While many aspects of the shipping and fulfillment industry have gone fully digital, some still require a physical presence. Whether you’re an eCommerce business storing products in a warehouse or a 3PL managing inventory for multiple clients, inventory management is critical. But managing your physical inventory in a digital world can be tricky. Here are some tips to help you get started.
What is Inventory Management?
Inventory management is the process of ordering, stocking, and using a business’s materials or products. There are various types of inventory, like raw materials, cycle inventory, and MRO goods, which we won’t get into right now. But prioritizing your inventory helps you understand what you need to order or manufacture more frequently to continuously fulfill your customers’ needs.
Being a warehouse employee isn’t just about lifting heavy boxes all day. They also have to keep track of inventory and update information as necessary. When it comes to traditional inventory management, this often means laboriously filling out spreadsheets or keeping physical files updated. But with digital inventory management, they can kiss those days goodbye. Instead of relying on the fallible human memory, the warehouse team can depend on a fully automated system that does the updating for them. Stop worrying about a lapse in record-keeping causing disaster for business operations.
Let’s face it – warehouse work can be physically demanding without worrying about the warehouse’s physical inventory process. Digital inventory management allows businesses and warehouses to focus more on regular tasks while letting technology handle the rest.
Digital Inventory Solutions
Digital inventory solutions can help automate and streamline your inventory procedures. You can improve your bottom line by using inventory management software and other inventory control technologies, like barcoding and RFID tagging. Automating your inventory management processes can help reduce errors, increase efficiencies, and allow you and your team time to focus on other tasks.
Manual processes can often lead to errors and missed opportunities when managing your inventory. But automating your inventory with a digital inventory management system like ShipHero ensures accuracy and frees up time for you and your team to focus on the important stuff. Constant communication with your sales channels means you’ll always have up-to-the-minute information about what’s in stock, what’s sold out, and what needs to be replenished. Gone are the days of physical inventory count headaches and lost sales – let technology do the heavy lifting for you.
Inventory Tips and Tricks
Here are a few methods you can use to streamline your inventory management, no matter where you are in your process:
- Define your objectives and KPIs: What do you want to achieve with your inventory management process? You can develop KPIs to track progress if you reduce stock levels, increase turnover rates, or improve customer satisfaction.
- Develop standard operating procedures: Documenting your procedures helps ensure everyone on your team is on the same page and following the same process.
- Utilize technology: As we mentioned before, technology can significantly help manage inventory. From barcoding and RFID tagging to automated reordering systems, various technology solutions are available to help streamline your process.
- Conduct regular audits: Regular audits help ensure accuracy in your data and catch any errors that may have slipped through the cracks. Auditing also allows you to identify improvement areas in your process and make changes as needed.
- ShipHero Cycle Counts: Cycle counting helps to ensure that your physical inventory matches what you have recorded in the system, keeping everything in check. It also allows you to count smaller sections at a time, rather than having to shut down operations for a complete physical count. In other words, cycle counting helps prevent any potential inventory-related chaos and keeps your whole process running smoothly.
- Communicate with stakeholders: Good communication is critical in any business operation, but it’s imperative when managing inventory. Ensure everyone who needs to be informed about changes in inventory levels is kept in the loop. That way, there are no surprises down the road.
Digitize Your Inventory Management Process
In the digital era, physical inventory management can feel like a relic from the past. But efficient inventory management software allows you to have your cake and count it too. By automating the mundane tasks associated with physical inventory, you can spend more time checking things off your to-do list and less time inputting data. Why suffer through tedious physical inventory counts by hand?
You can make this process much easier with the right tools and solutions. At ShipHero, we specialize in helping businesses streamline their inventory management process so they can focus on what they do best – running their business. If you’re looking for help managing your inventory, contact us today to see how we can help.
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Aaron Rubin, Founder & CEO
About the author: Aaron Rubin is the Founder & CEO of ShipHero. He is responsible for planning and executing the overall vision and strategy of the organization. Rubin’s greatest strengths are leadership, change management, strategic planning, and a passion for progression. He is known for having his finger on the pulse of ShipHero’s significant initiatives, entrepreneurial spirit, and keen business acumen. His leadership of ShipHero is grounded in providing excellent customer service that drives improved business operations. His passion for ShipHero comes from the culture and his ability to impact the lives of employees, customers, partners, and investors.