Inventory management requires the efficient handling core of company operations, stock production. All the data needed and collected regarding the stock of your manufacturing plant should be accurate and the methods used in the data collection efficient.
You can integrate tools into your business to improve your inventory management. These are tools discussed on the following:
1) Stock Tracking
Tracking the stocks of your warehouse can be quite a tedious task to your staff, not forgetting the possibility of errors due to fatigue. Getting the correct data is essential for planning your production as a manufacturer. A properly found balance is needed to avoid under and over-production.
Lot tracking software will monitor the products manufactured regarding their expiration dates. Then, they will plan for stock movement accordingly, such that those whose expiry dates are near are the first to be dispatched during order fulfillment. This reduces the loss of products due to spoilage.
Also, stock tracking tools will be on the lookout for the number of various goods in your plant. If a particular product has less stock and has high movement, the platform will alert you of the deficiency. To automatically request orders after alerting you, some systems are programmed. It ensures you never run out of stock to meet their needs.
As part of improving the efficiency of your system, these tools will locate your needed goods when dispatched from their storage place. This reduces the time spent by your team going from shelf to shelf trying to find goods ordered.
2) Barcode Scanning
As previously stated, correct data is critical for a manufacturing plant. A barcode scanning system will automatically collect data in produced goods from the barcodes attached to their packaging. It will then automatically upload this data to all your systems in real-time.
Also, the system will alert your team in case of a double entry for them to check it out. With such a system, your management team can confidently rely on the data collected by the scanner and use it to make critical business decisions. The barcode scanning system eliminates delays and errors.
3) Warehouse Robots
Warehouse robots are a significant investment in your manufacturing plant. These tools work by physically counting the goods with no barcodes. They do this by scanning the labels on the products and uploading the data to your systems.
These robots eliminate errors, the fatigue of your team and reduce the number of workers you need in your plant. The robots are more or less more efficient than your team. By taking over, they allow your staff to focus on the operations that need human intervention.
4) Cycle Counting
Cycle counting eliminates the physical counting stock of the team, which is tiring. This system counts the number of products in your production plant. You can program the cycle counting system to count the number of a given product separately. It will provide more detailed data of your stock for further analysis by your team. For instance, you can program it to count your goods based on the value they bring to your plant.
Based on the number, your team can decide to increase the production of your high-moving goods and reduce the slow-moving ones for cost efficiency.
5) Cloud-Based Data Storage
Inventory management software allows you to store your plant’s data online but off-site. Besides being a safe way to keep your data, it will enable remote access to your systems.
Remote access allows your workers that are on the go to follow up on the data and update the systems in real-time, despite their location. It is useful especially to your field agents who work all day and then update the day’s data in the evening. There’s no real-time data collection with such a system, creating room for errors and incorrect predictions and analysis.
Besides your staff, your stakeholders can access your stock data through the internet. They no longer have to come to the ground for inspections or verifications.
6) ABC Analysis
The ABC analysis tool assists you in arranging products based on their movement frequency for easier accessibility and consolidation during an order dispatch.
This system utilizes the 80/20 rule, where stock under A constitutes 80% of the fast-moving goods, B 15% of medium-traffic goods, and C 5% of the slow-moving goods. Based on this, they’ll then arrange them in your warehouse, putting the fast-moving goods at a close and more accessible location, with the rest following.
You can also utilize the ABC analysis to determine the value of the goods you produce. This value refers to the number of returns they bring to your plant. In this case, A will be the goods contributing 80% to your returns, B 15%, and C 5%. From this data, you’re able to make vital company decisions.
The above are just some of the tools that could bring quite the change in the inventory management of your manufacturing plant. Adopt them and see the difference, as you experience efficiency first hand.