Inventory Control Solutions with an Automated Warehouse

Warehouse best practices that can significantly improve inventory control

by Dani Kaplan

Solving the Misplaced Inventory Issue

  • In an automated warehouse with inventory control solutions, when new inventory is received, it gets scanned and the computer is automatically updated.
  • Backorders can be shipped directly off the dock and the remaining inventory put in stock.
  • Having accurate information will result in just-in-time inventory.

Preventing Incorrect Shipments to Save Money and Improve Cash Flow

  • Handheld wireless devices instruct pickers exactly which items should be picked from which locations. The result is that the right items and right quantities are consistently picked.
  • At shipping time, one person (instead of two people) does the scanning and packs the box. This results in accurate shipments and labor cost savings.
  • After the box is packed, it’s weighed and the weight is automatically updated in the computer system. This results in the ability to create invoices on the spot or at the end of the day. This shortens billing cycles by days, resulting in improved cash flow.

Avoiding Buying Based on “Guesswork”

  • Accurate inventory information allows you to use past sales trends for the product cycle to inform purchase decisions.
  • By knowing what’s in stock, you avoid the mistake of buying inventory you don’t need.
  • Just because a product was a big seller in the past, doesn’t guarantee it will sell now. Accurate sales history helps you analyze a product’s maturity in the marketplace and use this insight to help gauge whether sales will flatten out.

Dani Kaplan, president of SMC Data System Inc., can be reached at (917) 647-2466. He works with corporate executives to improve purchasing, increase warehouse and distribution efficiencies and implement solutions that result in substantial savings and productivity improvements.