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It’s estimated that around 43% of all small to mid-sized businesses lack barcode tracking, a known way to improve inventory accuracy. If you are still using paper-based counts, spreadsheets, or worse still, aren’t tracking your inventory at all, then these inventory management tips and best practices will make a big improvement in your company. An inventory tracker is an automated system of tracking items entering the warehouse from receiving, tracking their location and quantity while they are in the warehouse itself, and then tracking them as they leave inventory to fulfill customer orders. Even though companies are manufacturing and moving goods at a faster rate, they still tend to hold onto too much and overstock their inventory (Source: Supply Chain News). As the number of days outstanding grows, the value of the inventory decreases. Your company ends up spending more money to maintain warehouse facilities and personnel to maintain an overabundance of goods that shrinks in value. Is there a way to improve inventory accuracy? The answer lies in the software used throughout your company for inventory management, as well as the attention given to inventory management best practices. With a software upgrade and an adjustment in your warehouse management […]

Controlling inventory can feel like riding a wild, untamed horse across a rocky cliffside trail. At this precise second you’re still in the saddle holding the reins, but at any moment the horse could plunge off the cliff and take you with it. Inventory control can feel just about as scary. Are you in control of your inventory, or is it controlling you? Software such as Sage 300 can help you take back the reins and guide your inventory to a safer, saner place. There are several other tips and tricks you can put into place to manage your inventory better. With software like Sage 300 and these steps, you can sit back and enjoy the ride. Inventory Control Tip #1: Build a Stock List Building a stock list can be the first and best step towards inventory control. A stock list helps you keep track of all the items in inventory as well as their costs and retail price points. With a stock list in hand, you can make smart decisions about how, when, and why to sell items. Let’s face it—your company manufactures products to sell, not to store them in the warehouse. Yet if products are piling […]

Mistakes happen to everyone, but there are some business areas where mistakes can be costly. One of those areas is the warehouse. A single mistake can pile up and create more issues down the line giving your customers a poor impression of your business. Unhappy customers may take their business to a competitor. In fact, inventory management mistakes can cost your business thousands of dollars a year. If you want to improve profitability by reducing inventory management mistakes, try these four tips. Tip #1: Automate your warehouse. Automated warehouses use barcode scanners, inventory management systems, and other tools to log goods into the warehouse and log them out again during fulfillment. Such systems reduce the amount of manual errors made by failing to count items, mistaken counts, and mistakes during data entry. Tip #2: Add structure to the inventory fulfillment process. If your warehouse doesn’t have a structured process for receiving orders, picking, packing and shipping, you are leaving the success rate on your order fulfillment to chance. You can reduce mistakes and close gaps in the system by creating a structure and process that details each step for your employees. Make sure that the process is in writing, and […]

Inventory Accuracy is Just One Hallmark of a Great Inventory Management System Does your inventory management system have what it takes to boost your business next year? Inventory accuracy is just one part of a great inventory system. Systems such as Sage Inventory Advisor have all the right stuff to maximize profits, minimize losses, and manage your inventory like a pro. Let’s look at some of the characteristics of a terrific inventory management system. Why is a good inventory management system important? For most companies, inventory represents a hefty investment of capital. Products remaining idle and collecting dust in the warehouse are costly. Not only does a business pay to produce laggards, it must also pay to warehouse and maintain them. Good inventory management reduces excess goods, maintains adequate stock, and optimizes warehouse space by thoughtful placement of shelves and bins. Inventory management is both an art and a science, fueled by accurate data from inventory systems married to your company’s ERP systems and more. The right inventory management system can help your company control costs and maximize profits no matter what industry you are in. Five Characteristics of Terrific Inventory Management Well-organized inventory: Inventory that is organized well is […]

Are you stuck in the typical inventory management quandary? You’re balancing the needs of senior management, who demand you reduce stock levels to contain costs. But on the other hand, customers are upset when you can’t fill their orders fast enough. It’s a common enough situation for inventory managers, but uncomfortable nonetheless. Enter better data through ERP systems, to the rescue of frazzled inventory managers everywhere. Smart companies know that as their operations grow, so too does the need for better data. When you’re managing a small back-room warehouse filled with goods created just down the hall, it’s easy enough to yell, “Hey, Bob, do we have enough blue widgets to fill Jane’s order?” But if you’ve grown since the time when a good strong yell could get the order info you need back into production, then it’s time to think about more sophisticated solutions. Barcoding, Automation, Inventory Management, and Warehouse Data Like the example above, many warehouses are still using old-fashioned methods to maintain stock levels. Sure, it’s not as extreme as yelling down the hall to whomever happens to be near the shelves at the moment, but it’s just as crude when compared to other sophisticated inventory tracking […]

Nobody likes to be disappointed and nobody wants to disappoint a customer. Yet how many times do customers see an “out of stock” message on your website or hear it from sales or service agents? If the answer is “too many times,” then you need to look at your inventory levels. Keeping the right inventory level can mean the difference between high customer satisfaction ratings and losing customers to competitors for whom “out of stock” never happens. Better Data, Better Inventory Management One of the biggest challenges for many inventory managers is keeping close track of stock levels. Although automated barcoding systems help, unless you can also keep an eye on your supply chain and raw materials orders, it can be tough to fully predict stock levels. Fortunately, with better data at your fingertips, you can better manage inventory levels. Accurate, timely, and integrated data streams from sales, marketing, operations, and finance can help you predict stock levels and reduce the number of “out of stock” messages shown to your sales team or your customers. Fulfill More Orders and Keep Customers Happy Customers depend on your company to provide them with the goods they need. Most customers will tolerate at least […]

The right tools for the task at hand can make the work go more smoothly. Sure, you can drive a nail into the wall using the end of a screwdriver, but it makes more sense to use an actual hammer for the task. The right tool makes all the difference, whether it’s carpentry or inventory management. But which tool is the best one for inventory management? Let’s take a look at the tasks necessary for effective inventory management and then discuss the tools that can make the job easier and more efficient. The Art and Science of Inventory Management  Inventory management is both an art and a science. You’re balancing the needs of customers against the needs of your company to reduce costs. You’re also taking into consideration the availability of raw materials, production times, and shipping. As you review these factors, one thing becomes clear: The more information you have about the supply chain, the better you can manage your inventory. And the better you can manage inventory, the more you can control costs, fulfill orders quickly, and satisfy customer demand. That’s where having the right tools comes into play. What Tools Are You Using Now?  If you’re like […]

Have you ever felt like you’re in the middle of a tug-of-war? That’s how many inventory managers feel. On the one hand, the sales department wants you to keep plenty of products in stock in order to fill any orders that come in as quickly as possible. On the other hand, the finance and accounting departments want to control costs, and ask that you reduce inventory to the lowest possible level to keep costs contained. In the middle of all this you’re trying to keep a warehouse running. Inventory management is the fulcrum in the middle of the seesaw, the flag in the center of the tug of war rope. You’re always going to feel the pull from one side or the other. Balancing the needs of the sales team, who keep customers at the center of what they do, against the needs of the company, which tries to reduce costs, will always be part of the job. But fortunately, there are tools to help you make the most of what could become a frustrating situation. Inventory, the Biggest Asset on a Company Balance Sheet  Although you want to help the sales team keep customers happy, there’s something you know […]

Investing in automated business systems may help your business reduce human error and save a great deal of money each year. Just how much depends on your business and where automation can reduce such errors, but one common area where automated business systems helps is in warehouse and inventory management. Investment in Business Systems Set to Grow Manufacturers expect investments in technology to increase this year, according to an IDG Research Study conducted for Sage. They’re still spending on automated business processes, especially barcode systems in the warehouse. That’s one area, however, that continues to pay off in surprising and unexpected ways. The report indicates that the second-highest priority among manufacturers is automating business systems and processes to better manage cash flow. Changes in both accounting systems and inventory management can improve cash flow and inventory tracking. Investments in Automated Business Processes and Barcodes Improving the efficiency of warehouse logistics and minimizing costly mistakes is high on the list of important tasks for many manufactures. According to the IDG study, 61 percent of those surveyed invested in technologies to improve warehouse logistics. These automated business processes resulted in an 86 percent improvement as a result of the investment, a good […]

Business systems that enhance supply chain visibility can help your business grow. A study conducted by IDG research for Sage provides insights into these and other methods that manufacturers consider to be of primary importance for business growth. Top Considerations for Business Systems: Integration, Automation, Mobility Among the top three priorities for technology investment by manufacturers, integration leads the way. Manufacturers want their inventory systems to integrate fully with their CRM systems, accounting, and sales software to help customers track shipments and provide real-time updates on where items are in transit. Automation is also among the top three investments cited by the survey respondents. Manufacturers are looking for more ways to automate their businesses from front-end operations to sales and back-end fulfillment. Automation cuts down on costs, reduces human errors, and makes companies more efficient. All three lead to greater profits. Lastly, when asked where they plan to invest their IT dollars, manufacturers cite using mobile technology to make sales and customer service departments more efficient. Cloud-based business systems and enterprise software are making data available to all employees, no matter where they’re working. This provides better information and updates which can, in turn, lead to higher customer satisfaction. The faster […]