Four Steps to Better Inventory Control Management

February 21, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

There are a plethora of Inventory Control and Inventory Management software systems that can be found in the market place today. Most systems are fully upgradeable and the choice of “bells and whistles” such as drill down reporting and inventory analysis reports are virtually limitless. These types of systems can truly make a difference in your inventory control program but commonly, business owners and/or Management leaders who have purchased these software solutions without taking proper basic steps in assuring the success and longevity of their inventory management program. Here are four basic steps that will help build a successful inventory program.

1) Training – One of the single biggest causes of inventory errors and systems breakdown is the use of resources who have not been properly trained, or associates that do not follow proper procedures when performing actions that effect stock. One of the basic and most important areas of training is proper identification of units of measure. Improperly counting case packs or selecting the wrong number of units will start a snowball effect in the inventory system that, if not detected and addressed early, can be very costly to an organization to correct. The best method to avoid this from occurring is to make sure that all inventory staff members are able to identify the various units of measure such as inner packs, case packs, and any other units of measure applicable to the organization.

2) Implement a cycle count program – In order to assure year-round inventory accuracy; rather than relying on correcting the inventory once a year, a daily or weekly cycle count program will assure accuracy by identifying and correcting discrepancies quickly. Most inventory control software automate this task by providing a random list of items at the frequency desired by the user. Frequent cycle counts will also contribute to the Loss Prevention aspect of the business by deterring internal theft.

3) Research and identify causes of discrepancies – If the same errors are occurring often, focus on researching the causes of why they are happening. Often, these mistakes can be eliminated by providing additional training, coaching associates for success when procedures are not adhered to, or correcting a physical aspect or cause for the discrepancy.

4) Warehouse Organization and housekeeping – Although simple in theory, this can be a very challenging task to maintain. All associates must be properly trained on housekeeping and organizational techniques. The best policy to implement is a “clean as you go” methodology. This will assure that housekeeping is continuously adhered to as opposed to cleaning up at the end of the work day, which in many cases, does not get done. Keeping like items together, labeling all merchandise, assigning bin locations, and maintaining warehouse organization is key to assuring inventory accuracy.

Implementing and adhering to these basic steps will greatly contribute to the overall success of an inventory management program by providing a strong foundation of policies and procedures that will address the core issues that affect small businesses today.

For more information and assistance on inventory management control policies, procedures, and implementation, please visit Avid Management Consulting Services at http://www.avidmcs.com or email me at Roger@avidmcs.com

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Roger_Martinez

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