3 Deadly Sins of Inventory Management

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Sales numbers are not the only factor that influence a business’ bottom-line. Inventory management is just as important, and managers need to be wary of a few common inventory management mistakes to avoid.

This article outlines some common inventory management mistakes to avoid, from hiring unqualified employees to conducting inventory tasks manually. Adopting some of the alternative methods in this article will help managers to increase efficiency and productivity.

Failing to Track Performance

Keeping track of performance standards can be a difficult task to achieve, especially for larger companies with multiple warehouses. For this reason, many manufacturing businesses may neglect keeping track of key performance areas like customer service, inventory turns and warehouse efficiency.

Doing so can wreak havoc for your inventory control procedures, so managers need to identify the best means to keep track of these key performance indicators. One convenient way to do this is by downloading inventory software, which will put this information right at your fingertips. Another way to track performance is by initiating mandatory tracking of fill rate and inventory turns for all products. These are two metrics that managers should be tracking as well as improving for better inventory control practices.

Hiring the Wrong People for Inventory Management

Another common inventory management mistake that businesses make is hiring unqualified employees to carry out inventory management tasks. While training new staff in inventory processes can be time-consuming, it is not a good idea to neglect this process, as untrained staff can end up making mistakes and reducing productivity.

Managers should hire professional inventory managers or people who have a solid background with inventory management to ensure the smooth running of inventory control processes. It is also advisable that inventory managers are easy to identify so that any concerns can be quickly resolved. If you have downloaded inventory software for business purposes, it is also strongly advised that managers train staff in this technology so that they know how to use it correctly and effectively.

Conducting Inventory Tasks Manually

Carrying out inventory management tasks like stock takes can be very time-consuming and error-prone if done manually. Stopping warehouse operations for days to physically count items and make sure that the count matches the data stored in your software is an inefficient way to carry out inventory management.

Instead, invest in barcode scanning technology to speed the process up dramatically. A barcode scanner will allow you to instantly check, count and track stock levels, and also provides instant access to product information.

Along these lines, another inventory management mistake that managers often make is relying on programs such as Microsoft Excel or other manual processes to track stock. While these types of manual technologies may suffice for small start-ups, most companies will find these inadequate as they begin to grow.

You will be much better off investing in quality inventory software that can store large amounts of data in one place. More importantly, a good quality inventory management programme will allow you to track stock in real-time. Multiple users can also access the same data at once, which will drastically improve efficiency and productivity.

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Melanie - Unleashed Software

Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.

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