Autumn is here, and it is beautiful. And just as the leaves are changing colors, you might also consider changing the way you manage your inventory forever. This autumn, automate your inventory processes to leave inefficiency in the dust and watch your carrying costs fall!
Here are several ways that automating your inventory will save your company time and money.
Leave Excel Behind
Microsoft Excel is a useful program in many ways. It’s great at storing data in easy-to-organize ways, but it’s not so easy to automate. When products are bought, sold, transferred, and even discontinued it’s all up to you to manually update the Excel spreadsheet to reflect those changes. None of it can be automated to respond to barcode scans or other tools.
A true inventory management system allows you to quickly comb through data and discover trends that would not be obvious if you strictly looked at the numbers in a spreadsheet. CSV files are still an important part of managing inventory, but they are merely vessels that transport data into an inventory management system, not the system itself.
Avoid Bare Shelves
Most trees must shed their leaves each year as the air grows colder and the snow descends on them. This is a survival mechanism that allows them to conserve energy for the spring when the warm air returns and they can finally grow and thrive once more. Bare trees are like a promise of great things to come.
Bare shelves are a totally different story. They represent a lost opportunity for growth. When a company runs out of products to sell and is forced to turn customers away, it harms its chances of future success. Avoid bare shelves by staying on top of seasonal changes in demand. Use an inventory management system to track trends and be prepared with higher or lower inventory levels, depending on the time of year.
Watch Your Carrying Costs Fall
Fall is a natural occurrence. It is the transition from summer to winter, as those two strong seasons duke it out, with winter eventually coming out the victor.
Seeing your carrying costs fall is not a natural occurrence, but it takes effort and discipline to make it happen. Carrying costs are all of the expenses of holding inventory, from the amount of space used to the cost of air conditioning and providing security at a warehouse. A good inventory management system lets you set up automatic reorder points on all of your parts and products. That way, you’ll always be able to keep just the right number of products in stock instead of overstocking or experiencing shortages. This equilibrium translates into a more efficient use of company resources and warehouse space.
Get Out of the Red and See More Green
Green is a rare color to see in autumn. You’re likely to see a lot of red as the season grows colder and chlorophyll drains from the leaves on trees and bushes.
Green won’t be a rare color to find in your business, however, as you implement an inventory management system. With all of the cost savings mentioned above, you’ll be able to hold onto more of your revenue and put it to better use in the future. You can use detailed reports to restructure your warehouse layout. That way, you’ll speed up the picking process and just make it faster, in general, to put products away and find them when you need to.
Orange You Glad
One more autumn pun: Orange you glad you now know how inventory management software can help your business automate its inventory processes. Let’s briefly review some of the tools and benefits you’ll enjoy by changing the way you manage inventory:
- Barcode scanners
- Auto reorder points
- Reduced carrying costs
- Optimized warehouse layout
Sign up for a free trial of Fishbowl to learn how you can automate your inventory this autumn. Yule be glad you did. Oops. Well, Christmas is right around the corner, too.
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.