It’s not about reduction… it’s about Control

It’s not about reduction… it’s about Control


For many companies, inventory control is a linear process controlled by a simple increase or decrease in purchasing or manufacturing. Crude measures are often employed to determine when inventory should be adjusted and these processes, all too often, are implemented too late to satisfy customer demand or solve a financial shortfall. Sound familiar?

Inventory control has arguably been a key business challenge since the very dawn of manufacturing, but as we move towards an era of factory automation, digitised manufacturing supply chains and connected warehousing, it should come as little surprise that inventory control has too been given a new lease of life thanks to the digital and communication capabilities of modern software developments.

The knock-on effects of poor inventory control

Considering inventory control ‘in the round’ is an important skill to master. Understanding the knock-on effects of poor inventory control will pave the way for the introduction of leaner, more effective processes which will ultimately shape how and when you adjust inventory; maximising efficiencies and your bottom line.

Put simply, the greater the inventory, the greater the handling – and the greater the handling, the greater the cost. Aside from the obvious cost purchasing a larger inventory, consider if you will the additional purchase/rental and operation of forklifts, plus bins, containers and pallets you will need to manoeuvre and store the stock. All of that requires labour in the warehouse and additional administrative efforts to cost and control the inventory including any losses, locating and counting.

That can all be flipped too. If you reduce your inventory by putting a freeze on purchasing, you will have surplus staff, maintenance of disused warehousing, forklifts and other mechanics plus the potential of dissatisfied customers should an order be placed when your inventory is low and incapable of fulfilling the demand.

Digitised inventory control

Digitising your inventory removes that very linear ‘inventory up, inventory down’ notion. Instead, you can replace it with complete visualisation of your stock, your upcoming requirements, seasonal changes and potential supply issues.

This is real inventory control. This is furnishing your business with the ability to meet fluctuations in demand with minimal stress, from purchasing componentry and raw materials to manufacturing and storing exactly what you need. It allows you to react to potential supply or logistical issues before the shortfall happens so that you can fulfil customer demand and protect your reputation.

Cloud-based supply chain management software allows you to fully visualise the possible within your business, with a lean and highly-effective inventory which is fit-for-purpose in real-time, but fluid enough to adjust to market or supply changes.

In other words, it gives you more control than any historic inventory system ever could. And that is, of course, the beauty of the digital supply chain. Isn’t it time you considered an upgrade?

For more information on how cloud-based supply chain management software could transform your business, click here.

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