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The ABCs of Inventory Management

Inventory management may sound complex. But in reality, it’s as simple as A, B, C.

A is for automation.

Many small businesses still track inventory with a spreadsheet, pencil, and paper. Employees grudgingly count inventory items by hand, writing down their findings as they go. These manual counts may take days or weeks, with paper-based tallies handed to whomever manages the inventory spreadsheet.

ABCs of Inventory Management

With an Automated Barcode solution, you can realize significant Cost savings. It’s easy as ABC!

Eventually, the hand-counts are manually entered into a spreadsheet. Unfortunately, between unintelligible handwriting and transcription errors, as well as time passed since the counts were taken, the spreadsheet may not be up-to-date or accurate.

This means you may have not have enough products or parts to manufacture or fulfill orders, leading to costly overages and missed deadlines. This impacts the bottom line.

What is the alternative?

Automation is the key to accuracy in inventory management. With an automated inventory management system, you will always know:

  • Exactly how much inventory is on hand
  • Whether it’s time to order new inventory
  • If an item is over-stocked
  • Where items are located in the warehouse
  • And more!

To understand how this works, let’s take a look at the letter B.

B is for barcodes.

Barcodes are the heart of an inventory management system. After all, items coming into and out of your warehouse or retail store already have barcodes. Shouldn’t you make the most of that technology?

With an automated system using barcode scanners or mobile computers you can:

  • Quickly receive and put away items
  • Easily pick, pack, and ship orders
  • Expedite order fulfillment
  • Effectively management inventory counts and audits

Barcodes allow you to automatically track information about the item, including its:

  • Name
  • Part number
  • SKU
  • Location in warehouse
  • Cost
  • Price
  • Supplier
  • Country of origin
  • Expiration date

With this information, businesses can dramatically improve productivity, save time, reduce poor decision-making, and generally save money. Let’s see just how much you’ll save by exploring the letter C.

C is for cost savings.

Cost-savings come to companies that automate their inventory management. In fact, you can realize a significant return on your investment now and for years to come. Some of the biggest benefits include:

  • Higher productivity. An inventory management system tells warehouse workers exactly where individual items can be found, so there is no more time wasted searching for inventory.
  • Fast and accurate cycle counts. Inventory audits and cycle counts that once took weeks now can be completed in a matter of days or hours.
  • Lower inventory costs. Avoid re-purchasing items because you aren’t sure where existing stock sits in the warehouse. Make just-in-time replenishment decisions, thanks to automatic stock-out and reordering alerts.
  • Minimize warehouse space requirements. By moving toward just-in-time inventory purchasing, your business can ensure that valuable warehouse space is not being used by excess inventory or items that simply don’t move quickly.

Is your business ready to move to the next level with an inventory management solution? Check out the options from System ID.

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Jay Schofield

Product Business Development Manager at System ID Barcode Solutions
Jay Schofield’s passion is numbers. For more than 10 years, he has been turning facts and figures into actionable business intelligence for System ID. When he’s not researching, analyzing, and planning for the “next big thing,” Jay can be spotted on the lake with family and friends.

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