Posts Tagged ‘warehouse management’

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There isn’t a single company that doesn’t bemoan the high costs of freight. All companies would love to be able to reduce these costs, while at the same time mitigating the damages caused by delivery delays. Unfortunately, given the high costs of gas, and constant fuel surcharges, most companies seemed resigned to their fate; pay the freight bill and absorb the fuel surcharges because there’s no getting around the problem. However, is this really true? Do companies have no choice but to accept their fate, one marked by extremely high freight and the frustration that there’s little they can do to reduce the damaging effects of delivery delays? Well, the short answer is “no,” they don’t.

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How does your company give its salespeople their marching orders? Do these discussions take place before your salespeople leave on a business trip, while they’re visiting customers, or once they return from a long, hard trip? Well, most companies give salespeople their objectives at the beginning of the year. They may then tweak them during a given month or quarter, but for the most part, their objectives are well understood at the outset of a new year. The hope is that the sales team will be incentivized enough to identify and close on all opportunities. However, how do you track their performance while they’re in the field?

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How much does inventory damage cost your enterprise? Have you taken the time to define these costs and their impact on your bottom line? More importantly, do you know why damage occurs so frequently within your warehouse? When answering these questions, think of the high costs of managing a supply chain with manual processes. Think of the number of data entry errors that occur as a result of managing inventory via excel spreadsheets and tables. Think not of how fragile your inventory is, but how purchasing more than needed forces your warehouse personnel to overstock shelves with huge volumes of finished goods your company has no orders for. Ultimately, think of how much more damage is likely to occur the longer you hold that excess inventory.

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Regardless of whether you are the project manager in charge of multiple installations, the head of procurement, or the field service technician servicing the end-user customer for your company, you need to have access to vendor data. As such, a number of companies have decided to upgrade their service capabilities with rugged mobile computers, devices that are part of a larger upgrade in their enterprise mobility network. The idea is to not only speed up data transfer from vendors, but more importantly, to improve how companies manage both their internal and external customers. After all, the faster your company is able to respond to internal requests, the faster it should be able to service its external customer base. In the marketplace today, speed is everything!

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Manufacturers have certainly had a hard time of late. There is the continued threat posed by rising material and labor costs, as well as the going concern of overseas competitors, competitors who have the uncanny ability to continually lower pricing. It is not easy. Regardless of how your enterprise handles these obstacles, it is guaranteed that your margins will become smaller and smaller. However, as a manufacturer, you also know that your main weapon for improving these margins lies in your ability to continually lower manufacturing cycle times. Lower cycle times means increasing production throughput. Producing more with the same number of employees will not only improve your pricing, but it will ultimately lead to a better bottom line. However, in order to truly track how well your company is able to lower your cycle times, you need access to an enterprise mobility solution that tracks your production capacity in real-time. Gone are the days when manual timesheets and excel spreadsheets could be used to track production. If your enterprise truly wants to reduce its cycle times and increase its throughput, then you must incorporate an enterprise mobility software solution. So, what are some of the immediate benefits of making this move?
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Distributors know that to earn business and close on opportunities means having a comparative or competitive advantage that handily beats the competition. To accomplish this requires the ability to maximize volumes and purchasing power across the their entire product offering. Large-scale distributors also understand the importance of having timely information. As such, they often use software solutions that allow them to manage inventory more accurately. However, does this necessarily mean that the cost to run enterprise mobility software is out of reach for smaller distributors? Absolutely not! Today, enterprise mobility solutions are incredibly affordable. Most importantly, they offer smaller distributors an opportunity to better manage their inventory, reduce their overall cost structure and empower warehouse personnel with rugged handheld computers. A lower cost structure means a more competitive product offering and that increases the ability of a distributor to close sales. So, what does upgrading to enterprise mobility software mean for your position as a distributor?

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Have you tried in vain to convince yourself that your manual inventory management practices are working and are actually helping you to increase your inventory turnover rates? Have you relied too heavily on excel spreadsheets and tables to manage the complexities of your supply chain? Most importantly, how often have these processes let you down and left you with inaccurate inventory counts? Few companies ever take the time to answer these questions, let alone even ask them. Instead of relying upon enterprise mobility hardware to better manage their warehouse, they instead rely upon antiquated and outdated processes, ones that can not possibly keep pace with the speed of their business. Stronger warehouse management starts by doing away with these outdated processes and instead relying upon real-time tracking through mobility management solutions. If your enterprise wants to increase its inventory turnover rates, then it must finally put an end to using manual processes. Those processes may have worked when you first started, but they can not be a part of any long-term supply chain solution. So, how can the right enterprise software help your company better manage its warehouse and increase your turnover rates?

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How can upgrading to an inventory management software platform reduce the costs associated with inventory audits? In order to answer this question, think of how time-consuming, redundant and repetitive the dreaded inventory audit can be. Think of how much it costs to perform these audits and the frustration you encounter when uncovering inaccurate inventory levels and counts. At the end of every quarter, and every fiscal year, employees manually count inventory in order to reconcile actual inventory against what is reported on the “books”. Some companies force their employees to give up their weekends, while the vast majority must cover overtime to perform what most agree is a mundane task. It is both time consuming and costly. However, it need not be this way!

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What are some of the recent advancements in inventory management? What are some of the more important movements within the mobile device market that help make these advancements possible? More to the point, what software and hardware advances have changed how companies manage inventory? When looking to answer these aforementioned questions, one only needs to look at the advancements made by Psion with its Omnii line of mobile devices or with Honeywell and their IntelaTrack PKS devices. So, what is special about these mobile product lines?

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As a small business owner, it is probably about time your enterprise update its approach to warehouse management, approaches that rely upon enterprise mobility solutions that not only increase your customer response times, but also help to lower the costs of data entry errors? One where manual inventory counting methods are done away with entirely, and ultimately one where reconciling monthly inventory costs, levels and stock counts aren not predicated on problematic excel spreadsheets and inaccurate graphs and tables? Most importantly, your customers certainly deserve a vendor who is on the ball, ready to provide the answers they so desperately need!

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