Managing inventory flow is a leading priority for warehouse managers. Gaining control over inventory also assists in achieving warehouse efficiency. Finding a way to accomplish all of this however can get very perplexing therefore here are a few habits that warehouse managers can adopt to make processes a bit easier.
Use Automated Technologies
Radio frequency identification (RFID) and automated identification and data capture (AIDC) along with other automated technologies have the ability to enhance inventory flow and drive warehouse efficiency too. These may also include automated order processing and voice-enabled commands.
Strengthen Returns Management
Returns are inevitable in any business that even the flawless plans for order processing cannot stop this crucial part of warehouse management. Warehouse managers should constantly keep in mind the impact returns will have on ongoing operations. This will enable them to implement strong returns management programs that will explain why products were returned, the value of returned products, whether or not the product can be resold, and if vendors will allow returned products to be brought back. What can also save you money is automating reverse logistics processes.
Leave Wave Picking
Wave picking has for the longest time now been a standard practice in warehouse management and order picking. However, it unfortunately results in both periods of heightened activity and periods of no activity. Wave picking may be beneficial and work for small businesses but it may fail in retail and can be harmful in the e-commerce environment. It is within this reason that warehouse managers must then implement waveless picking strategies such as order streaming so to manage inventory flow and spur on warehouse efficiency.
Put Away Stock As It Arrives
Incoming stock should be put away into its appropriate slots as soon as it arrives. This method assists in preventing delays on docks and makes certain that completion of order processing, packaging and shipping is done on time.
Implement Continuous Review Systems For Reordering
Before reordering any product, it’s important to carefully analyze the previous flow of this product to establish whether or not it will be in demand. This will prevent reordering products that move slowly and enable optimum inventory levels. Moreover, considering reordering any product should go hand in hand with reviewing slotting optimization practices. Such is crucial in ensuring the optimum lot use of space in a warehouse, especially during peak season when it comes to shopping.
Take Advantage of Third-Party Systems and Services
It does happen at times that existing warehouse management operations fail to handle sudden spikes in shopping. In periods like the festive season that we have just encountered where there’s a rise of e-commerce, warehouse managers need to consider the use of third-party services to help with managing warehouse efficiency, integrating systems or completing transportation needs. Third-party integrators (3PIs) and third-party logistics providers gives your company access to advanced supply chain systems and that helps boost your inventory flow.
Audits help reduce warehouse problems and improve inventory flow too. Every transaction needs to be audited for accuracy and any problems that may arise. With this habit, warehouses are able to continuously improve and more are choosing to outsource to third-party companies. Automated auditing systems can also be implemented if integrated with existing warehouse management and order management systems.
Controlling Inventory Flow Begins With Liquidate Nonessential Products
Paul Trujillo of Business2Community explains that since warehouses have a tendency to become stock rooms that keep stale products, the main focus needs to be knowing how to control inventory flow effectively through liquidation of all non-essential products. These include all equipment that is not used in the routine picking of orders, with the exception of specialty equipment required to move large, bulky items should not be liquidated.
Implement Vendor Compliance Programs
Lastly, when making improvements to the inventory flow, there needs to be a solid vendor compliance program in place. A vendor compliance program is also known as an inbound freight routing guide and it ensures accuracy and accountability when it comes to incoming shipments.
Don’t forget to also find out How To Master The Process Of Physical Inventory Counts!