One of the major headaches that manufacturers must contend with are discrepant inventory counts. When materials or wares are lost, stolen or otherwise go missing, supply chain operations can come to a standstill. These delays infuriate clients and consumers, leading to increased customer churn rates. In addition, warehouse managers may waste time and resources cataloging inventory stocks and tasking employees with recovering lost merchandise. However, these scenarios can be averted by deploying a reliable barcode inventory system, which would allow manufacturing leaders to monitor physical inventory counts with an unparalleled degree of accuracy.

Barcode technology expert Brian Sutter explained in a recent Industrial Distribution Magazine article that an erroneous inventory count can have far reaching detrimental effects beyond the lost wares. Payroll expenses can increase substantially as warehouse managers assign their employees to find the missing materials and recalculate facilities' inventory counts, resulting in more overtime hours. The amount of time needed to complete these tasks will be significantly increased if the work must be completed manually. With a sophisticated barcode inventory system in place, however, workers could quickly tabulate an accurate inventory count and ascertain whether any units had gone missing. Furthermore, it is unlikely that discrepancies would arise in the first place when using such a program, as it would track the movement of each parcel or container via a barcode inventory system.

Eliminating unnecessary costs with barcode software
Physical inventory management software can also help manufacturers reduce the costs spent on unnecessary materials and products. Without a sophisticated solution in place, operators could easily order more merchandise than is needed to meet the demands of their clients, resulting in containers wasting away in a warehouse. By deploying a tool such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV, managers can determine the optimal number of resources to have available at any given time.

"One way businesses are combating human error is to implement an inventory management system," Sutter stated. "These systems can help keep track of necessary information, like sell-by date, automatically uploading the correct information into one central database in real time. This helps companies stay on top of the amount of inventory they currently have available, in turn helping them to order/manufacture more products if needed."

The time to invest in a sophisticated barcode inventory system may be at hand. According to the Federal Reserve, manufacturing production increased during the past 12 months. With more materials and products to account for, manufacturers will need tools to help warehouse managers maintain oversight.

For more information on improving efficiency with barcode technology, download the free white paper entitled "Keeping the Physical World and the Virtual World in Sync" from DMS today.