Leverage ERP Inventory Management For Manufacturing Success
Ask any manufacturer and they will tell you; Inventory management is a crucial part of their production strategy and one area that requires significant time and investment to really refine and get right. After all, a weak inventory strategy can cripple a company; excess product can become a major source of waste, poor deliveries will turn customers away and documentation errors will bring the whole process to a halt.
Most sophisticated ERP systems can provide inventory management modules that will help ensure you never have an inventory incident again or struggle with a lack of accountability in your warehouse. Everything from barcode scanning, shipment orders, accounts receivable and billing can be handled from a single system, and that also means that there will be a single source of truth when it comes to inventory reporting—so you always know where your product is. Sound appealing? Keep on reading for more about leveraging an ERP inventory management system to reap manufacturing success at the end of your supply chain.
A strong ERP inventory management system will become your right-hand man when it comes to shipping and processing. After all, shipping is one of the core tenets of any company’s inventory strategy, and with the help of enterprise software, the task can be easier than ever, when orders are made, the ERP system will process it and begin staging deliveries out of your facility, without any necessary intervention on your part. Orders can then make their way through a carefully constructed scanning system (color-coding or barcode) that will allow team members to track products and shipments from request to fulfillment. Tasks that may have previously taken up significant time, effort or manpower can be automated through your ERP. Only once every necessary barcode has been scanned and approved through ERP will product leave your warehouse. Then, your system will allow you to plan restocking of inventory and raw materials as it alerts you to depleted levels or an increase in movement of a certain product. Accuracy when it comes to shipment both into and out of your facility means a more effective ERP inventory management strategy and huge savings in both time and waste on your shop floor.
It’s not just the actual workflows or production line tasks that can be automated through ERP. Work orders, bill of materials, invoices and other related documents you or your clients may need will be generated from your data, meaning you no longer have to wade through spreadsheets and paper trails to find all the information you need. Because all transactional and production data is managed by your ERP, it can also be reported through the software. No more chasing down a fact or a certain date while a client waits on hold; just a few clicks of a button and you have all the documentation and information you need to keep your ERP inventory management system running smoothly!
One aspect of manufacturers, and retailers, that can often trip a young or inexperienced business up is shipping returns. Whether you are running an e-commerce business or working with large-scale manufacturing clients, return systems are difficult to maintain. From issuing tracking numbers, completing post-return quality checks and then refunding customers through product, store credits or cash back, you need a slick ERP inventory management system to keep everything in place. There’s just no way that spreadsheets can handle the kind of logic necessary. With an ERP system, the hassle can be automated. Barcodes can be linked with return items, logged into the system, then sent on to quality checks where it will be assigned to a certain line for resale, repurposing or destroying. The received materials are then counted in your inventory—all without any extra effort on the part of the end user!
A Single Source of Truth
Gone are the days when you could ask different employees about the state of your inventory or the timeline for a particular order and expect a slightly different answer every time. With ERP, inventory management is stored and managed from one central system, meaning your employees and executives have a single access point for any information they need or tasks they need to carry out. This kind of transparency and cohesiveness is invaluable when it comes to running such an important part of your business.
Furthermore, if you implement your ERP inventory management software in the cloud, that source of truth will be accessible to every employee, wherever they are—as long they have an internet-capable device. Travelling sales teams can check inventory from their device and make orders while on site—all while giving clients the most up to date and accurate information they need.
When you are a manufacturer, inventory is one of your most crucial tenets of your business. The best way to stay secure, cut waste and keep your inventory processes running smoothly and capably is a watertight ERP inventory management system. Having a single source of truth that can store and maintain production, storage and shipping data will be invaluable to any team; whether you have five people on your shop floor or 500.
For more information on how to take advantage of an ERP inventory management system, get in touch with one of our expert consultants today!