Warehouse Inventory Management: Guide and Best Practices
March 13, 2023
Reading Time: 9minutes
Running a warehouse is a complex task. Not only do you have to worry about the day-to-day operations, but you also need to keep track of your inventory and make sure it is properly managed. If you are looking for tips on how to improve your warehouse inventory management, you have come to the right place.
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn what warehouse inventory management is, different strategies that are commonly used, and how Argos’ WMS Software can help 3PLs and distribution centers run their businesses more efficiently.
What is Warehouse Inventory Management?
Warehouse inventory management is the process used in supply chain management to track and manage the inventory that is stored in a warehouse. This process includes keeping track of what products are currently in stock, where the stock is located, and how many of each product are available. It also includes ensuring that the warehouse has enough space to store all of the inventory, as well as making sure that the inventory is organized in a way that makes it easy to find and retrieve.
Why Inventory Management is So Important
Proper warehouse inventory management is critical for businesses for a number of reasons.
First, it helps to ensure that products are available when they are needed. This is important for both businesses and customers. If a product is not in stock, it can lead to lost sales and disappointed customers.
In addition, proper inventory management can help to save money. By keeping the bare minimum amount of inventory on hand, businesses can avoid the cost of storing excess inventory. This is especially important for businesses that sell perishable items or items with a short shelf life.
Finally, warehouse inventory management can help to improve warehouse operations. By keeping track of what products are in stock and where they are located, warehouse managers can optimize their operations and ensure that products are being stored in the most efficient way possible.
Of course, there are more benefits that come with optimizing your warehouse management and inventory control, but these are some of the most important ones.
Warehouse Inventory Management Processes
Now that we’ve covered some reasons why warehouse inventory management is important, let’s take a look at some of the specific processes that are involved.
The first step in warehouse inventory management is receiving inventory from suppliers. This process involves unloading products from trucks, checking them for damage, and entering them into the warehouse management system.
It’s important to have a well-organized system for receiving inventory. This will help to ensure that products are properly checked and entered into the system in a timely manner.
The next step in warehouse inventory management is putting away inventory. This process involves storing products in the appropriate warehouse locations.
It’s important to have a good understanding of your warehouse layout before you start putting away inventory. This will help to ensure that products are stored in the most efficient locations.
Inventory Picking and Packing
The next step in warehouse inventory management is picking and packing inventory. This process involves retrieving products from warehouse shelves and packing them for shipment.
It’s important to have a good understanding of your warehouse layout and the locations of products. This will help to ensure that products are picked and packed quickly and accurately.
The final step in warehouse inventory management is shipping inventory. This process involves loading products onto trucks and sending them to customers.
It’s important to have an optimized shipping process. This will help to ensure that products are shipped in a timely and efficient manner.
Different Strategies for Warehouse Inventory Management
There are a number of different strategies that can be used for warehouse inventory management. The most important thing is to find a system that works best for your warehouse and your business. Some of the most common warehouse inventory management strategies include:
First In, First Out (FIFO)
This is a common warehouse inventory management strategy. With FIFO, the products that are received first are also the products that are shipped first. This helps to ensure that products do not expire before they are used.
This warehouse inventory management strategy is designed to minimize the amount of inventory that is stored in the warehouse. With JIT, inventory is only ordered when it is needed and products are shipped as soon as they are produced. This can help to save on storage costs and minimize the risk of products expiring before they are used.
This warehouse inventory management strategy helps businesses to prioritize their inventory. ABC analysis categorizes inventory into three different categories:
A items are the most important and are given the highest priority. These items make up a small percentage of the total inventory but represent a large percentage of the total sales.
B items are less important than A items but are still given priority. These items make up a larger percentage of the total inventory but represent a smaller percentage of the total sales.
C items are the least important and are given the lowest priority. These items make up the largest percentage of the total inventory but represent the smallest percentage of the total sales.
This warehouse inventory management strategy helps businesses to focus on the items that are most important to their bottom line.
This warehouse inventory management strategy involves ordering inventory in large quantities, rather than ordering small amounts of inventory as needed. This can help to save on shipping costs and reduce the amount of time that is needed to reorder inventory.
Cycle counting is a warehouse inventory management strategy that involves counting a small portion of the warehouse inventory on a regular basis. This helps to ensure accuracy and allows for more frequent inventory counts.
Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI)
With this warehouse inventory management strategy, businesses work closely with their suppliers to manage their inventory. The supplier is responsible for keeping track of what products the business needs and when they need them. This arrangement can help to improve communication and collaboration between businesses and their suppliers.
How to Choose the Right Inventory Management Strategy?
The best way to choose the right warehouse inventory management strategy is to talk to a warehouse expert. A warehouse expert can help you assess your warehouse operations and recommend the best inventory management strategy for your business.
At Argos, we have a team of warehouse experts that can help you assess your warehouse operations and choose the best inventory management strategies for your business. We offer warehouse management software (WMS) and an array of modules to help you automate and optimize your warehouse operations and other important aspects of your business.
What is a Warehouse Inventory Management System and How Do They Work?
A warehouse inventory management system is software that helps warehouse operators to track and manage their inventory. These systems are used to keep track of what products are in stock, where they are located, and how much of each product is available. They can also be used to create reports and track trends over time. WMS systems such as Argos’ WMS offer comprehensive inventory management functionality with additional modules available to meet your specific needs.
Warehouse Management System (WMS) vs. Inventory Management System (IMS) Software
Warehouse inventory management software is designed to help businesses track and manage their inventory. In contrast, a warehouse management system is a multi-functional software solution that helps warehouse operators manage their entire warehouse operations, including inventory, employees, and more.
Both types of systems can be used to keep track of what products are in stock, where they are located, and how much of each product is available. However, warehouse management systems are more comprehensive and often provide more features and functionality than inventory management systems.
Fortunately, Argos’ warehouse management software, includes a comprehensive inventory management system that can help you track and manage your warehouse inventory. This makes it unnecessary to have two separate systems for warehouse and inventory management.
Argos WMS Software: The Best Tool for Warehouse Inventory Management
No matter what warehouse inventory management strategy you use, Argos’ WMS software for 3PL warehouses and distribution centers can help you run your warehouse more efficiently. Argos is a powerful warehouse management system that helps warehouse managers automate and optimize their operations.
With Argos, warehouse managers can keep track of inventory in real time, so they always know what products are in stock and where they are located. In addition, ABECAS Insight provides users with comprehensive reporting and analytics tools. These tools can help warehouse managers to track inventory levels, identify trends, and make better decisions about their warehouse operations.
Argos’ WMS software is the perfect tool for 3PL warehouse and distribution center inventory management. It is scalable and flexible, so it can be customized to meet the specific needs of your warehouse. In addition, Argos is easy to use, so you can be up and running in no time.
Best Practices for Managing Your Warehouse Inventory
There are a few key things that you can do to ensure that your warehouse inventory is well managed:
Implement a WMS with IMS Capabilities
If you want to improve your warehouse inventory management, one of the best things that you can do is to implement a warehouse management system (WMS) with inventory management capabilities, such as Argos’ WMS. Our system is designed to help warehouse operators track and manage their inventory. It can be used to keep track of what products are in stock, where they are located, and how much of each product is available. In addition, it can be used to create reports and track trends over time.
Use Reporting and Analytics Tools
In addition to using a warehouse management system, another best practice for warehouse inventory management is to use reporting and analytics tools.
Argos’ software provides users with comprehensive reporting and analytics tools, including 1,200 pre-built and customizable reports with optional dashboard analytics. This can help warehouse managers to track inventory levels, identify trends, and make better decisions about their warehouse operations.
Work with a Warehouse Expert
If you want to ensure that your warehouse inventory is well managed, another best practice is to work with a warehouse expert. A warehouse expert can assess your warehouse operations and recommend the best inventory management strategy for your business.
Argos offers comprehensive warehouse consulting services. Our team of warehouse experts can assess your warehouse operations and recommend the best inventory management strategy for your business. Contact us today to learn more about our warehouse consulting services.
Determine the Warehouse Layout
The first step in designing a more efficient layout is to understand how your warehouse is currently being used and what changes need to be made in order for the warehouse management system to work optimally. You’ll need to take into account things like:
The type of products you store
The volume of products you store
The frequency of product turnover
The number of warehouse employees
The hours of operation
Once you have a good understanding of your warehouse, you can begin to determine the best layout for your inventory management system. There are a few common layouts that are used in warehouses:
Each type of layout has its own benefits and drawbacks. You’ll need to decide which type of layout is best for your warehouse based on your specific needs and requirements.
Appoint a Warehouse Manager
It may seem obvious, but one of the most important steps in warehouse inventory management is to appoint a warehouse manager. The warehouse manager will be responsible for overseeing the inventory management system and ensuring that it is running smoothly. They will also be responsible for training warehouse employees on how to use the system and troubleshooting any problems that may arise.
It’s important to choose a warehouse manager who is experienced and knowledgeable about warehouse operations. They should also be able to effectively communicate with warehouse employees and other stakeholders.
Make Your Employees Experts
Your warehouse employees are the ones who will be using the inventory management system on a daily basis. It’s important that they are properly trained on how to use the system and that they understand its purpose.
The best way to ensure that your warehouse employees are experts in inventory management is to provide them with ongoing training. This can be done through formal training sessions, on-the-job training, or a combination of both.
Implement Warehouse Inventory Control Checks
If you want to ensure that your warehouse inventory is always accurate, you need to implement warehouse inventory control checks. These checks can be done manually or electronically.
Manual inventory control checks involve physically counting the products in your warehouse and comparing them to the records in your inventory management system. Electronic inventory control checks can be done using barcode scanners or RFID tags.
Use Demand Forecasting for Busy Seasons
If you know that there are certain times of the year when your warehouse will be busier than others, you can use demand forecasting to plan for these busy periods.
Demand forecasting is a technique that is used to predict future demand for products. It can help warehouse managers effectively plan for busy periods and ensure that they have the necessary inventory on hand.
There are a number of different methods that can be used for demand forecasting. Some of the most common methods include:
Time series analysis
Automate Warehouse Inventory Systems
Automating your warehouse inventory system and inventory tracking can help to improve accuracy and efficiency. It can also help to reduce the amount of time that is needed to manage inventory.
There are a number of benefits when choosing to automate inventory tracking or other inventory processes. However, it’s important to make sure that you choose the right software program for your needs. You’ll also need to train your warehouse employees on how to use the system.
Warehouse inventory management is a critical component of running a warehouse. It’s important to understand the basics of warehouse inventory management and the different processes that are involved. By following the real-world tips and best practices in this guide, you’ll be able to effectively manage inventory in your warehouse.
Argos’ WMS Software for 3PLs and distribution centers is a powerful tool that can help you effectively manage inventory in your warehouse. Our software is designed to streamline warehouse operations and improve efficiency. Contact us today to learn more about how our warehouse management software can help you run a better business.
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