For inventory-based businesses, management of stock is a constant activity. You need the proper Inventory Management Tools.
Whether you serve consumers in a retail environment, other businesses through an inside or field organization, or other industries in manufacturing, you need an accurate accounting of supply at all times—a perpetual inventory record.
Back in the day, this was managed through a variety of manual processes. You remember them: weekends and evenings devoted to hand-counting stock, settling these numbers with sales receipts, design specifications or equipment orders, and perhaps manually inputting inventories to a simple spreadsheet or something even more primitive. Loss prevention, spoilage and stock unused due to changing product requirements? Those were additional challenges.
None of the necessity of inventory management has changed, but fortunately the processes have. In fact, inventory records were some of the first to go digital and remain the most likely to be computerized.
Integration of inventory records with your CRM or ERP solution genuinely helps all areas of the business, down to the manufacturing floor. And with bar-coded parts, inventory is added and depleted by product scanning, automating reporting and improving accuracy. With a bar-code scanner in hand, any employee becomes an active CRM user—sometimes a feat in itself.
Inventory accuracy is very important to effective supply planning and control. Inaccuracy can occur because of manual reporting or delayed counts, making inventory management inefficient, to say the least.
Enter cycle counting—the disciplined practice of small daily counts that add up to a comprehensive ongoing accounting of your entire stock.
Any errors found during the small daily counts can be adjusted for in inventory and accounting records as well as investigated for cause. This inspires better inventory management procedures and training that lowers error rates and increases inventory record accuracy.
To learn more about bar-code data collection and cycle counting, read our white paper “5 Tools for Inventory Management”.