Tips from PiVAL International on improving inventory management

How to Improve Inventory Management

Inventory may be your most valuable asset. So doesn’t it make sense to find out how to improve your inventory management?

The Biggest Problem in Inventory Management

Even a small business, one that simply stacks boxes of inventory in a corner, practices some form of inventory control. But for most businesses, those that have more effective inventory management systems, there is one common problem with controlling inventory. They feel that, because they updated their systems last year, or instituted more controls, they’re all set.  

In other words, the biggest problem in managing inventory is not constantly improving inventory management.

5 Ways to Improve Inventory Management

The following tips will help your company constantly maintain accurate and efficient inventory management.

  1. Stay Up-To-Date on Inventory Optimization Technology – It’s no longer enough to simply scan barcodes as stock comes in receiving and goes out through shipping. You need systems that use data from your warehouse management systems and ERP to better understand influences on inventory levels like variability in supply and demand.
  2. Not All Products Are Equal – Sticking with the idea of variability, especially in demand, a smaller percentage of your inventory will account for a higher percentage of your sales. Focus your resources more on your ‘A-list’ inventory and away from slow-moving inventory.
  3. Always Monitor the Supply Chain – Especially for your upstream supply chain, it pays to monitor suppliers for their records of on-time delivery, back orders and inventory waste.
  4. Go Mobile – There’s no longer any excuse for having a salesperson make a sale based on an inventory report printed last night, only to find out the inventory isn’t there today. Your sales team must have real-time inventory data wherever they are in the world.
  5. Keep an Eye on Obsolete Stock – While you should focus more on popular SKUs, it doesn’t mean you should forget the slow movers. Consider amalgamating stock you may have in different locations into one warehouse. Also, think about ways to move the stock, including through sale incentives or to low-price retailers.

If you found this post helpful, check out our recent post on the three biggest problems in warehouse management.