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6 Keys to Success to Create Inventory Management Technology Strategies for Distribution

Exact, Effective Inventory Management Technology Strategies for Distribution Empower Immediate, Real-Time Visibility and Integrated Systems Across Your Supply Chain.

Brick-and-mortar stores are shrinking in size, by more than $45.2 billion in 2016, says Bridget McCrea of Logistics Management, but what they lack in the in-store area, they make up for in e-commerce sales. More companies are looking for ways to use existing resources to speed order fulfillment and ensure customers have access to the products they want, at the right time, the right place, the right price and within their delivery expectations.

To achieve getting more out of less, supply chain managers are going back to using the right inventory management technology strategies for distribution in an omnichannel age. First, distribution managers need to understand their weaknesses and how to implement processes to streamline the use of new technologies.

Out-of-Sync Systems and Lacking Visibility Make Planning for the use of Inventory Management Technologies Troublesome

The problems companies experience in trying to implement inventory management technology strategies for distribution derive from three primary issues, which include:

  • Systems that update frequently, but not in real time.
  • Legacy systems limit scalability.
  • Inability to use metrics and KPIs to understand operations.

6 Keys to Success in Implementing Inventory Management Technologies for Distribution Centers Successfully

Companies need to begin using mobile technologies, the Internet of Things (IoT), automated identification and data capture (AIDC), web-based systems, and integrated systems to fully realize the potential of modern technologies for inventory management. Unfortunately, bringing these systems into realization requires taking a few more steps to ensure everything runs smoothly and enhances the entire supply chain, as explained by Small Biz Trends. Some best strategies for implementing the right distribution center inventory management technologies include:

  • Create safety stock for omnichannel distribution. Follow IKEA’s example. As noted by Trade Gecko, IKEA has one of the most revolutionary omnichannel strategies in place. IKEA has a one-year safety stock and is capable of rapidly expanding or contracting operations to suit immediate, short-term, and long-term demand fluctuations. IKEA also empowers workers and vendors to monitor all manufacturing and shipping for sustainability, enabling the home icon to offer consistency of product selection at lower prices.
  • Manage inbound freight proactively. The best-laid plans for managing order fulfillment and using inventory management technologies fail if inbound freight is left out of the equation. Managing inbound deliveries is, in some ways, more important than outbound freight. It determines how your company will organize slots, guarantee quality, and get the product out on-time.
  • Simplify manufacturing by bringing it closer to consumers. Technologies can be used to move more of the manufacturing processes toward consumers, like assembly and installation. This reduces risk and enables companies to offer lower price points.
  • Use the IoT and AIDC to track inventory. The IoT and AIDC technologies can be used to generate accurate, real-time pictures of current operations, enabling end-to-end visibility and automated notifications when something goes wrong.
  • Establish bin-level inventory controls. According to Logistics Management, bin-level controls represent the first stage in the order fulfillment process. Controlling bins and slot locations allow all subsequent parts of the supply chain to move efficiently. This allows for faster fulfillment and reduces delays caused by inaccuracy in picking, packaging, labeling, and

A Bird’s-Eye View of Inventory Management Technologies Enabling Better Distribution

It can be hard to know when your company has implemented effective inventory management technologies for distribution center strategies, but it goes back to measuring performance. Performance measurements should be taken and tracked for each of the following areas:

  • Rapidly move product through all channels.
  • See inventory in real-time.
  • Use analytics to make data-based decisions for continuous improvement.
  • Easily access systems on location and via remote access.
  • Create a slot optimization program.
  • Allow for extensive
  • Use customer feedback for more significant improvement too.

When metrics and KPIs for these areas stay consistently in line with industry standards, depending on your location and sector, inventory management technologies are working properly. However, continuous improvement is the key to keeping such strategies fresh and competitive. Stop wasting time trying to sort product by hand or use manual processes and make a move to integrate your systems with new inventory management technologies, including connected systems and devices, AIDC, the IoT, software-as-a-service, cloud-based techniques, and more.

Find out how you can leverage these technologies and unlock the secrets to better order fulfillment and unmatched omnichannel distribution through systems integration by scheduling a time to speak to Veridian by clicking the button below.

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