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Methods of Inventory Management

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If you’re a business owner or a manufacturing manager, you know how difficult it can be to keep track of your inventory. Mistakes in inventory forecasting or the failure to reorder products can hurt businesses significantly. Fortunately, there are several different methods of inventory management that can be implemented that help avoid mistakes and assure you get the most out of your inventory tracking.

Barcodes for Inventory

The first and perhaps most important method is to use a barcode system. Barcodes assign special numbers to every item you’re trying to track, all with an integrated system of data. Once you scan your inventory’s barcodes, they automatically get decoded and entered into a database, which then allows you to track and maintain inventory quantities, pricing, and any other data you want to save. An important part of inventory management is controlling your inventory, in other words, knowing when stock gets low and when it needs to be re-ordered. In addition to your barcode database, keep a close eye on things and you can usually see when things are getting low in stock and need to be re-ordered. But what about small parts or articles/items that are stored in large quantities? In cases such as this, a point-of-sale method may need to be used. This method just means that every time an item is sold or distributed/shipped, it is logged. The quantity of items in stock goes down, and the quantity of items needing replacement goes up.

Employee Training

Another key method for effective inventory management is to establish good training for employees. Teaching those who will be in charge of inventory the methods and processes already in place is the best way to ensure that everyone is on the same page as far as how your inventory tracked. A good idea is to test your employees from time to time to be sure that they know the correct procedures for managing inventory. If they make mistakes, meet with them individually to go over corrective measures to ensure accuracy in the future.

Choose the Right Software

Decide which inventory software you want to use to manage the inventory. Software is the central component of an inventory system because it can manage inventory in different environments. When shopping for software, look for products that offer barcode reading, tracking counts, returns processing, cycling, and more all in one package. This will help you avoid any confusion and prevent you from needing to add another program into the mix later.

With the combination of proper tools like barcodes and scanners, thorough employee training, and an accurate, comprehensive database, you should be able to ensure that your inventory remains in stock when needed and that you will have a good handle on what is available and what is needed. Putting good methods in place is a sure way to manage inventory effectively with little to no errors, which can help your business run smoothly and protect the bottom line. Be sure to plan your strategy ahead of time, and your inventory control will run easily and smoothly.