Face it, there are probably 100 things you’d rather do than inventory management, but it’s a crucial component in your manufacturing pipeline. When you have a proper inventory management solution, you prevent stockouts, improve recordkeeping, and free up warehouse space for more materials and products. Let’s start with how inventory management has changed over the years:
Related: Keep Your Production Organized
Advanced Sales Forecasting
Sure, there was analytics ten years ago, but it was nothing like the tech we have today. You can now track every aspect of your sales campaigns and forecast demand with the latest predictive analytics. No longer do you have to make complicated calculations based on last year’s sales figures. Today, the newest software does all the hard work for you to manage other aspects of your business without breaking a sweat.
Manufacturing execution systems like Prodsmart optimize inventory management with the latest metrics and key performance indicators. You can track the metrics that provide your manufacturing business with the most value, such as anticipated demand, and then make decisions based on this data. With real-time data, you can analyze shop floor operations such as materials, machines, wasted time, labor, costs, and more with a click of a button or swipe of a finger.
How is your inventory tracking going? Get the upper hand with Prodsmart’s MES!
Warehouse optimization tools have made it easier to find the products and materials you need and track them as they progress through your workflows; this is one of the most significant changes in the last ten years. A decade ago, many programs weren’t capable of providing such advanced analytics.
The problem is, not all inventory management systems are accurate all of the time. Research suggests that inventories are precise only 63 percent of the time. Using a proper manufacturing execution system can eliminate errors and provide you with more value.
More Manufacturers and Retailers
There are far more manufacturers and retailers in the United States than there were ten years ago; this means competition is fierce. You need to optimize your inventories properly to improve customer relations.
As a result of this, more manufacturers are investing in inventory management solutions to outrank their rivals. Research suggests that, between 2016-2017, 25 percent more manufacturers and retailers purchased new warehouse management technology.
Mobile Inventory Metrics
More than 5 billion people worldwide have mobile devices — and smartphones make up half of all of these connections. However, many manufacturers don’t realize that they can still keep track of production processes on their smartphones, even when they are on the other side of the world.
The latest software makes it easy to control inventory, schedule maintenance tasks, communicate with team members, and track worker’s performance with a few swipes of a finger. All you need is a smartphone, and you’re good to go.
Here are the best metrics to track on mobile:
This metric lets you anticipate demand for your products from consumers and clients on your phone; this is an excellent idea if you’re away from your workplace but still need to keep an eye on your inventory stock.
Using historical data and predictive analytics and anticipated demand metrics helps you make smarter decisions about your organization’s stock control. As a result, you can order more raw materials or hire staff to cope with increased demand at certain times of the year.
This metric makes it simple to track the time it takes for products to reach your customers or clients from the shop floor. Speed-to-delivery times are an essential metric as they determine how good you are at fulfilling orders.
Like many other metrics, speed-to-delivery data can confuse you; this is why it’s a good idea to use a manufacturing execution system that utilizes visuals, like Prodsmart. This way, you can visualize complicated data sets and make more accurate predictions about logistics. Research shows that the human brain responds much better to visual information than regular text.
Sales are one of the most important metrics to track on your mobile. Whether you follow sales on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis, you can view the latest sales data directly on your smartphone without using a laptop or desktop.
Sales metrics will provide you with the information you need to grow your business. Sure, you can still rely on manual methods, but you won’t have the same level of accuracy.
Work In Process Inventory Management
We want to introduce one of Prodsmart’s newest inventory management features: Work In Process Inventory, a quick and visual way to see the current product inventory.
You can see automatically generated charts comprising the quantities of the Ordered Product throughout all the non-stored Production Orders, the quantity of Product which can be produced with Released Material, and the quantity of Production that has already moved through every Operation. Intermediate operations marked in dark blue and the final Operation – which might pinpoint the quantity of finished product – in green.
In the example above, 533 unities of “Razor Blades #35 Blue” were ordered as a Production Order, for which was released enough Material to produce 358 units, there are four unities which are currently between Operation 6 and 7, 75 unities between Operation 7 and 14, 29 unities between Operation 14 e 15.1 and 247 unities of the finished product, that is, it has already concluded the Operation 15.2, the final one of this Production Flow and this product.
Don’t be concerned if you do not understand this right away. I’m sure that when you will be able to look at such charts with your Products and your Operations you will immediately understand it, and you will grasp the serviceableness of this new functionality!
Taking Control of Your Inventory
Take control of your inventory once and for all with our top tips:
Involve Your Whole Team
Don’t manage inventory all by yourself. Inventory management is a team effort, and everyone needs to be on the same page — production workers, supervisors, managers, everyone!
Create an inventory checklist and distribute it to all members of your team. You can do this via email or by printing out copies of your checklist and placing them around your building. Think up some “golden rules” — guidelines that everyone must follow. If someone takes something from your warehouse, for example, they need to document it.
Work With Suppliers
Your suppliers provide you with the raw materials and other items you need to carry out day-to-day manufacturing tasks, so keep in contact with them regularly.
Imagine if you discovered a particular material had been discontinued because you hadn’t talked with your supplier recently. It could disrupt operations in your business; this is why communication is so important. Subscribe to suppliers’ email lists and check in with them regularly — don’t wait until you place your next monthly or quarterly purchase order.
Digitize Your Inventory
This one is, perhaps, the most important. If you want to compete with your rivals, manual inventory methods just won’t cut it. You need a reliable digital system that automates many of the processes associated with inventory management and documents stock control and other tasks.
Using a manufacturing execution system like Prodsmart could provide you with a return on your investment as you digitize your inventory processes and generate valuable insights into your product and material databases. Nearly every modern business is using software like this. Research shows that 25 percent more retailers and manufacturers are investing in better warehouse management technology.
Are you ready to take control of your inventory? Get started with Prodsmart today!