You may think that warehouse inventory management is the practice of arranging your inventory so that it can be found quickly. But, there is more to it than that. Good warehouse organization is not only about putting everything in its place. Let me explain, it’s about maximizing productivity while saving time and money to increase inventory accuracy.
For example, some practices like labeling are intuitive and can be done without the use of the software. But, practices like using bar codes and scanners are a part of a warehouse and inventory management system. These systems focus on the flow and accuracy of product inventory.
Today, I’m sharing some helpful tips on how to manage inventory. Keep reading to learn how to improve a warehouse’s performance with or without software warehouse inventory management.
Ask questions like: is the stock located so you can easily and safely access it? Are “hot” SKU’s between waist and shoulder height so that they can be picked quickly? Is there an area in your warehouse for damaged items? Are damaged items being dealt with daily?
I’m sure you know: an organized warehouse can quickly become a disorganized mess. A mess is undesirable because it can slow your pickers down. In conclusion, you should reorganize before your operations slow down. Also, you should have a daily checklist for the manager to stay on top of tasks. Make sure you hold him or her responsible for the warehouse. Click here to learn more about warehouse optimization.
Next, place your high volume items closer to the shipping area. Make sure they are easily accessible – you’ll eliminate a lot of unnecessary labor time. However, this should only apply to your proven top sellers to avoid unnecessary physical inventory re-allocation.
If you really want to pinpoint what your high sellers are using a tool like SkuVault’s Reporting Feature. This feature allows you to pull aggregated data using advanced settings. Then, you can filter by brand, class, and supplier to help you to notice patterns and make more informed decisions about both purchasing and warehouse placement.
Don’t wait until the annual physical inventory count comes to perform regular inventory control audits. Perform cycle counts and analyze their discrepancies to perfect the time it should take you to go through all locations. For those of you who don’t know, cycle counting is a type of perpetual inventory counting that takes places in waves over time. Only small subsets of inventory are counted during each wave. It’s good to have cycle counts go through all locations every quarter so that you have a more accurate back-office system. Check out our article on improving your cycle count procedure if this sounds daunting to you!