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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 […]

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 […]

No human, business or entity is exempt from making mistakes; they happen to the best of us. Whether you are new to the industry or a seasoned pro, you can most likely recall a time you yourself or your business made an error or mistake. How significant was that error? Was it costly, or did it have an impact on other areas of the organization? Whether it is shipping the wrong product to a customer or simply sending them an invoice for an item they did not order, errors can be costly to your business. While mistakes and errors are certainly a fact of life, it is important for businesses to take certain precautions and prevent as many mistakes from occurring as possible. One area that we encourage our customers to focus their error prevention on is the area of order fulfillment. How Much are Errors Really Costing Your Company? Errors can occur easily during the order fulfillment process. When an item or product is incorrectly slotted or labeled, the likelihood of that product being sent to the wrong customer is high. These mistakes can be costly to the business, costing the average company a total of $390,000 a year. […]

Save Time and Money with Barcode Inventory Management How much time and money is your business currently spending on inventory management? If your company is like most, your resources are tied up in manual processes that are contributing to inefficiencies and high inventory-related costs, tying up precious business resources and leading to frustration for both your employees and customers. For small businesses in particular, the time and money spent on inefficient inventory management strategies can be particularly cumbersome. The Effects of Poor Inventory Management Poor inventory management is easy to spot. The company experiencing poor inventory management often experiences a high number of inventory inaccuracies, high inventory costs, and inefficiencies leading to delays in the shipping or reporting process. More often than not, you will be able to tell if your company is experiencing poor inventory management simply by taking a look at your company books. Do your inventory-related costs (the costs of the actual goods and their associated labor costs) seem exceedingly high? While inventory-related costs are always higher than we’d like them to be, if your costs keep climbing, you could probably use some improvement in your inventory management practices. Solving Poor Inventory Management with Barcode Scanning Software […]

Enterprise software systems make it possible to produce reports and charts using sales, purchasing, financial, supplier, and production datasets. These can be used to compare results against industry-wide key performance indicators over time and also can lead to resolution of problems and furthering of successes. Who doesn’t want this kind of fine-tuning capability of best practices and decision making using these reports? It is likely that your company could benefit from all of this. To learn more about big data and how it can improve inventory management, visit here. Now, let’s look at tools for forecasting and analyzing that are gaining strength and helping companies to create reports and successfully use this data. Enterprise Software Tools for Analysis Inventory specialists can take data analysis functionality to a whole new level by integrating inventory optimization tools with existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems such as Sage 300 ERP and Sage ERP X3. These enterprise software optimization systems provide graphics that can illustrate the synthesis of data from all departments. These graphics can help analyze, diagnose, and identify seasonal demand shifts, order patterns, likely stock-out dates, lost sales, excess orders, unsellable items, price reduction patterns, and patterns of production downtime among many […]

“Big data” is a big deal. Have you heard this “buzzword” recently? Big data is so important, and thanks to new inventory optimization tools and technologies, the power of big data is being harnessed like never before. To learn more about inventory optimization in addition to physical inventory control and inventory planning that make up the inventory management process, visit here. Now, let’s dive in deeper to big data and how it can be used best to improve inventory management. The Internet, mobile technology, and software advancements have all enabled businesses to amass and expand gigantic datasets within their enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Inventory optimization is only possible because of the capabilities offered by these technologies. The data found within enterprise software has been used to prepare tax returns and financial statements plus improve productivity through information sharing within and outside of an enterprise to facilitate communication and collaboration between stakeholders. Enterprise software has provided ways to manipulate data sets within customized financial reports in new and improved ways. The ERP solutions offer the potential to have deep insight into operational trends, customer behavior, and ways to improve efficiency of business models. The goal of data has always been […]