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Tips For Effective Inventory Management 

As a warehouse manager, the last thing you need to worry about is dealing with losing track of inventory or having inaccurate count over your inventory. Just imagine your reaction during the middle of a productive manufacturing day when you learn that you are out of a major material and are forced to shut down the plant. Not only do you lose a perfectly good day of production, but you also have to pay the employees who came to work only to be sent home half way through. As a manager there are 5 key ways to avoid this situation and help you have better control over your inventory management.

Implement accounting software to help you track inventory

Implementing accounting software that tracks materials throughout the production process is key to being efficient with inventory management. Software can alert managers when stock levels reach a certain level and some software will even place an order with your materials provider for you assuring you to always have materials on hand. Accounting software can also give you a reliable count of inventory on hand at anytime.

Use Product Codes that provide information

By implementing a product code that not only numbers the inventory but also tells employees about the product will greatly increase the productivity of your factory. Companies can include size, color, and even specific product information within the code. During the course of production, it may be difficult to distinguish one product from another so a product code can identify the product before it is in a finished state.

Keep It Simple For Employees

Its safe to assume it doesn't take a college degree to work in a factory. For that very reason, it's best to delegate your tasks as possible to these employees. By using detailed organization and good accounting software, you can give employees specific tasks that will be impossible to screw up. Your software can print off a report saying exactly how many raw materials need to be taken from inventory to WIP. From the software you can print off a report detailing specifically what is needed and give it to your employees to go and get the goods.

Organization, Organization, Organization

Organization is key. From keeping shelf's in the factory in an organized manner to having inventory move around the factory in an organized manner, organization will increase efficiency. Use common sense in your organizational structure. It wouldn't make sense to have your receiving docks in the back of the factory; rather it makes more sense to keep your inventory near the receiving dock in order to reduce the amount of distance you would have to move the inventory upon arrival.

Technology will be Your Best Friend

While we have already talked about the importance of having good accounting software and inventory management software, technology has a lot more to provide than just the computer software. Bar codes and scanners make can cut your inventory counting time in half by allowing the employees to not only count each individual item but load them into the computer at the same time. Inventory management will not only save you time in production but will increase your employees effectiveness. Overall inventory management can be a key to success in a large factory success.  

By: Kyle Jordan 

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