data in real‐time. This is an enormous benefit to the warehouse because the warehouse does not need to shut down operations. Performing regular cycle counts reduces the frequency requirement of full inventory counts and the cost associated with closing down the warehouse and the additional staff needed to perform the count. This alone creates a big boost in revenues in a way you may not realize. By not needing to shut down at all you are able to meet your customer needs which keeps them coming to you and not calling your competitor because your closed.
Another aspect of inventory control is bin replenishment. A warehouse system keeps a keen eye on bin quantities and can automatically create a replenishment call before a picker shows up and cannot complete a pick due to an empty bin. With real‐time inventory, wireless devices can accurately direct the order fulfillment process by ensuring that pickers travel to the correct pick–bin locations and if set up correctly it can direct the picker to a secondary pick bin location, no guess work. Searching for product is eliminated and accuracy is ensured by scanning and validating locations and quantities. The typical warehouse solution sequences item picking to minimize walk time throughout the warehouse thereby reducing travel time, even if the business management system does not have bin locations. For more information on how a warehouse management system can help you guard you gold visit icepts.com and request our white paper on How goods flow through an Accellos Warehouse.