When it comes to quality control as a manufacturer, it’s important to remember the role inventory management has on your ability to moderate quality. In terms of running a business, your aim will be to make quality products that will sell, with as little waste as possible. This makes sense because wasted product is quite literally your money getting thrown out. However, many make the mistake of focusing solely on quality control and forgetting the impact manufacturing inventory management has on daily factory operations.
While quality is an important aspect of running a successful business, consistency also plays a major role. To ensure the quality of a product, you have to be up to date on your available stock and keep an accurate inventory. The first step is to analyse everything that enters and exits your business. This is best monitored by using inventory software, allowing you to track your purchases and output. Making sure materials are of adequate quality is important before you start using the product. If the product quality is lower than expected, don’t be afraid to return the stock to the supplier as bad supplies will only lead to bad products. To monitor the quality of incoming goods, check for damage and discrepancies upon entry into your facility. This will save time later on by avoiding already compromised products.
As you track your incoming product standards, the consistency of your productions will stabilise. Consistency is important in business management to meet product guarantees and expectations with clients. Appropriate inventory software allows for easier monitoring of products, and therefore sets a standard of production. Another key aspect to maintain this consistency is to methodise the processes of production. Streamlining the processes involved will eliminate any unnecessary steps in your manufacturing process and allow for uniformity between products.
A major key in quality control that tends to be overlooked is the effects of storage conditions on products. After production, the storage of sensitive items must ensure minimal damage or waste. This could include the effects of light, humidity, or temperature on a product. Even once stock has been produced, adequate management through inventory software can identify accurate numbers of stock available and eliminate waste from dated stock that no longer meets your product requirements.
Managing in-stock inventory is just as important as monitoring the quality during production. To ensure the least amount of wasted space and product, it is important to avoid idle inventory.
High stock numbers mean less cash flow and increased wastage, ultimately lowering profits. To ensure your stock levels are accurately monitored, use comprehensive manufacturing inventory management software that can help boost productivity, track manufacturing, control your purchasing, and assist in accounting. Streamlining the management of various aspects of business into one piece of software enables easier management, ultimately creating better business.
Using inventory software, you can analyse patterns of your business to ensure you produce the right amount of stock depending on projected sales. Analysing seasonality and sales trends can also help to identify busy periods where production rates will need to increase, as well as slumps in sales where production can slow. By tracking the nature of your sales, you can avoid wasted product or understocking by planning ahead according to previous sales data.
As part of your manufacturing inventory management processes, regular stocktaking will allow for quality assessment and inform you of what adjustments need to be made to stabilise stock levels. Using inventory software offers an effective system of tracking stock, while regular counting strategies can allow for reliable comparisons between different stocktaking cycles for further analysis.
Setting the frequency of stocktakes allows you to compare data from different stocktakes and adjust inventory levels accordingly. Whether you decide to take stock weekly, monthly, or quarterly depending on business size, keeping constant between-count times will allow for more comparable data, giving you better insight into how best to manage stock.
Along with the frequency of counts, strategy should remain consistent to account for error and to allow for data to be compared. Using inventory software, you can divide stock by location, category, item or value depending on your business needs. Keeping this division strategy unchanged will allow you to use features of your inventory software to compare stock levels to that of previous counts and give insight into sales and customer demand. An effective stocktake offers many benefits to business, including the ability to track inventory, recognise which inventory is being held idle, what production levels need to be boosted or slowed, and how to best optimise your warehouse setup to reduce wasting products and space.
In order to run an effective stocktake, electing a manager with a methodological approach to counts is important. They can look to ensure your chosen count system works for your products and to organise staff and account for error. Implementing a standardised technique for stocktakes will allow for uniformity among different datasets, which makes the gathered stocktake data more valuable and insightful for predictions of business needs.
The relationship between tracking inventory and assessing product quality is often overlooked by businesses. By accurately tracking inventory and product quality cash flow will increase, allowing you to offer your customers consistency and quality. Managing stock through inventory software can offer advantages by way of advanced tools for productivity, manufacturing, and finance monitoring, and ultimately lead to more successful and insightful manufacturing inventory management.
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.