There are a lot of core issues that manufacturers have to handle on a regular basis. An example of this is inventory management. With supplies varying for each part or product that is being created, there are many processes that a company has to go through just to make sure they can complete orders. The end result is that mistakes get made, and excess inventory is left sitting while shortages occur elsewhere on the factory floor. These costly errors eat into profit margins. Even with enterprise resource planning software such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV, it’s important to remember that many issues are caused by humans, so addressing these errors are critical for continued success in the business.

A failure to manage
Inventory management is more than just software. It’s a combination of several different human and mechanical processes of which the apps are mere the lynchpins holding everything together. One very basic problem that exists in this situation is the human side isn’t ready to handle the software that’s given to them. For example, during the ERP implementation process, there is the issue of actually training employees to use the inventory management module or program. This sort of equipment requires special training, as Materials Handling & Logistics Magazine notes, which companies tend to skimp out on. The end result is that buisnesses suddenly are faced with people who don’t understand how this stuff works during a period of high demand. Getting training done for warehouse and factory employees is a must in any ERP situation.

Proper oversight in inventory management isn’t just limited to training. How parts and materials are handled can be heavily determined by their positions within the warehouse itself. The issue that comes out of this is that the ability to efficiently pick goods gets thrown in disarray. Employees waste a lot of time grabbing necessary items in areas that aren’t easy to reach, or the routing for a common set of parts requires going around the warehouse multiple times. Either way, time is wasted, and orders fail to get delivered in a timely manner. In conjunction with the software, a map should be made based on the most effective routing of any situation. This makes operations run more smoothly.

It’s better to communicate
One very significant error that can appear in inventory management is how communications are handled between employees and managers. For example, a new product may be released to the market. However, the office staff fails to notify the shop floor in time that they need to make specific parts for it when something gets broken. What happens then is a shortage of parts, leading to delays in repairs or replacements, causing some angry customers. Similarly, materials replenishment may be necessary, but due to siloing, key departments are not made aware of the situation until it’s too late, causing work stoppages. Quality Digest suggests that these silos be broken down, with accountability being established to ensure that people are taken to task for their roles in the company. ERP software can help with this, but it must be done with a company policy that keeps the lines open.

Learn more about Inventory Management with new Physical Inventory Count Software from Dynamics Manufacturing Solutions.