The cost of poor inventory on your business can be enormous. A recent survey reveals inaccurate inventory planning decisions cost U.S. retailers a whopping $300 billion in revenue due to markdowns in 2018. Optimized inventory management ensures smooth operations right from when you receive goods from supplies to delivery of orders to customers.
To guide you in the right direction, here are six practical ways to improve inventory accuracy:
Be In the Know
You cannot improve what you don’t know. Therefore, your first step should be to understand how accurate your inventory is so you know what you are up against. If your business involves selling physical goods, being in the know helps identify discrepancies in your actual inventory against what you thought you had.
Make it a routine practice to conduct an inventory reconciliation exercise that helps identify the sources of discrepancies in your inventory. Compare your count to your records and see if the numbers are matching. A discrepancy could be an indication of a shrinkage problem that has to be dealt with. You should also set improvement goals and check results often to ensure you sustain improvements.
Examine the Process
You should also look into your whole shipping process to determine what is working and what needs to be changed. Audit your current shipping process and create a list of the aspects that work well, the ones that elongate the shipping process, and the steps required to overcome the issues. Create a perfect order metric right from the point of origin to the intended destination to track inventory performance across your entire channel for improved accuracy throughout your supply chain.
Additionally, consider simplifying your internal shipping processes to achieve the best delivery performance. While they offer many benefits, some advanced systems and apps can turn quick and straightforward tasks into long and tiresome ones.
Change Your Technology
In today’s dynamic business environment a reliable technology can help manage your inventory and improve your accuracy. An ideal inventory management technology should enable you to have more access to accurate inventory information in real-time. Go for a top-notch robotic system that can do repetitive and manual activity way faster and more accurately than a human. An ideal system should also process information quickly and share actionable data without human intervention.
Find a Supply Chain Partner
Effective collaboration with supply chain partners can help your business improve profitability and drive efficiencies. Good working relationships with suppliers can also deliver cost savings while reducing availability problems, delays, and quality issues. This eventually boils down to a better customer experience and improved flow of operations.
When choosing a supply chain partner, go for one that offers systems that integrate with your inventory system. Many inventory inaccuracies stem from data and transmission failures. Compatible systems help improve end-user delivery, inventory accuracy, and customer service.
A real-time tracking system is designed to track each of your product’s locations and status and record changes as soon as they happen. Real-time tracking provides better visibility into the entire supply chain processes and helps prevent stock shortages. In the event of a likely shortage, the system warns you to reorder stock well before you run out of inventory. The systems also improve your inventory forecasting by revealing the current stock across multiple sales channels. Since it automates the standard inventory process, real-time tracking provides more transparency and enables greater inventory accuracy.
Train Your Employees
Make sure all departments understand the shipping process and the importance of inventory accuracy. If workers understand your inventory goals, they will help accomplish them through accurate and consistent processes. Training your employees on how the inventory system works ensures everyone throughout your company owns inventory accuracy.
How TALG Implements Inventory Accuracy
Checking and maintaining inventory accuracy should be an integral part of running a business. Inaccurate inventory can lead to incorrect customer orders, a shortage of items, shrinkage, damage, and substantial losses for your business.
If you are looking for exceptional inventory management solutions, contact TALG. Our solutions boast 99.3% inventory accuracy and are highly customized to meet your specific needs. By optimizing our services to integrate seamlessly, we can support our partners for their continued growth and success. TALG offers complimentary cycle-counting and an interactive customer portal that updates in real-time. For more details, contact us today.