Having an inventory management system that ensures stock accuracy in warehouse systems is necessary to remain competitive. Inventory accuracy is the difference between what’s recorded in an inventory management system and the stock available in store, and it underpins the rest of your warehouse operations.
Inaccurate inventory speaks to a host of problems like shortages of products, theft, damages, or incorrect customer orders. It can also point to poor buying practices and lead to delays in fulfilling orders. Simply put, problems in inventory management translate to losses for your business. Stock too much and your bottom line suffers; stock too little and delays in processing orders will result in customers looking elsewhere for what they need.
The benefits associated with having reliable inventory management processes cannot be overstated. They include:
- Reduced operating costs
- Having accurate data for financial records and forecasting
- Predicting demand with improved precision
- Better order and demand management
- Excellent customer service
So, how do you achieve the perfect balance in inventory control?
FACTORS AFFECTING STOCK ACCURACY
The reality of inventory on the ground can diverge from its digital representation in several ways:
- Mismatched product codes
- Erroneous quantities
- Missing operations
Inventory mistakes often start in receiving. One mistake in receiving can affect several processes down the road and waste valuable time as you try to resolve the problem (and only if the problem is discovered in-house). In some cases, inaccurate stock counts can damage your company’s reputation and impact your relationships with your vendors.
Another factor that influences stock accuracy in warehouses is human error. Human error, such as erroneous data entry, lies at the heart of most avoidable inventory issues. There are basic rules that are important to avoid such mistakes in warehouses—for instance, operating inbound receipts and outbound orders from separate doors to prevent a mix-up, or storing items with similar SKUs in different locations.
Still, the best safeguard against human error is finding a warehouse management system (WMS) that works for you. You want a system that self-checks and alerts management when it detects a problem. After all, inventory problems are best solved as soon as they arise.
BEST PRACTICES TO IMPROVE WAREHOUSE INVENTORY CONTROL
Inventory accuracy is paramount; the challenge lies in achieving it. Here are a few easy ways you can optimize your inventory management process to improve stock accuracy.
1. MAINTAIN A WELL-ORGANIZED WAREHOUSE
To reduce human error, you must keep your warehouse organized in a systematic manner at all times. Such a plan allows for items to be easily received, stored, and picked efficiently. Plus, a well-organized warehouse has the added advantage of increasing your overall operational efficiency.
The first step is establishing good inventory labeling practices that include details such as expiration dates, packaging requirements, and hazardous substance warnings. Primarily, your warehouse is only as sound as its itemized policies and procedures.
2. DEFINE STOCK LEVELS
Demand forecasting is necessary to determine the minimum and maximum stock levels. Analyzing demand pattern history can also help assess reorder and stock danger levels. Defining an optimum level for each product in your inventory helps reduce warehouse storage costs while maximizing the use of available space.
3. USE TECHNOLOGY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
The whole point of a WMS is to simplify warehouse processes and guide your workers’ actions. Using new technologies like voice picking, the software can guide pickers to the right locations quickly and ensure orders are processed accurately and systematically. Workers are alerted as soon as they make a mistake so they can rectify them.
HOW CAN DATASCOPE WMS HELP IMPROVE STOCK ACCURACY IN YOUR WAREHOUSE?
No matter how complex your inventory issues are, the right software can make it easier to track and maintain an accurate inventory. Here are some of the ways DATASCOPE WMS can help you stay competitive in today’s fast-paced fulfillment environment.
1. PROVIDES A GRANULAR, 360-DEGREE VIEW
DATASCOPE provides you with visibility right down to the individual product level. This means you can access real-time inventory levels at all times, allowing you to estimate supply and demand and determine stock reorder points.
Added visibility also helps to avoid any situations where inventory is forgotten, lost, or misplaced within your warehouse, with the added benefit of more accurate and timely decisions.
2. FIND PRODUCTS WHEN YOU NEED THEM
It’s one thing to know how many units of a specific SKU you have in stock. It’s quite another to pinpoint their exact locations at any given time. DATASCOPE WMS will tell you where any given product, SKU, or batch is at any given point right down to the shelf location, helping your pickers find items quickly and efficiently process orders for shipping.
The software can also help you determine optimal pick paths, which is a big plus in an era where social distancing is becoming the new normal.
3. INTEGRATES PERFECTLY WITH SYSPRO ERP
Every warehouse should have a WMS with rich functionality, but you’ll also want the WMS to work well with your ERP system. DATASCOPE WMS was built specifically with SYSPRO ERP users in mind, providing the most comprehensive warehouse management solution for the global SYSPRO community. Our singular focus on SYSPRO has allowed us to deliver the best, most integrated solution that the world has to offer. It can be implemented remarkably fast and no complex integrations need to be developed because it’s already built in.
If you’re still not convinced that DATASCOPE WMS is the best inventory control solution for your warehouse, schedule your demo today to try it for yourself!