Many leading retailers have already committed to lowering their carbon emissions, but very soon, sustainability will move from “positive messaging” to table stakes. Retailers who fail to take meaningful action to reduce waste and emissions put their reputations at risk. The good news is that sustainability, efficiency, and profitability, in many cases, go hand in hand. A solution is to invest in technology, such as a modern warehouse execution system , that will help you automate the processes that are prone to redundancy in your warehouse. For instance, to help reduce redundancy in order picking, you could use barcode technology to scan the products that have been picked for the order and have the system notify the user of any duplicates. Warehouse management involves organizing, managing, and maintaining all the processes that occur in a warehouse, so that they run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Often, the replenishment order needs to be split between two or three vendors to ensure availability in case of vendor product shortage as well as to keep several vendors in business. In that case, the planning system also needs to take care of allocating the order need to several vendors — for example 65% to GreenGrowers Co and 35% to OrganicFarmers Co. However, it is equally important that the forecasting and replenishment system does not turn into a black box. Actionable analytics allow supply planners to easily detect and remedy exceptions such as historical or projected waste or poor availability. The quality of a grocery retailer’s store replenishment process has a direct impact on its top line revenue and bottom line profits.

A supply chain driven by actual customer orders is called a ________ model. With international factories and ports being tied up, it may behoove you to focus on local or national suppliers. Evaluate the items on your catalog and see if you can order them from vendors within your region.

The app lets you scan all the most common barcodes and datamatrix codes, and then it saves the name and quantity of items you scan. This is exactly what Chris Herbert and Christian Smith of TrackR did. In an article on Entrepreneur, they talked about how documenting their inventory process — from receiving a purchase to fulfillment — enabled my nose is burning them to stay on top of things. Once you have an idea of your out-of-stock patterns and the amount of product you should have at any given time, create re-order points to ensure that you can order the right merchandise when necessary. Historical data is great, but you also need to pay attention to consumer trends in your market.

This indicates the cost of storing inventory over a particular time period. When measuring the carrying cost of inventory, you need to consider a variety of carrying costs such as capital costs, storage costs, service costs, damage costs, and costs of obsolescence. Measure your KPIs in order to determine the aspects you need to improve in your warehouse storage process. Finally, to get your storage space utilization, divide the Inventory Cube by the maximum storage capacity of the warehouse . If your result is below 22%, it can be an indication that you have a lot of wasted space.

Then you can view the list of products that are below that level and place and send new purchase orders quickly. Coupled closely with forecasting is setting up an automated notification when stock levels reach a certain point. Most likely based on your inventory KPIs, this allows you to ‘forget’ about inventory levels until a notification occurs. Understocking includes shortfalls and out-of-stock items that cause unfulfilled orders to build up. Here are some of the issues the arise due to poor inventory management.

Demand forecasting is key to reducing the total cost of managing a business. This enables you to process more orders in the same amount of time with the same staff – or balance your resources differently. And if your inventory system is up-to-date with purchase orders, you’ll be able to sell customers the products they want because you’ll know new inventory is on the way. This kind of communication encourages your customers to trust you, which in these competitive times, is a valuable asset. Depending on what inventory software you use, you also might be able to set minimum inventory levels for each item.

This is helpful to small businesses that perhaps don’t have as much cash flow, warehouse space, or monetary capital as larger ones. Instead of tying up cash in inventory, you can instead invest that money on attracting more sales in the first place. You should by now appreciate why efficient inventory management is essential. For growing retailers, especially those adding locations or channels, inventory management can seem overwhelming. We hope these eleven benefits of inventory management illustrate that the efficiencies you’ll gain make it well worth your effort. A little focus on this foundational piece of your business can bring big rewards.