There are many things in business that are guaranteed to generate sleepless nights. A warehouse filled with dust-laden boxes is one. Disgruntled customers waiting too long for their orders is another. Getting it right is notoriously challenging: one bad decision, and everything can start tumbling. Here’s a guide to why inventory management matters, and how you can ensure that you make the right choices.
What Is The Aim Of An Inventory Management System?
Inventory management systems track and manage the flow of a company’s stock. This covers the lifespan of every item. From the moment it enters the warehouse to the point that it is safely delivered into a shopping bag, an inventory managed product is watched. Software monitors this activity, analysing the data and providing detailed insight into stock levels, patterns, and trends. This information is then used to give decision makers the data that they need in order to make strategic planning choices.
Why Is An Inventory Management System Useful?
There are many potential applications for this approach. Most organisations rely upon inventory management systems to prevent over-stocking or under-stocking, but this is just the beginning. When planning managers fully understand their inventory metrics, the information can be used for everything from optimising warehouse layout, to increasing the accuracy of product launches. Ultimately, each application works to the same agenda of saving time, reducing costs, and enhancing efficiency.
What AreThe Alternatives To An Inventory Management System?
Some companies attempt to use generic software, such as Excel, to keep control of their inventory. The reliance upon manual data input means that there is a range of limitations to the old-fashioned method. Errors, a lack of visibility, unnecessary write-offs and obsolescence, and inefficient use of time and manpower, are all very familiar outcomes. A more recent issue is that customers expect their provider to use inventory management, especially when tracking online deliveries. Companies that attempt to manage their inventory with the equivalent of pen and paper are therefore increasingly disconnected from the marketplace.
How Easy Is An Inventory Management System To Integrate?
Today’s software is increasingly connected. As inventory management is crucial to every aspect of customer service, it is designed to be embedded into the wider system. This means that the approach adds more information, which allows a leaner and more streamlined operation. The main differences are felt in the form of empowered decision-making. This can inform both short-term and long-term strategic planning, and goes well beyond the basic inventory. Intuitive, flexible, and reliable, good inventory management systems instil confidence at a foundational level.
Call Reflex Planning today for further advice on implementing an Inventory Management System that works for you.
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