Most retail suppliers, irrespective of size, recently pivoted their approach to supply chain management to mitigate the negative impacts associated with the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. Consumer habits shifted considerably to online commerce in recent years. Many traditional customer-facing businesses are learning to anticipate demand in real-time.
The ability to adapt swiftly to consumer buying trends in today’s retail market is crucial to facilitating core business metrics and inventory. Food suppliers and grocery store chains remain at the frontline of the battle to keep their warehouses and storefronts stocked. It is not uncommon for demand to far outweigh the supply for several food products in multiple categories. Moreover, the market demand for specific food items is constantly changing.
In this post-pandemic business climate, companies everywhere are strategizing to realign supply chains with consumer demand patterns that can turn drastically, with little notice. At the same time, the labor shortages and inflation rates following the onset of the 2020 outbreak have left many companies in search of ways they can offset these escalating costs.
With these new factors further complicating inventory management identified, how do suppliers adapt while keeping their operating margins under control? How can retail and warehouse facilities ensure adequate inventory to fulfill the constantly shifting demand for goods?
There are several supply chain obstacles every business confronts in the post-pandemic marketplace. Let’s take a closer look at a few in more detail below:
An overly complex supply chain
Intense competition in the e-commerce sphere and tenuous international trading has forced us to adjust to an increasingly complex supply chain. As suppliers take on more partners, lead time is less predictable, and tracking issues are enhanced. When facilities assume an expanded product portfolio to cover increased or varying demand, inventory processes and warehouse space are tested.
Anytime stock levels increase to ensure product availability, businesses restrict themselves from investing working capital. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this problem while maintaining a consistent supply chain. SAP Business One software inventory management tools help reduce human error while maintaining a concise stock via live-time automated monitoring.
WiSys supplies SAP Business One software for manufacturing companies that can suggest inventory redistribution on demand so you can deploy the inventory you need when you need it. SAP Business One software inventory management solutions similarly help assure resources aren’t allocated to unnecessary operating procedures while conserving warehouse space at the same time.
Poor employee training
While automated software systems improve your bottom line considerably, they can never fully compensate for a less than adequate human element to product inventory management. Employees who lack the required skill set to manage an inventory system or when to rotate warehouse stock accordingly will always prove costly.
After implementing any SAP Business One software inventory management system, maintaining at least one employee who understands the software and can train new hires on the system is vital. Ideally, this operator will have experience in overseeing manual warehouse and shipping procedures in addition to any automated processes introduced to the facility.
In general, qualified inventory managers must be adept at overcoming routine obstacles such as identifying shortages before stock falls critically low or runs out. They should be comfortable, as well, perform regular and accurate stock audits, account for inventory levels, and estimate how much stock to request in purchase orders.
Your inventory manager must be at ease using automated inventory management tools to optimize procurement processes and forecast how much inventory might be needed in the next order cycle. The biggest advantage to well-trained staff is reduced lead time. These savings realize themselves downstream. Prepared operators and inventory managers also help establish a reputation for efficiency among your trusted partners.
Failure to implement automation
It may surprise you how many major suppliers who have been around for decades continue to use store-specific and Excel-based inventory management systems. While enterprise corporations might be able to absorb the needless waste by failing to modernize their operations, failure to scale up and automate can spell doom for medium to small-sized businesses.
Ditching an obsolete inventory system isn’t just a matter of convenience. Automating not only reduces human errors but can also make all the difference in keeping your brand relevant and ensuring long-term success. SAP Business One software for manufacturing companies is particularly for warehouses operating on a thin budget with strict limits to the staff they can carry.
Likewise, organizations with multiple stores or stocking facilities that are transitioning to online distribution channels benefit substantially from automated inventory solutions as well. Automation technology permits your operators to track SKUs at any facility in real-time from any connected location. Automation simplifies routine tasks like generating purchase orders, barcodes, and company invoices.
In today’s market, your vendor may not be able to deliver for a variety of reasons. And it might not be for lack of trying either. With just about every business grappling with supply chain issues, you’re bound to discover that some are simply better prepared for the challenge than others.
The key to waging a dependable partnership is encountering an organization known for consistency without charging excessive fees. Website reviews are helpful, but reviewing references and testimonials go a long way in helping establish whether or not a vendor can meet the service and quality standards are your business.
The more vertically integrated you are with your vendor, the better off you’ll be, especially if you’re in a niche product industry. It’s the only way to guarantee the utmost control over manufacturing and inventory levels.
Scaling your inventory management software with WiSys
Implementing automated software solutions to support complex logistics operations is a difficult task. With hundreds of options to choose from, encountering the right inventory management software to integrate with your existing business platforms is a challenge. WiSys offers an array of native inventory management and control features to resolve the most complex supply chain issues.
Call WiSys today at 770-955-3530 to learn more about which automated inventory software system is right for your business.