The Distribution Manager has one of the hardest jobs in manufacturing. Serving as a “traffic director,” accountant, and manager, the Distribution Manager has a lot on his plate. Because the inflow and outflow of inventory never stops (unless the company goes out of business, of course), constantly staying on top of the game is the only way to survive. A good way to handle all of these duties is with the aid of inventory management software. This helps leaders to monitor their supply chains, improve supplier relations, and safeguard their inventory, among other things. Let’s delve into each of these topics to see how a good software solution can make a Distribution Manager’s job easier.
SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT
“Out of Stock” is the most tragic phrase in distribution inventory management. If you do not provide the consumer with what they want when they want it, then they walk away and you miss out on revenue. Though shortages seem to be a common occurrence in the wholesale and retail space, the job of a Distribution Manager is to prevent them from ever happening.
The bottom line is that the right inventory needs to be at the right place, in the right amount, at the right time. This is where an inventory management system is a necessity. In one dashboard snapshot, the Distribution Manager can see inventory levels in multiple warehouses and see where the need is. Then he can generate transfer orders to relieve the pressure at the moment and set up auto reorder points to prevent further inventory imbalance in the future.
The difficult part of distribution inventory management is that much of the process is outside the Distribution Manager’s control. Suppliers play a great role in the quality and timely transportation of inventory. Because of the essential nature of these factors, the Distribution Manager must choose the best suppliers and maintain good relations with them. All of the right pieces need to be in place so that the machine keeps running. You have to “control” what you really cannot control.
You do not know what you have lost until you know what you had – and we are not talking romance here; we are talking about looking at a mountain of inventory within a warehouse and knowing that it is all accounted for. The easy thing for an accountant is that money is small enough to count by hand, but for a Distribution Manager, it is not so easy. You can’t eyeball your inventory and assume that it is all there, you have to know. The days of holding a clipboard and manually counting your inventory are over. You need inventory management software to keep accurate inventory counts on an ongoing basis.
RELIEVING THE PAIN
Fishbowl is to inventory what QuickBooks is to accounting. Fishbowl’s powerful software allows the Distribution Manager to be able to see the status of all the company’s inventory in one snapshot: reorder points, stock levels, turnover ratios – the Distribution Manager can see it all. Fishbowl brings clarity to the chaotic world of the Distribution Manager!
Distribution managers can use distribution inventory management software to help them with many aspects of their job, including:
- Supply chain management
- Supplier relations
- Safeguarding inventory