An effective inventory tracking system is one of the most important tools for any warehouse management tool. An optimized system will allow you to track your inventory from its arrival in your warehouse to the customer’s hands. When you have accurate data about your supply chain that is easily accessible, your warehouse business will see increased productivity and profits. A good system will also help you avoid errors, provide you with alerts, help you with warehouse space, and more.
Here are some of the most important elements that any inventory tracking system must have.
Alerts for Inventory Levels
Gauging supply and demand is a constant aspect of the warehouse business. A customizable inventory tracking system can provide you the opportunity to set alerts for inventory. These alerts can be set based on certain thresholds that you deem appropriate. With alerts for overstocked items, you can create promotional advertisements to clear those items out sooner. It will also allow you to reduce or suspend any pending orders for that item in order to avoid further overstocking.
If you receive alerts for understocked items, you can preemptively review any pending orders. This can allow you to gauge whether or not you need to increase orders. Additionally, this can help prevent a lag in delivery time in your supply chain if you are able to mitigate the chances of the warehouse delaying shipments due to understocking.
Having alerts in your inventory tracking system is a crucial part of ensuring your warehouse maintains efficient levels of inventory.
Metric and Trend Reports
While getting your products from your warehouse to the consumer is the quintessential element of a warehouse business, it is also important to have access to the data and metrics that are generated from your activities. Having access to data will allow you to see different trends that are occurring over time. It is generally easier to get a grasp of what is happening in the immediate moment; however, our memories are fallible and it may be challenging to know what the trends are without access to historical data.
Trends can show you which inventory leaves your warehouse the most, the optimal price for that inventory, when that inventory leaves with the most frequency, and other metrics. When you have access to this data, you will be able to more effectively optimize your warehouse enterprise.
In order to sustain long-term growth and profit, your inventory tracking system should include the ability to analyze and observe trends. Short-term and long-term trends can speak volumes about employee efficiency, optimal inventory levels, and more.
Easily Understandable Dashboard
It is great to have a system that has lots of data; however, if that data takes a long time to read or understand, then that negates the point of having access to that information. Whether the employee or manager is a seasoned pro or a new hire in your warehouse, it is essential that they have access to easily understandable information.
The less time employees spend trying to figure out what certain data means, the more time they can spend performing other productive tasks. Additionally, if you have an easily understandable dashboard, it will reduce the amount of time newly-hired employees will have to spend in training. This will save the warehouse time and money. It can also help reduce the amount of human errors if data is easily understandable.
An accessible and useful dashboard that provides understandable data and metrics is another key component for an effective inventory tracking system.
Important Inventory Metrics
Different inventory tracking systems provide different types of data. However, regardless of how the system is used, there are a few critical tracking metrics that must be incorporated in the system.
Your inventory tracking system must have the ability to track returns. Items that come back from customers may be siphoned into a “damaged goods” category, and sent elsewhere. Or perhaps the customer got the wrong item or is unsatisfied with what they received. Whatever the reason, you will have an item coming back to your warehouse and your inventory tracking system will need to know how to accurately measure this metric.
Your system will also need to efficiently track items that come from your supplier. Some of your inventory may be on-site at your supplier’s warehouse or storage, or in transit to your warehouse. It is important to know where the items exist in the supply chain. If there are points in the chain in which the item’s location is unknown, it will ultimately lead to an error or miscalculation. Errors and miscalculations will cost you time and money.
Before integrating any new inventory tracking systems, be sure it includes the ability to track returns, damaged goods, and the location of items in the supply chain from your supplier.
As warehouses grow, so too do the inventory levels. Increased growth is certainly a good thing; however, with more inventory come more organizational and logistical responsibilities. It is a good idea to find an inventory tracking system that can grow and evolve alongside your enterprise. Having growth coupled with optimized organization and tracking will aid your warehouse in avoiding negative trends or significant logistical issues. Employees with access to customization options in the system can review trends involving growth and identify which types of modules or metrics to incorporate in the newly scaled system.
One element of scalability is finding software that uses a cloud-based system. This will let you more easily back up your data, allow access across various locations, and you will not have to hire a large IT staff to maintain computer servers.
Contact eoStar for a Consultation
If you are looking for help in developing an inventory tracking system for your warehouse, contact eoStar today for a consultation. eoStar has been in the warehouse optimization business for years, and we would be happy to help you increase efficiency with a custom inventory tracking system.