The prevention of warehousing inventory errors is something which plagues many top businesses, despite the implementation of multi-million pound solutions designed to maximise the accuracy of stock management. The rise of big data has led to new issues within warehouse inventory management so it is crucial to make sure that this data is correlated and utilised correctly.
Garbage in, Garbage out is a simple and yet elegant solution to any warehouse inventory management issue. It refers to a variety of factors which could contribute towards misleading data misrepresenting inventory levels. Investment in live data bridges between Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and inventory data, will only lead to improvements in accuracy if the ERP reflects the true processes of a business.
To effectively manage warehouse inventory, steps can be taken to increase the accuracy of input data. There is a fundamental need for an error free, standardisation of the order input process to ensure data is compliant with the requirements of the system. Process management should also be simplified to operate efficiently, minimising touch time and human error.
Reduction of dead stock can also increase accuracy of data; dead stock means dead data, meaning additional work and room for error. This leads nicely into the management of locations and clear visualisation of stock leading to a smoother running of operations whilst providing more accurate information.
The core lesson of warehouse inventory management, is that the accuracy of inventory data is dictated by the complexity and transparency of the processes which record the transaction and movement of stock.
In order to effectively manage inventory an organisation must have a clean data set with efficient processes. The various points above go into more detail, but the core lesson is this: Keep it simple, keep it consistent and expect increases in stock accuracy.