Inventory management is one of the most expensive tasks for many businesses, mainly those that have a high turnover of products; but that can be common in companies with limited resources in the warehouse or that have an outdated management system. Inventory imbalance is a common problem in these cases, which produces a domino effect: it is necessary to take on new tasks to solve it, but these do not add any value to the work, much less to the clients.
Therefore, keeping inventory up to date is a strategic task for any company with a warehouse. If this is not the case, it is easy to incur unnecessary expenses, lose clients or generate new errors that weigh down the activity of other departments.
The most common mistakes to avoid
Although they may be of another class depending on the type of business, these are the errors that cause the inventory to be out of balance:
It seems unlikely that this could happen, but the reality is that it is not an unreasonable situation. In most cases, it is a misplacement of the product in the warehouse, which complicates your search. This can happen because there are movements that have not been controlled internally or other failures that a warehouse management system helps to avoid.
poorly defined processes
The lack of definition of processes or the lack of control over them results in errors in administrative control. Scrupulous rigor is required in the movement annotations discharge or reception to minimize them as much as possible.
Although many times they are beyond the control of the company, it is necessary to take into account the possibility of accidents and take the necessary measures so that they do not occur or their severity is minimal. In any case, any breakage or breakdown when handling the goods, for example, must be informed and taken into account.
lack of control
The lack of control can manifest itself because all the products are managed in the same way (being totally different), because the times that a supplier needs to serve a material are not taken into account, because there is a stock break derived from a poor forecast of demand, because the catalog has increased considerably without strategic planning… The fact is that all these situations that occur without a preliminary reflection they are breeding grounds for inventory imbalance.
Good practices to avoid inventory imbalance
Warehouse management system
An EMS with inventory control module offers numerous advantages such as the secure recording of data in real time, which, in a warehouse with movements of raw materials, finished products, merchandise, returns, etc. It’s a great help. The ability of these systems to automate processes also saves time and money, improves the work of operators and eliminates manual tasks that can lead to errors, wasted time or poor inventory management.
The warehouse has to be a place constantly monitored. Inventory control has a positive impact on all areas of the company, so it is important to keep track of all indicators and processes.
For this, an organization of the warehouse based on operations and products is necessary, as well as an infrastructure that facilitates its handling, an efficient organization system and adequate training for all workers. In this way, it will be easier to detect problems, opportunities and areas for improvement.
There are many ways to keep track of stock, but they can be difficult to manage, manage and update. Therefore, the only recommended way is digitize this control and forget about spreadsheets or papers.
A computerized system allows for greater efficiency and control; therefore, it almost completely reduces human errors, having a positive impact on costs.
The product classification The inventory helps to have a broad view of all items, with the possibility of managing them better, responding more quickly and increasing work productivity.
Given that it is usual for each product to be sold in a certain way (greater or lesser turnover), it is advisable to manage them differently (by families, departments, profiles, brands, sections, seasons…). In this way they will be able to move more efficiently and obtain relevant statistics that offer valuable information for their sale.
An ERP to avoid inventory imbalance
Internal control is the best measure to avoid imbalanced inventories; and for that we have to know how much we have, how much is being sold, how much is coming in, how much is going out, how much is broken, where it is, how it is…
The only way to do this in a viable way is by using an ERP that allows automate certain controls and have all the utilities to deal with any problem that arises in the warehouse. With an ERP such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, you can automate stock management, check that the established prices are viable, control internal movements, report inventory turnover, monitor operations, etc.
An ERP also offers a global vision of the company and unique data across the entire organization, so all teams (inside and outside the warehouse) work with the same information and pull in the same direction.