How to manage common warehouse challenges with inventory control software

Posted by Tiffany Leung on 17 Oct

warehouse-management-systems

Ensuring that your warehouse operations are ever smoother, quicker and leaner is central to all businesses that store inventory – as a great deal of money could be tied up in stock.

The ability to keep pace with orders, getting the products finished or dispatched on time and maintaining high customer satisfaction levels often relies on the effective management of the supply chain.

Warehouse teams of any size can find themselves juggling priorities and under-pressure when managing stock. Here are some of the common warehouse challenges and ideas on how they can be solved using a configured inventory control software.

Accuracy

The accuracy in how inventory is classified, reported, ordered or located can have a knock-on effect on other areas of the business. Effective stock control is based on having every component, ingredient, equipment or finished product traceable and accountable.

Relying on outdated systems, spreadsheets or even manual checks, it can be a colossal waste of valuable time. It also makes accuracy harder to maintain. Having an inventory control software will minimise the risk of inaccuracies, use of spreadsheets and duplicate data entry to different places - as all the information will be in one place.

Missing stock 

Lost or misplaced stock is a common warehouse problem, as is depletion that goes undetected. Then, of course, there’s the constant spectre of unauthorised stock removal! Having automated inventory systems based on intuitive software solves many of these mysteries, as it would provide full traceability from the moment the goods arrive to when it leaves the warehouse.

Managing time-sensitive inventory

Inventory control software can provide greater precision and control in stock levels. It can allocate serial numbers for the stock, making the management of items with limited shelf life easier. Goods inward dates and expiry dates can all be logged, so that way, stock turnover can be properly coordinated, avoiding degradation leading to costly stock dumping.

Supply chain control 

Knowing your inventory source can be as important as its status. Keeping track of complex supply chains can be time-consuming, and some systems involve you working across multiple measures and databases. Having an integrated ERP solution that can manage both stock levels and purchases will offer complete supply chain visibility and traceability.

Incorrect paperwork 

This can be especially frustrating if it involves customers being invoiced incorrectly, sending items to the wrong addresses, or having to stop production due to inaccurate stock levels. Having software that can provide stock level warnings, create accurate purchase orders and receipts can both protect your customer and supplier relations. It ensures the warehouse team have the correct paperwork for optimal efficiency.

Lack of communication 

Keeping track of the influx and output of stock is hard enough, but you would also need to manage the expectations and demands of other departments. When the inventory management function is linked to other parts of the organisation because the company is using one business system, it becomes far easier to keep everyone informed. Reports can be produced and shared different points of the inventory cycle. Having the information on hand can also lead to improved customer satisfaction levels.

Lack of interdepartmental cooperation 

Better communication can ease potential friction, such as between the warehouse, production and sales teams. Integrated software can create end-to-end data transparency – as it improves opportunities for collaboration. It removes the need for entering data into multiple times into different systems, and the risk of incorrect data entry - as all information will be in a central database.

Too much time pressure

Time is one of the biggest challenges in modern inventory systems and managing stock. Even with automation, warehouse staff can be under tremendous pressure at peak periods, leading to mistakes or unnecessarily high-stress levels.

Having the reassurance of having warehouse control can help to limit the pressure. End-to-end visibility means the warehouses can be coordinated and logical way. Reminders or workflows can be set to assist with the supply chain process.

Lack of space 

As well as saving time, warehousing software can create space because it can help you avoid having excessive stock. The increased data visibility on stock means levels and storage can be managed more efficiently. It can be used to map the flow of goods and staff creating efficient processes and a more productive work environment.

Standalone or fully integrated? 

Much of the improved transparency and control outlined above rests on having a fully integrated and streamlined system in place. Standalone inventory software only goes part of the way towards tackling warehouse challenges and issues. As it doesn’t bring the level of communication and accountability throughout the organisation that an all-in-one ERP system provides – as, after all, inventory control is not a standalone function. How the warehouse is managed can impact the entire business and therefore demands a holistic business solution.

For more information about how ERP software with integrated warehouse management can transform your stock control, contact us for a no-obligation chat.

>> Click here to find out more about WinMan's Warehouse Management feature.

Topics: Warehouse Management Systems, supply chain, Distribution

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