6 Top Trends in Inventory Management Systems
Aside from actually making the sale, inventory management may be as old a task as there is in B2B and B2C sales. After all, if there’s no inventory, there are no sales. You would think, as ancient as inventory management is, there wouldn’t be very many ‘new’ or ‘trending’ aspects to it.
However, the opposite is true. Not only are there lots of current trends, many are at the leading edge of technological advancements. In contrast to the number of trends transforming the industry, they all generally have one main focus: meeting the customer demands for faster deliveries.
1. Technology, Technology, Technology
If you’re up-to-date on inventory management trends, you’ll understand how AGVs, AMRs, AI and cloud-based solutions are revolutionizing more traditional tools and processes. Automated Guided Vehicles and Automated Mobile Robots move items in the warehouse faster and free-up staff to speed up order fulfillment.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are being used to identify product and packaging defects. That improves quality and minimizes returns. Finally, cloud-based solutions extend inventory visibility and controls to anyone with access anywhere in the world.
2. Distributed Inventory Management
This trend has been growling for many years. But, as customers demand faster deliveries, it makes more and more sense. Distributed inventory management means maintaining inventory in many warehouses that are closer to customers. Not only does it accelerate delivery times, but it can cut handling and transportation costs.
3. Predictive Picking
Whether done by humans or machines, picking and packing is time consuming. Predictive picking softwares can help businesses start fulfilling orders before they are placed. It hinges on compiling and analyzing data based on marketing campaigns, buying habits, seasonality, and more.
4. Trend Analysis & Adoption
This one confirms the growing number of trends rolling through the industry. Not every business can or should take advantage of every trend. One example is maintaining multiple warehouses in different locations. Even if it makes lots of sense, it can be cost prohibitive. Businesses are increasingly analyzing inventory management trends, determining which ones work for them and deciding whether to adopt the trend in-house, or outsource it.
5. Supply-Chain Optimization
Some trends happen due to the efficiencies fostered by technological advancements. Others due to competitive demands. But some are foisted upon us due to unforeseen circumstances. The trend to supply chain optimization is in stark contrast to the supply chain disruptions that began with pandemic lockdowns. While optimizing your supply chain was always a good idea, now it might be crucial to your company’s existence.
6. Third-Party Logistics (3PL)
In 2023, PiVAL will celebrate its 20th year as a 3PL. So this is a very rewarding trend for us. Again, due to the sheer number of industry trends, along with the difficulty in adopting many of them, 3PLs can help businesses stay on top of them. With one phone call.
To learn more about 3PLs, check out our article 4 Benefits of Using Third-Party Logistics Services.
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