Inventory – probably the largest asset on your balance sheet and the one thing that makes your business go. You depend on your inventory control group to have the right combination of pieces and parts to keep production running smoothly. This inventory lump needs to be constantly shaped, molded, trimmed, carved, and tweaked until you get that useful, glorious mix of profitability that shapes your bottom line.
Inventory management requires a Leonardo da Vinci – part artist, part scientist to be successful. Your DaVinci needs the right tools to be successful in his role. Don’t be the kid in art class who pounds his fist into the middle of a lump of clay, pinches the edges and calls it an ashtray – that’s not really the best use of your inventory.
Okay, so what kinds of tools do you need for inventory management? The first thing you need is an accurate starting point. A precise count of exactly what you have in your inventory – by each unique item. You can attempt to perform this count on your own or you can utilize a third party inventory service.
A professional inventory service provides the best tools – trained auditors and programmable data collection machines, to perform the most efficient and accurate count. In addition, an inventory service can capture and provide the count data in the best format for your inventory management systems. Without an accurate starting point, your DaVinci is going to struggle to create anything useful.
Now you have accurate data to continue the inventory management process – let’s produce something. In order to manage this process properly you will need another tool to turn this inventory lump into the products your customers desire. If your organization currently uses QuickBooks for your accounting needs, then consider the Fishbowl Inventory tool. Again, you could try to do it yourself, but here’s a proven tool, specifically designed to integrate into your current software environment. Accurate starting point, inventory management software – almost ready to create.
The final piece you need is your Leonardo da Vinci. This is a tricky piece of the equation to fill. Like the original, the person who fills this role has to be part artist and part scientist to properly manage your inventory. True, the inventory management software can track and produce analytics, but you need someone who can interpret the data, tweak the min / max parameters, create various production scenarios, and develop what-if relationships within the data sets. The right mix of art and science directly impacts your bottom line.
In summary, your tools are an inventory service to provide periodic accurate inventory counts, inventory management software to track and analyze the data, and a modern-day DaVinci to plan, organize, direct, and control the process. Put them all together and you create something useful, not just a fist pounded ashtray.