Inventory management is vital to running a successful business if you’re a retailer, wholesaler, manufacturer, distributor, or otherwise have a venture that deals in many materials, parts, or products.
Many firms lose a lot of money each year because inventory isn’t handled correctly, though, or they don’t maximize profits as they otherwise could.
You can utilize technological advances to help you deal with this side of your business. Here are some ways to use tech tools to better inventory management in 2023 and beyond.
Use Robots to Find and Pack Goods Quicker
Using robots to help you find and sort your stock is worth considering. Increasingly used in many sectors these days, robots are particularly helpful for companies with warehouses with large numbers of materials, parts, or products to keep track of. Robots can move stock around warehouses or other locations and count it when it’s time to complete a stock take. Plus, they can identify items for orders and help you see which items to stock up on and which ones to try and get moving.
Robots don’t require a large area to work in, so even if you have a compact work location, they can be used to navigate the space. They also work well in extreme conditions, such as up to minus 20 or minus 25-degree conditions.
Set Up RFID Tracking
Another tech tool worth incorporating into your business is RFID tags. Radiofrequency identification, the full name for this technology, enables the transmission of data over radio waves and can transmit details about any item that a microchip-fitted RFID tag is placed on, provided you have the corresponding reading device to go with it.
One of the prime benefits of RFID is that it doesn’t require physical contact or even a line of sight. As a result, data can be transmitted at a distance, so you can track goods, whether they’re in transit or somewhere on your premises. You won’t need to spend so long finding inventory in your location or wondering when it will arrive at your warehouse when it’s tracked and being transported.
With RFID, you can input a single serial number or multiple pages of data onto each tag and, in turn, track items using details like model or ID numbers, ingredient lists, order numbers, manufacturer codes, or other information. You can also use RFID tech to scan bulk packages when deliveries arrive, rather than going through each parcel to individually identify each item and mark it off an order checklist. This can save significant time in the long run. In addition, you can use RFID tools to locate pieces if you realize your inventory has been stolen or lost in transit.
Access Real-Time Data
If you’re not already taking advantage of all the data available to businesses these days, you’re missing out. When it comes to inventory management, accessing real-time data can make a big difference in keeping customers updated and happy, and knowing what to order and when, and more.
With instant, updated access to details about stock availability, you can avoid running out of your best-selling items, and you can also better understand which goods not to bother reordering because they haven’t sold well. You can let customers know what’s available at the time, whether in-store or online and also collate real-time information from numerous sales points within your firm.
See the buying patterns and differences between brands, product categories, stores, and other types of distribution sites and types, and determine how much of each line to send to each location or which areas to focus on most. Avoid regular time-consuming manual stock takes and minimize auditing, too, thanks to real-time data. Help your order pickers and packers streamline processes by enabling them to tell from which location to source stock to fulfill orders as they work.
Improve Shipping to Lower Loss
In any business that holds a lot of stock, cutting costs in this area can boost profits and aid cash flow. You can reduce loss and spoilage by using technology to help you improve shipping, too. Whether you need to move items between your stores or warehouses or from and to other points, you don’t want issues with goods arriving damaged, out of date, spoiled, or too late.
Minimize risks of such problems by using logistics vehicles outfitted with quality GPS tools to improve routing and cut the time it takes for parcels to arrive at their destinations. You can also make use of effective cold chain technologies, hot packs, and the like, as well as shock and impact indicators and other recording tech tools to keep goods at the ideal temperature in transit and alert drivers and other personnel to times when parcels might be getting too jostled or otherwise affected. You’ll have less inventory wastage and enjoy more robust company financials, too.
There are many ways that technology can help to improve processes in a business, lower costs, boost sales and profits, and reduce stress for business owners, managers, and personnel. Test out multiple tools for your organization, and you’ll likely find many you want to keep using.