Every major company that deals in shipping and sales must have an operational warehouse. Some might say that managing a warehouse is relatively simple. You oversee what comes in, you count what goes out, and similar. However, there are a lot of nuances to this job. Many factors need to be taken into account when it comes to warehouse inventory management, so lots of shipping and logistics companies rely on the help of software systems. If you’re interested in this topic and want to know more, here’s your guide to warehouse inventory management. We will cover all the basics and give some tips on running and managing warehouse inventory.
First and foremost, what exactly is Warehouse Inventory Management?
Warehouse inventory management can be seen as a process that encompasses the movement of stock inside a warehouse. This includes which stock is stored in what place. Also, it is a process that can receive, audit, track, and manage the goods. That task of warehouse inventory management (or WIM for short) is done when the order is fulfilled and the goods are shipped from the warehouse Saudi Arabia to the next location. WIM is also supposed to track the quantities of stock inside a warehouse and compare them to sales data from the past. If a number of certain goods should reach a minimum, the job of WIM is to replenish the stock to ideal levels. To sum it up, warehouse inventory management includes the data on the amount, position, and availability of certain goods.
However, warehouse management is only a part of a larger inventory management plan. This larger inventory management plan should oversee the movement of the product. Starting from the moment a purchase is made, inventory management controls all the processes and ensures that the delivery is done. You can see why it is integral that the broader inventory management is perfectly tuned to the workings of warehouse management. In your guide to warehouse inventory management, we will talk about all the details that make this system operational. There are many warehouse services Saudi Arabia that need to work optimally as well. So WIM is only a subsection of a large system that oversees the inflow and outflow of goods.
Inclusion of software systems in the warehouse inventory management
Your guide to warehouse inventory management isn’t comprehensive if we don’t mention the software systems. As we have said before, managing warehouse Jeddah and warehouse inventory can be a tedious task. So it is wise to seek help from software systems. The main features of the software are the control and monitoring of the goods inside a warehouse. In some cases, this software is a single system, which means that it isn’t integrated into a different system but is a stand-alone one. However, easily managing the inventory of the entire company is easier when your software is integrated.
Advantages of using ERP
If your system is built into a larger enterprise resource planning (also known as ERP), you can seamlessly monitor the movement of goods throughout the system on a company level. These software systems are helpful to the logistics company in Dammam. They help to receive, monitor, track and ship the goods. Also, these systems always know where the products are, so the workers will find them a lot faster. Another feature the new technology offers is the forecasting tool. This tool has many jobs, such as:
- Monitoring the state of the market – It alerts you about the most recent trends
- Calculating the customer demands – Helps you decide which goods to have ready in the warehouse
- Compares all new data to historical sales data – Helps you manage the warehouse thanks to the experiences from the past sales
Some other benefits of ERP are that the system will set up alarms and alerts. If something is wrong, ERP will send out notifications, telling you what exactly is wrong and what can be improved. It can also tell you when to perform cycle counts of the merchandise, when to use pallet racking Saudi Arabia, and can even reduce excess inventory. If you want to have real-time inventory monitoring and want to run your warehouse the best way you can, invest in these software systems.
Some general tips for managing warehouse inventory
To enrich your guide to warehouse inventory management, we have included some activities that might help. Following these steps is essential if you want to successfully run your warehouse. These pieces of advice will make your warehouse management efficient. Also, they will ensure the quick movement of your products. The three most important are:
- Think about the warehouse design and layout – Dedicate enough space for workers and goods
- Choose an experienced person for a warehouse manager – No successful warehouse can stay successful without one
- Set up a functioning workflow – Ensures the fastest movement of goods in your warehouse
Warehouse layout is crucial for proper warehouse inventory management
The physical space in your warehouse can either help your workers, or it can interfere with their work. Choosing the appropriate design and layout is crucial to successfully managing a warehouse Riyadh. The employees need to quickly receive and inspect the items. Then, they need to properly pack and prepare them for a further set of actions. If the warehouse cannot ensure a logical flow of inventory, problems will happen. This can result in time loss, and then money costs. One of the best ways to design a layout is to separate the space in your warehouse into different zones. This organization and division of a warehouse depend on the types of items stored in it.
Some questions to consider when redesigning the warehouse are:
- Is there enough room for the workers? Can they move and function properly?
- Do you need to include some new methods and logistic strategies? If you do, will it greatly improve the process?
- Is the space in the warehouse optimally utilized? Does it need improvement?
Appointing a warehouse manager is the key to an efficient WIM
Each and every guide to warehouse inventory management will inform you about the importance of a warehouse manager. It is the first step for logistics Saudi Arabia when it comes to running any warehouse. Find a capable and well-experienced person for leadership. Preferably someone who has run a warehouse before. This person will ensure that everything is working as intended. If a problem appears, warehouse managers should deal with it before the problem can cause major delays. The manager should also be familiarized with the use of technology. Then, the manager can efficiently oversee workers and their jobs, making sure that the employees are scanning and cataloging items appropriately.
An efficient workflow will make the process faster
You need an optimized workflow for successful warehouse management. An efficient workflow will help you receive the goods more efficiently. It can also help with a quick categorization and separation of the received goods. And finally, an efficient workflow will help you track the inventory as it moves throughout the warehouse. A piece of advice is to discuss the workflow with the warehouse manager. They have experience when it comes to this, and they can help you optimize the system. Set up a proper workflow so you can safely say where exactly the item is in the workplace.
Pay attention to cycle counts
If you want better control in your guide to warehouse inventory management, pay attention to cycle counts. Without these cycle counts, someone might lose or even steal the merchandise under the manager’s nose. So, regular cycle counts are crucial for loss prevention. However, they are also important for inventory tracking and warehouse management as a whole. If you perform cycle counts once in two years, you might find that someone has stolen or lost a good chunk of your inventory. Implementing cycle counts is a must when the goods are perishables or when they have an expiration date.
Having good inventory location tracking goes a long way
Knowing the exact whereabouts and location of the goods is crucial for warehouse inventory management. You can do lot tracking or serial tracking. Both are good, but there are a few combinations as well. Having good inventory tracking will help workers locate the product when they need to pick it up. Also, consider implementing barcoding features. This way, you can automate the collection of tracking information and data. This system will take care of each and every individual item. Inventory tracking is also useful when it comes to selling merchandise. With it, you will never oversell or create any mistakes that might hinder the company’s reputation.
Revaluate the accounting methods
Accounting methods are important when it comes to warehouse inventory management. With them, you will not have to do double entries which can save a lot of time. These methods will also eliminate any risk of human error. Depending on the type of items in your warehouse, you can choose to use many methods. The most popular are FIFO (first in first out) methods and LIFO (last in first out).
Take care of data reports
Your guide to warehouse inventory management will say that data reports are essential for warehouse management. And that is 100% true. Data reporting is a job that warehouse managers do. They generate, customize, and distribute data reports, usually with the help of software systems. If the managers do data reporting well, you will know everything about:
- Sales data
- Quantity of items
- Requisition data
- Data about any expired or lost items
An automated warehouse is an efficient warehouse
We have already mentioned the advantages of incorporating systems in warehouse inventory management. So, inventory managers should embrace the benefits of technology. One of the most popular features of the technology is automated inventory warehouse management. This will automate the workflow in the warehouse and collect all the necessary data. Automated warehouse management will also do the scanning, barcoding, and tracking. The main advantages of automated inventory warehouse management are:
- Optimization of the system
- Decreased risk of employees’ error
- The possibility of larger scalability
- Decreased time and money losses
However, if you want your automated inventory warehouse management to be optimal, be sure to check up on it from time to time. Frequently upgrading and reevaluating the strategy will keep your system up and running.
Invest in your employees
Even with the most modern programs and systems, the employees are responsible for the success of warehouse inventory management. So, to keep your workers satisfied and efficient at work, take care of them. Always set up safety standards that will keep the workers safe in the warehouse. Give them appropriate equipment and maintain good hygiene practices in the workspace. Talk to the managers and help them develop plans and programs so they can share the workload among the employees equally. Also, regularly keep in touch with the employees. This will not only create a sense of presence among them, but it will also make them more efficient.
Lastly, familiarize the employees with the new technology in the warehouse. This will increase the efficiency and functionality of the whole company. Invest in training sessions and courses, so you can have trained personnel at your workspace. The more knowledgeable your workers are, the more efficient they will become. Also, setting up close connections with your employees is important for loss prevention.
We hope we have helped you in the search for your guide to warehouse inventory management. Remember, for a warehouse to be successful, it needs to have systems that monitor the movement of the goods and items. Investing in technology will make the process a whole lot easier and faster. Don’t forget to create a safe space for your workers and give them plenty of options for improvement.