Stock loss control should be at the forefront of anybody’s mind who is operational in the wholesale distribution business.
“Storage and inventory control processes include the activities related to holding material and the processes of counting and transacting the material as it moved through the warehouse.
The layout of a warehouse that supports an adjoining manufacturing facility will have different requirements than a facility supporting product distribution to stores or a facility that supports end-user fulfilment. Some operations place emphasis on replenishment of product to the point of use, others on product picking or order fulfilment.”
Benefits Of Warehousing And Stock Loss Control Systems – Manufacturing
“While you may think that warehouse inventory management is simply the practice of arranging your inventory so that it can be found quickly, there is more to it than that. Good warehouse organization is not only about putting everything in its place, it’s about maximizing productivity while saving time and money to increase inventory accuracy.
- Good Warehouse Inventory Management Starts With Upkeep
Inspect your operation regularly and review your warehouse’s organization – just because it was well-organised when you initially started, doesn’t mean that it meets your current standards.
- Know Your High Sellers
By placing your high-volume items closer to the shipping area and making sure they are easily accessible, you’ll eliminate a lot of unnecessary labour time, and your employees will think you are super considerate.
- Utilise Cycle Counts
Don’t wait until the annual physical inventory count comes to perform regular inventory control audits. Perform cycle counts and analyse their discrepancies to perfect the time it should take you to go through all locations.
- Minimize Unauthorised Traffic
Eliminate the risk of having unauthorised people walking around the place where your inventory is stashed. Give your employees some kind of an identifier (like special t-shirts) that can distinguish those working in the warehouse and those that shouldn’t.
- Make Room For Receiving
A lot of inventory errors can happen at receiving if your inventory management personnel don’t have enough space to work. Avoid giving them a small office at the end of the room.
- Label Everything
Have any product in your warehouse without labels? Put labels on them to make it easier for pickers to choose the right inventory. It’s all about reducing errors in the process. Some simple preventative measures will save you from having to put out fires in the future.
- Implement Quality Control
Avoid having to fix your mistakes after the fact by double checking your orders. This is called quality control and adds another layer of responsibility.
- Practice Priority Picking
A nice trick we’ve learned over the years is to create coloured orders or pick lists that will help your material handlers identify the products that go to your most valuable customers, according to the colour priority they have been given.
- Finish Right; Start Tight
Give your warehouse crew the chance to finish order processing and clean up before they clock out. You’ll need to schedule a time to stop processing orders, maybe 30 minutes before the end of the day, and allocate the remaining time specifically for cleaning. By the end of the day, your warehouse will be organised, and your inventory will be right where it belongs, instead of just lying around waiting for the next day to start in disarray.
- Work On Warehouse Organisation
Make signs and labels to direct your personnel through your warehouse and help them find the inventory fast and easy, and ideally without having to continually bother supervisors by asking for directions.”
Benefits Of Warehousing And Stock Loss Control Systems – Storage
“If a product is in high demand it should be placed closer to its next point of use. In this case demand should be based on the number of times the product is required, not on the number of units required. The difficulty of retrieval should also be considered in travel time. Higher-demand products should be placed on the most easily accessed storage space, typically floor level for racking and between waist and shoulder level in pick racks.
Not all companies have the requirement to track product by lot or serial number, but if required, best-practice companies have integrated that capability into their warehouse and shipping processes and use the system of record to manage the lot and serial-number data.
Most companies put a lot of effort into the initial layout of the warehouse; however, industry surveys will tell you that as many as half of the companies do not have an ongoing process in place to review their layouts.
All warehousing software runs on data; therefore, product and storage location data must be kept current and accurate. Best-practice companies maintain all information on a single system of record and keep it current and accurate. Product data should include all product characteristics including cube data, lot/serial-number information, and special requirements so that products can be directed to special storage areas. Special storage areas may be used to segregate items with odour transfer or fire risk or that require temperature control. High-value products might require caged or controlled-access storage.”
Benefits Of Warehousing And Stock Loss Control Systems – Distribution
“Distribution Inventory Management
The Distribution Manager has one of the hardest jobs in manufacturing. Serving as a “traffic director,” accountant, and manager, the Distribution Manager has a lot on his plate. Because the inflow and outflow of inventory never stops (unless the company goes out of business, of course), constantly staying on top of the game is the only way to survive.
Supply Chain Management
“Out of Stock” is the most tragic phrase in distribution inventory management. If you do not provide the consumer with what they want when they want it, then they walk away, and you miss out on revenue. Though shortages seem to be a common occurrence in the wholesale and retail space, the job of a Distribution Manager is to prevent them from ever happening.
The difficult part of distribution inventory management is that much of the process is outside the Distribution Manager’s control. Suppliers play a great role in the quality and timely transportation of inventory. Because of the essential nature of these factors, the Distribution Manager must choose the best suppliers and maintain good relations with them. All of the right pieces need to be in place so that the machine keeps running. You have to “control” what you really cannot control.
You do not know what you have lost until you know what you had – and we are not talking romance here; we are talking about looking at a mountain of inventory within a warehouse and knowing that it is all accounted for. The easy thing for an accountant is that money is small enough to count by hand, but for a Distribution Manager, it is not so easy. You can’t eyeball your inventory and assume that it is all there, you have to know. The days of holding a clipboard and manually counting your inventory are over.”
All opinions expressed in this article are not the onus of the publisher nor supplier.