Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

Improved Inventory Management and Efficiency — What Could It Do for Your Warehouse?

Posted by Dick Sorenson on May 1, 2018 4:00:00 AM

Real-time visibility is key to tracking the physical processes of product flow and order fulfillment. So, it makes sense that leveraging this capability and improving inventory efficiency in your warehouse will reduce steps and lower your operational costs. customer-focus-1

Inventory management may be on your list of improvements to work on, but how do you do this? There are some simple steps you can take.

Making supply chain logistics work for you

“Logistic” used to be a military term. But today it encompasses the responsibilities and activities associated with product flow — every moment from inventory acquisition to delivery to consumers. Real-time visibility and tracking are a must-have for improved efficiency.

Here’s why:

  • Real-time inventory management optimizes the supply chain, and keeps track of product movement, leading to overall enterprise efficiency.
  • The right telematics platform will ensure adequate inventory by analyzing the data to predict demand and optimize inventory levels, eliminating stock-out situations as well as excessive inventory.
  • Real-time inventory management enables managers to right-size their inventory and attain mastery over velocity — how quickly a product is sold after it is stocked — and the data to make accurate sourcing decisions.
  • Telematic real-time inventory management highlights any lags or trouble spots in the inventory flow by identifying areas where delays occur.
  • Workflow optimization can be critical to maintaining a competitive advantage and meeting customer demands and expectations.

There can be a very good ROI associated with visibility projects. This occurs through improving service levels with less inventory. It means reduced lead times and variability.  Real-time telematic data facilitates lean practices that help all parties along the supply chain to improve and control lead times.

For example, the latest telematics platforms provide precise vehicle and inventory tracking instantly. Information is available at a glance, pinpointing location down to the square-inch for all fleet vehicles and inventory in the warehouse.

Therefore, advanced location capabilities can be used as a tremendous cost-savings tool for any enterprise. In fact, one report found that many companies realize a profitability increase of 20 to 50 percent or more when they implement an advanced inventory-tracking system.

Telematics will:

1. Locate inventory instantly.

Telematics tracks the location of vehicles and pallets, essentially linking forklift movement with data on the pallets. Managers can track the physical processes of product flow and order fulfillment to reduce steps and lower costs.

2. Look at productivity at a granular level.

Identify how much time is spent moving products, idle time, etc. Identify operator-specific improvements, like the need for more driver training. Time-consuming manual data entry can often be eliminated because onboard sensors can scan barcodes, record mileage and log hours.

3. Protect inventory by optimized routing.

Telematics identifies traffic patterns to determine the best route for product movement and to adjust job assignment patterns for better fleet utilization and driver productivity.

Inventory data that languishes in poorly connected systems typically is out of date and unreliable, which results in inefficient warehouse operations. Leveraging real-time data on inventory, products, and customers eliminates waste, enables informed decision-making, and streamlines operations.

Topics: connected warehouse solutions, value driven strategies, expanding business, time management, real-time monitoring, advanced locationing, fleet vehicle tracking, process improvement

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