Mastering Stock Control with the Right WMS
Inventory management is the cornerstone of success in the Australian Logistics and Freight industry. With a staggering CAGR of 4.6% from 2015 to 2020, businesses must embrace best practices to keep up with the rapid growth and meet the demands of customers.
An essential component of inventory management is stock control, which ensures smooth operations and timely order fulfilment. In this article, we will explore the significance of stock control, delve into effective strategies, and guide you in selecting the perfect Warehouse Management System (WMS) for your stock control needs.
What Is Stock Control?
Stock control lies at the heart of efficient warehouse management.
The ability to swiftly locate and dispatch items is crucial for seamless operations. Through an effective Warehouse Management System, you can gain complete oversight of each item, tracking its arrival, storage location, duration in storage, and departure from the warehouse.
Fortunately, modern inventory management systems have simplified this process, allowing businesses to optimise stock control effortlessly. In the following sections, we will suggest the ideal WMS features for superior inventory control.
The Importance of Stock Control
Implementing robust stock control practices brings numerous benefits to your business. By ensuring adequate inventory levels, easy item retrieval, and prompt shipping to customers, you can achieve the following advantages:
- Increased Productivity: Efficient stock control streamlines operations, leading to enhanced productivity levels within the warehouse.
- Fewer Errors: Well-organised stock control minimises errors, reducing the likelihood of misplaced or mismanaged items.
- Better Organisation: Proper floor plan organisation, along with signage and labels, optimises workflow and enhances warehouse organisation.
- Improved Employee Morale: An organised and efficient warehouse environment fosters employee satisfaction and motivation, leading to improved morale.
- Higher Ratings and Customer Feedback: By consistently meeting delivery timelines and providing accurate order fulfilment, you can garner positive customer feedback and higher ratings.
Strategies for Effective Stock Control
In addition to utilising a stock control system, incorporating the following strategies can further streamline your warehouse operations:
1. Floor Plan Organisation: Invest in an organised floor plan, complete with appropriate labels and signage, to facilitate the smooth flow of goods. This enables your team to easily locate and transport items to the shipping area for prompt delivery.
2. Cycle Counting: Implement cycle counting, which involves monitoring fulfilment cycles for small batches of goods, instead of assessing the entire inventory at once. While a WMS simplifies this process, integrating the principle into your operations is essential.
To begin cycle counting, determine the number of Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) on hand. Subsequently, divide the count based on the specified period to determine the number of items reviewed at a time.
For instance, if you have 1200 SKUs and the counting period is a year, you could count 100 SKUs per month or approximately 24 SKUs per week.
Over time, you will have an accurate inventory cycle count. Remember that different industries employ different cycles, and some goods may require different counting periods based on their value and popularity.
Tips for Good Stock Control
1. Record: Pay meticulous attention to detail when managing stock control. Begin by creating a comprehensive list and prioritise items based on their popularity. Organise your warehouse floor accordingly to optimise flow. Keep detailed records of inventory items, tracking sales, restocking, and timelines.
2. Adapt: Develop adaptability as a key skill in effective inventory control. External factors, such as freight congestion and delays, can impact delivery timelines. Anticipate these changes and make necessary adjustments to ensure smooth operations.
3. Manage: Regularly update and maintain your stock control data to adapt to changing business needs. While it requires time and effort, this practice is indispensable for long-term success. Many warehouse managers find solace in using software solutions to streamline information management.
Choosing the Perfect WMS for Stock Control
Selecting a suitable Warehouse Management System is paramount to efficient stock control. Customisation is key when choosing inventory management software since no off-the-shelf solution can cater to the intricacies of your business without modifications. Here are some key features to consider when selecting a WMS for stock control:
- Data and Analytics Reporting: Opt for a WMS that provides comprehensive data and analytics reporting. This feature allows you to gain real-time insights into inventory demand and make informed decisions.
- Real-time Inventory Demand Analysis: Ensure that your chosen WMS offers real-time analysis of inventory demand. This capability enables you to stay ahead of market trends and optimise stock levels accordingly.
- Direct Shipping and Just-in-Time Supplier Delivery Handling: Look for a WMS that seamlessly integrates direct shipping and just-in-time supplier delivery handling. This functionality enhances the efficiency of your supply chain management.
- Integrations: A robust inventory management system should integrate smoothly with accounting software to eliminate redundant data entry tasks. This integration enables up-to-the-minute reporting, aiding in accurate financial analysis, cost control, and streamlined operations.
- Efficient Item Search: The WMS should facilitate easy item search within the warehouse using various criteria such as codes, descriptions, cost, location, overflow location, and more. Additionally, it should indicate if an item is currently available or on backorder.
Clear and accessible information, coupled with visual aids like images, empowers your team to make quick and accurate decisions.
Datapel: Empowering Effective Stock Control
One noteworthy cloud-based warehouse management solution is Datapel. This comprehensive WMS offers streamlined order management, accurate reporting, and detailed product tracking options. By tailoring its functionalities to your business needs, Datapel can significantly enhance your team’s efficiency, minimise errors, and save costs.
With a flexible pay-as-you-go pricing plan and a free trial, Datapel empowers your business to reach new heights.
Mastering stock control is vital for success in the ever-growing Logistics and Freight industry. By implementing efficient stock control practices and selecting the right Warehouse Management System, you can maximise efficiency, reduce costs, and maintain high-quality standards for your customers.
Embrace the power of stock control, and let it propel your business towards success. Get in touch with Datapel today to discover the full potential of effective stock inventory management.