It’s fast-paced, it’s busy, it’s all things go, all the time. Inventory management is an around the clock operation and the pace isn’t slowing down. The way we shop has rapidly changed. This means the way we manage inventory has rapidly adapted as well.
Just think about the most basic transaction of going into a brick-and-mortar store, paying at the counter and walking out with a product. Now, consumers can not only go into stores but order online and have it delivered to their doorstep. They can buy online, and pick up in the store. There are lockers and drop points for buyers to pick up as well. On top of this, shipping demands have increased tremendously. Overnight shipping has now evolved into same day shipping. Often, you can get products within a few hours, without ever leaving your house.
So, how do we keep up with these fast-moving entities? We’ll take a closer look at how inventory management can keep up with changes in consumer patterns and technology in this on-demand world.
Optimise with inventory on demand
With traditional business-to-business supply chains, tracking is becoming very difficult. Since is it not derived from a linear format, the connections in a supply chain are all over the place. Rather than a linear pathway, it shapes up to look more like a complicated puzzle or matrix. The scrambling, convoluted and complex nature of supply chains is swiftly changing. Business owners and suppliers alike are looking to streamline their processes.
Now, inventory on demand or IOD is sweeping supply chains by storm. Essentially, IOD is conquering supply chains by managing and enhancing every facet of a business-to-business supply chain. During this optimisation process, it also decreases the risk for supply chain users. Sounds like a win-win for everyone.
The ins and outs of IOD
With IOD, there is third-party ownership of goods from the supplier to the customer. This means that there is more control over costs. Everything is automated within the inventory data collection process. This solution minimises or even eliminates the need for cyclical stock taking and yearly inventory counting. Basically, this on-demand inventory solution works by putting a sensor blanket in the area of a warehouse and a beacon-like monitor that tracks items that have come into a warehouse. The beacon structure connects to the warehouse blanket and the software can tell exactly where the item is located.
This removes several processes, such as barcode scanning and stock taking. You only have to do this action once. After that, the item is tracked and the IOD can detect where the item is located at all times.
There are a multitude of ways to streamline your time and be most efficient with inventory management. As discussed, the IOD solution will decrease the amount of time employees spend stock tacking. In addition, having strong inventory management will also help improve and optimise the supply chain, hence saving time in a variety of ways.
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.