With spring underway, businesses have a variety of ways to perform clean-up. There are various possible areas ready for improvement, but for manufacturers there is none more important than the warehouse. If last year’s stock is still hanging around or a new product around the corner, it only makes sense to look at storage and reorganize it. It may also be a good time to consider ways to improve management practices with mobile warehouse inventory management through the use of enterprise resource planning platforms such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV. There are other ways of bettering processes as well.
Reassessing supplier relationships
One of the major aspects of inventory is getting parts and raw materials for production. Regardless of the use of lean practices, there will be some need for warehousing these supplies because of the base necessities. As a consequence, it’s a good idea to consider what relationships companies have with suppliers overall, according to Innovation Enterprise. Reviewing recent delivery histories of key orders are worth the effort. If there’s slippage on the part of the supplier such as incomplete or delayed deliveries, that can be an indication a business needs to reassess the relationship or start looking for others to work with.
Start planning for the rest of the year
A manufacturer will likely know what products it’ll create in the next 6-9 months. In doing this, planning ahead for what is certain to happen is beneficial in inventory management, as noted by the Positive Vision blog. Of course, strategizing inventory is not just limited to upcoming merchandise but what is currently in production as well. It’s essential to look at historic data, compare it to recent months of demand and plot out how much stock will be in place in the coming months. From there, organizing the shelf space based on what’s expected may be a good idea.
Integrating mobile WMS when possible
Many businesses still rely on paper-based warehouse management systems or even spreadsheets to monitor inventory. In assessing the warehouse situation, it may make the most sense to at least consider incorporating mobile WMS into operations. With many employees and staff now relying on smartphones and tablets for other tasks, the ability to track stock and merchandise in physical inventory counts will be a simple task to implement. Moreover, many apps connect with ERP platforms either directly as a plugin or through a special link. This makes the process much more efficient.
It’s certainly possible for businesses to infrequently update their product categories in the warehouse, if only because there’s little change in the way they operate. However, in the event of an expansion or a change in the types of merchandise created, it’s a good idea to review categorization and update if not replace it. A simpler, user-friendly system is a must. Consider what level of records to keep for each type of item based on its value, customer demand and relevance to other items during development. Such metrics can greatly influence whether employees will maintain effective record-keeping.
Improving product handling and movement
As inventory moves into, out of and around different areas of the warehouse, the vehicles and methods of handling it becomes important to review. A good idea is to reduce the number of employees or steps that a product faces when going from point A to point B, whether that’s a pallet or transport vehicle. In certain situations, automated conveyor systems may be an option to ensure efficiency. Companies should also consider upgrading or replacing forklifts, especially if they’re old.
Businesses interested in learning more about Mobile Warehouse Inventory Management should check out Warehouse Mobile Data Dynamics NAV Module Data Sheet today.