Inventory management is the top challenge of managing multiple warehouses.
Incoming and outgoing inventory must be in sync to avoid imbalances. The inclusion of more warehouses demands strict management to ensure full visibility into each site’s inventory and business efficiency.
New challenges arise, such as the following:
Inventory management and analysis
Having multiple warehouses adds a layer of complexity to inventory management. You need a system that will enable you to easily track a specific product and distinguish between identical items stored in different locations.
Understanding the flows of supply and demand and how they vary (in some cases by location) is critical to maintaining optimal stock levels in each warehouse.
It is difficult to effectively communicate with every staff member involved in multiple warehouse management; they probably don’t share the same office, so it is important to promote good remote collaboration and communication practices between employees.
Tips to manage Multiple Warehouses
Here are our top multi-warehouse inventory management suggestions:
Optimize warehouses location and layout for efficiency
Geography is important when it comes to your warehouses’ location since it will impact on other aspects of the business such as logistics and operations.
The layout of your warehouse can also have a significant impact on your business efficiency, by determining how quickly and accurately you can detect and move an item. If the warehouse is not well organized and products aren’t categorized properly, you will have to deal with inefficiencies and time loss.
Start by asking a couple questions: Is your layout logical and easy to navigate? Are they optimized for efficiency?
There are a few simple moves that can update and improve your warehouse to streamline the process.
– Move popular products closer to the entry/exit, to be quicker to send these orders out;
– Label every shelf and make sure they have the appropriate product;
– Create a map of your warehouse and share it with all your employees.
Divide the risk
If you have multiple warehouses, it is a safe decision to divide the most important stock, processes and activities across warehouses. This will mitigate the risk of lost stock in the event of something happening.
Track your orders and your warehouse operations
To meet market demands and ensure your multiple warehouses hold enough products, you must keep an eye on both the stock levels and your orders.
Mispicks mean a waste of time and labor. To avoid them, try to track your workflows. It’s even better if you can do it digitally, eliminating unnecessary costs and inefficient use of manpower and time.
An inventory management system suitable for your organization will help your employees in locating, organizing and selecting stock for shipment.
At Prodsmart you can easily manage workflows, enabling efficient warehouse management across multiple locations.
Maximize your warehouse trips and processes
To reduce costs and time used to pick, ship, restock items and monitoring and reporting the activities, try to implement smart processes to organize the tasks.
If anytime a worker goes and takes out goods to ship from the warehouses, also bring a number of goods to restock, it might help you to bring down operational costs.
Use effective warehouse management software and keep data synced across locations
On the subject of adopting new and improved processes, try also to adopt a reliable multi-warehouse management software. This system will make your processes more efficient, minimize hassles and errors and ensure that all of your multiple warehouses have enough supply to meet demands.
If you chose a cloud-based system for your inventory management, it means that you will be able to access it from anywhere. That is especially important for multi-location warehouses.
Solutions like Prodsmart will enable you to transfer stock between locations, send and receive goods to specific locations, create purchase orders and even gain real insight into stock and inventory movements across all the locations.
Being a multi-user platform, it allows your whole team to collaborate and keeps everyone up to date on changes in the inventory. Since it is possible to enter data on mobile devices, it will also help you to put an end to endless e-mails and other forms of ineffective communication among warehouse staff.
Sign-up now and learn how you can start managing your inventory