As I promised in last week’s blog post, I’m going to start answering complex questions related to inventory management. The first is: How do I manage a warehouse?
Set automatic reorder points on your parts, products, and all other materials in your warehouse, with their lead times in mind. That way, you’ll constantly get new items coming in to replace outgoing ones and keep your inventory levels in equilibrium.
Keep track of your vendors’ performance. Make sure they’re giving you competitive prices and consistently getting the right items to you at the right times.
Use wireless barcode scanners to quickly receive items into your warehouse and keep your inventory records accurate and up to date.
Group products that are often purchased together next to each other, like suntan lotion and beach towels. Put the most popular items closest to the receiving entrance so they’re the quickest to move into and out of your warehouse.
Track inventory by row, shelf, and bin so you always know where to find items when it comes time to pick them.
You don’t need to hire dozens of warehouse workers to manage a warehouse. If you use barcode scanners and warehouse management software, you can keep your warehouse running smoothly with as few as a handful of workers. As long as they’re properly trained on the software and inventory procedures, a small group can get just as much done as a large one, if not more.
The Right Tools
Having the right tools is the key to success in each of the above areas of warehouse management. By automating as many processes as possible, you can do more with less and keep costs down in terms of how much you spend on inventory and how much you spend on your workforce.
Check out Fishbowl Mobile to see how much time and money it could save your business.
And come back next week when I’ll tackle another challenging inventory management issue.
Robert Lockard is a copywriter with Fishbowl. He writes for several blogs about inventory management, manufacturing, QuickBooks, and small business. Fishbowl is the #1-requested manufacturing and warehouse management software for QuickBooks users. Robert enjoys running, reading, writing, spending time with his wife and children, and watching movies.