Warehouse management can be a trying task for any administrator, but there are always ways to circumvent the stress and headache or manage warehouse services. It does not matter which company you work for, they are all searching for new and better ways to improve performance and efficiency.
One of the most common problems we find when trying to deal with managing a warehouse is related to the inventory. Finding a balance of incoming and outgoing is key because you don't want to have too little product and not be able to meet the consumer's demands. Conversely, you don't want too much stock that no one is buying. Some of the most important issues you will need to deal with include overstocking, relying on spreadsheets or manual tracking systems, and not having a backup plan.
What to do with everything
Overstocking usually occurs as a response to the supply chain and the company's efforts to avoid shortages. This can often lead to problems such as loss of product if the goods are perishable and loss of money through profit erosion. In order to find a balance, it is important to go over your sales reports for a specific period of time, normally the last 12-18 months in order to establish a baseline for your sales and purchases. When you find this, you order slightly over the average in order to ensure that you have enough products to ship out and a little left over in case you need it which can roll over into the following month's supply.
Moving into the future with electronic tracking systems
One of the biggest problems that small companies face is that they lose track of products, don't order enough products, or order too much. They cannot maintain a proper record of their inventory because they try to cut costs by having manual tracking systems. However, in this day and age where everything relies on technology, warehouse management software is your best bet. There are accounting programs such as Sage One which can effectively manage accounting for small organizations to track and analyze inventory patterns as well as money management. In order to track your inventory, there are also some specialized programs such as the inflow Inventory software which offers features such as real time inventory status, inventory planning systems, barcode scanning and tracking, stock cost management, and the ability to create, send, and manage one-time and recurring purchase orders.
Your company can have the most efficient loading and unloading services, freight handling, cross dock services, inventory management, and accounting systems, but there is always the risk of something going wrong which can result in a catastrophe. Every government has multiple emergency response plans to respond to natural disasters and other problems, and you should do the same. You need to be prepared for every eventuality in order to reduce the risk of loss and maximize your response time by creating your own emergency response plans. Development of natural disaster plans, inventory loss plans, and alternate sources of your products in the event that your suppliers suffer from any issues. As legendary author Mark Twain once said, "It usually takes me two or three days to prepare for an impromptu speech."
The complexity of your warehouse management system will vary based on the size of your company, physical dimensions of your warehouse, and amount of workers you have. You will need to figure out how to deal with your inventory effectively and efficiently as well as manage your resources and plan for any eventuality. A successful project will take into consideration all factors associated with the system. While there are many risks involved with warehouse management systems, contingency plans, electronic tracking systems, and inventory management are a few of the things you will need to keep in mind when dealing with your inventory.
Written by the marketing team at Premier Warehousing Services.