6 Ways to Improve your Warehouse and Supply Chain Management
This post is a guest contribution from Kevin Hill. Kevin Hill is the content editor and online marketing manager at Quality Scales Unlimited. Always an early adopter and fast learner, Kevin combines his technical knowledge with content marketing in creative ways to give Quality Scales Unlimited a competitive edge.
Warehouse management plays an important role in supply chain as it allows for optimization of warehousing processes and helps ensure overall inventory profitability. Since inventory holding ties up a lot of cash, proper management is necessary to keep costs minimized. It also allows you to gain a detailed overview of supply chain operations. Here’s what you can do to enhance your warehouse management:
1. Pick an Appropriate Warehouse Categorization Method
Since inventory consists of a vast array of items, it is extremely important to have a concise and user-friendly structuring system to your warehouse. The categorization system you choose needs to reflect the nature of the products you deal with and the type of industry you cater to. For instance, some warehouses use a selective inventory control method known as ‘ABC’ classification. In this system, items that make up the bulk of profits are given priority and fall under the ‘A’ category and are carefully controlled, while items in the ‘C’ category have lesser values.
Other ways of organizing include creating a floor plan based on the popularity of items and arranging them in a way that is easiest to monitor. While there are multiple ways of categorizing your inventory, avoid using a one size fits all items technique and approach it after performing an in-depth analysis of your demand and supply patterns.
2. Leverage Technology to Improve Inventory Management
The fundamental principal of inventory management is to have enough stock to be able to satisfy the consumer demands. But in order to ascertain the right amount of stock, you must have a detailed log of past transactions which you can access easily. Monitoring reorder levels is also important as lack of inventory in situations of increased demands can lead to customer dissatisfaction. Implementing an Inventory Management System is a great way to keep track of your inventory and historical data and has the added benefit of generating performance reports.
3. Integrate Mobile Technology
If you are considering implementing an Inventory Management System in your warehousing plan, you must also consider the option of mobile integration. By using a dynamic inventory management system, your sales team will be able to access real-time, accurate inventory data and information, thereby improving customer service levels and brand value. Mobile integration also provides the additional benefit of allowing the warehouse staff to raise alerts in case of low stock levels using the software, allowing the inventory manager to plan replenishment.
4. Implement Efficient Weighing Systems
While handling inventory, weight and quantity directly impact your purchase and restocking process. To create an efficient inventory delivery process you can install weighing equipment. You can choose to install truck scales or conveyor belt scales depending on the products you are required to handle. These days most scales come with advanced measuring systems which can also record past data. Not only will weighing equipment enhance productivity, but it will also help reduce the manpower and additional effort required during the restocking process in order to verify stock quantities and other details related to the purchase order.
5. Upgrade the Shipping System
Apart from enhancing the inventory management process to bring about efficiency, you must also look for ways that automate and/or speed up the process. One place to start is by updating any and all shipping and transportation systems that aren’t accommodating your current needs. This could mean you might have to invest more in process oriented technology such as smart conveyor belts or even machine bots that can be preprogrammed to handle stock.
6. Strengthen Supplier Relationships
Warehousing not only involves effective management of inventory but also the supplier. There are always surprises in the supply chain, and suppliers can be very late with product deliveries or even deliver the wrong shipment. A warehouse management system can solve this problem by creating a centralized, easily accessible log of all the supplier related information, allowing the warehouse manager to audit supplier related operations effectively.
As you can see, effective warehouse and supply chain management comes down to automating, planning, and reviewing your processes as often as possible. By bringing about operational efficiency in the warehousing process, you will be able to gain a conclusive overview of your total output, thus allowing you to improve your inventory purchase decision making process and your cash flow.
About Quality Scales Unlimited
Quality Scales Unlimited, a merge of the companies Scales Unlimited and Quality Scales, is a family owned business specializing in scales and weighing equipment with unparalleled customer service. Quality Scales Unlimited is based out of Byron, California. To learn more about Quality Scales Unlimited, visit their website here: www.scalesu.com or call (800) 722-5301.