Any supply chain manager will tell you that life of the chain is in the inventory. The inventory moves from one node to the next and if you don’t get the right balance there will be consequences to pay. If your inventory is low, you may lose out on clients who were looking to buy. Lost sales equal lost revenue and profits. On the other hand, if you have too much then you will end up tying your money into a stock that is not moving, spending lots of money on warehousing and still more in transportation costs. Inventory management will help you to find the correct balance so you can optimize your process.
So how can you ensure that you manage your inventory correctly? Here are some tips that you can use:
1. Consider Using Technology
One of the best things you can do for your company is to make use of the readily available technology that can help you manage your inventory. You may want to start from the beginning by looking at your current inventory policies and figuring out what is working and what needs to be updated. If you have been using computer systems that are not integrated between departments you may want to consider and ERP system. Stand-alone systems are a great way to create bottlenecks which lead to delays in filling orders and may cost you good business.
2. Consider data synchronization tools that employ real time solutions.
Look for a tool that will give you the ability to see what is happening with your supply chain at a glance. Real time analytics will allow you to see where the bottlenecks are and resolve them quickly. Get a model that unifies demand, supply chain information as well as financial information. With this information you will be able to easily capitalize on every opportunity that is presented to you.
3. Monitor your suppliers
One of the best ways to get in an inventory management mess is to have your supplier deliver your products out of schedule. Monitor them and ensure that they deliver when they are supposed to. With a good system you will be able to quickly monitor the date they were supposed to deliver versus the date they actually delivered. You will also be able to see how much of the product you ordered and how much was actually delivered. You can also know the condition in which your product arrived.
Inventory management needs to be optimized if you are to save money and improve your bottom-line. There are certain things you can do that will make it easier to manage inventory.