Efficient inventory management

16. 1. 2020
Efficient inventory management

How can you speed up order fulfillment and ensure that you have optimum stock levels? The solution is to manage logistics through a well chosen business and warehouse system. This way you can prevent errors from happening and save yourself a lot of unnecessary labor, worry and costs.

Don’t Be Afraid of Technology

Logistics is a very complex set of activities; it is therefore advisable to first choose the right accounting and warehousing system which will enable you to manage it as a single unit. This way, you can achieve your desired level of automation and efficient use of human and material resources.

Many companies still rely on relatively cheap human work force. These savings are often illusory, however – tasks which can be easily taken on by a warehouse information system are often left to an unnecessarily large number of employees. With the current long-standing lack of quality workforce across all fields and qualifications, finding personnel for all positions is a risky proposition, subject to seasonal fluctuation and ultimately costly.

Any savings you make by not acquiring advanced solutions will be projected into errors, delays, and paradoxically, higher HR costs. In the long term, targeted and meaningful use of technologies and automation is more efficient both financially and from the organizational point of view.

The Smart Solution for a Modern Warehouse

Technologies can significantly simplify inventory management as well as the organization of work in logistics, but not every business can harness their power. Many companies deal with the consequences of insular solutions – using isolated applications or systems for different procedures. Oftentimes, their efforts to cover each part of the logistics process individually as the need arises leads to chaos, errors, insufficient information exchange, inefficient use of resources or even losses. Another problem is a lack of data or the inability to correctly integrate and use it.

You should consider how the “organism” of your business works as a whole before you implement or choose the right solution, try to understand the whole process and think it through in detail, so that your chosen solution really reflects the needs of the company. Once you implement a well chosen and set-up solution, the operation will become much smoother – needed items will always be in stock, purchasing and sales will run without glitches, unnecessary items will stop piling up and people will work efficiently, without errors and delays.

This will also improve work organization, accounting operations and the efficiency of work at all levels, from the warehouse to management.

Efficient Warehouse Management

The key to successful inventory management is usually the integration of all or at least a significant portion of processes in a single stable company-wide warehouse system. This system can be updated on an ongoing basis without problems, and all related processes can be interlinked and made comprehensive with add-ons.

It is important to set up warehouse record-keeping correctly, ideally in digital form. Data collection and use in all affected areas are parallel processes – at one end, there is a delivery of goods; at the other end, everyone from the warehouse keeper to the accountant have correct and up-to-date information they can work with throughout the process.

A single interlinked system provides information not only about the goods or materials, but also the order, the steps, affected workers and all other procedures all the way up to management and planning. We don’t need to emphasize that the continuous data collection and the controlled writing of the collected data into all necessary locations significantly lowers the risk of errors and losses.

In the ABRA Gen system, warehouse management is directly interlinked with the purchasing module, which automatically creates receipt documents from order; at the other end, it is logically tied to the sales module. It offers a wide range of options in inventory management, chaotic storage, and use of the mobile version of WMS. All procedures are also linked with accounting, and both warehouse tasks and inventory management can make very efficient use of advanced visualization tools thanks to ABRA Business Intelligence. Mobile scanners, optimum routing, excellent item tracking and other advanced features are available as needed by individual businesses.

Why Should You Manage Your Inventory with WMS?

Modern WMS (Warehouse Management System) can be very helpful for efficient warehouse and inventory management, as it offers detailed record of items in stock and plays a key role in the management of operations and the organization of your warehouse. WMS is usually integrated into the company’s ERP system (as it is in ABRA Gen) and itself includes a lot of information and functionality.

When used correctly, WMS always tells you exactly the specific warehouse, position and quantity of your goods or materials, but also how to find them as quickly as possible. When WMS is linked with the company’s ERP system, you can always find up-to-date information on which items to order, in what quantity, and when, as well as from whom. Thanks to scanners and mobile terminals connected to the company’s accounting and warehouse management system, a significant portion of routine operations is automated, which makes it easier to assign tasks and manage both the work and the movement of goods and people in the warehouse.

WMS, when used well, leads to more efficient use of warehouse capacity, functional planning of purchasing and sales, stock optimization, and the elimination of error rate and delays.

Future Shock?

Modern technologies now offer logistics solutions which seemed impossible just recently. Significantly higher computing power, moving a large portion of the processes into the cloud, fast development of IoT sensors, and the use of robotics and AI in production and sales gave birth to the idea of “smart logistics”.

You can have driverless vehicles navigating the warehouse, scanners can be replaced with VR glasses, and position control and route optimization can be carried out by drones. Business ERP systems can automatically communicate with the customers, suppliers and manufacturers, and fulfill orders mostly automatically. One of the biggest innovations is collaborative robots with AI and the ability to learn.

You could say that a modern warehouse cannot function without automation and modern technologies. In today’s fast paced world, you can no longer rely on paper and spreadsheets, hand processing information from attendance to accounting, and personal transfer of information between your workers.

New technologies, when used correctly, allow us to use resources, mainly human labor, in a meaningful way to create value through activities in which the human factor remains irreplaceable. Technologies not only free our hands from routine tasks but, more importantly, enable us to do business efficiently, with profit as well as enjoyment.