4 Ways to Keep Stock Balances Accurate

Avoid the challenges and embarrassment of having inaccurate stock balances with these four tips from an inventory management expert.

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    Anyone involved in warehousing knows the challenges, headaches, and embarrassment that can come from not having incorrect stock balances. Not having inventory in stock that has been promised to customers, replenishing stock too early or too late, and buyers and salespeople not being able to trust your data and reporting are all symptoms of inaccurate stock balances. Learn the right inventory management techniques to have the right products when you need them.

    What is Inventory Management?

    Inventory management is about keeping track of what you have in stock and making sure you always have enough of the right stuff to sell when customers want it. It’s like organizing your closet to find things easily. When done well, it helps businesses save money by not having too much stuff sitting around, while also making sure they don’t run out of things customers want to buy. With good inventory management, businesses can keep tabs on their stock in real-time, making everything run smoother.

    Maintain Stock Balance

    1. Record Any & ALL Movement of your Material

    People are good at finding excuses to go around a system put in place to guide them. Many times, when a material transaction is not properly recorded, it is because an individual found a reason to go around the system. However slight, any material-related transaction needs to be properly documented in order to keep your stock balances up-to-date. Working with all of your people to develop a manual or guide that describes step-by-step how each inventory-related transaction MUST be documented. Once the manual is in place, make sure it is enforced with strict penalties!

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    2. Put the Right People in the Right Roles

    Do not underestimate the importance of the individuals handling receiving and stocking. Receivers must be able to identify products, differentiate between similar looking products, and ensure that the amount and quality of the products received are suitable. Therefore, that task should only be given to experienced personnel who have an intricate knowledge of your inventory. The same goes for the individuals who stock your warehouse. It is also imperative that your warehouse managers are capable of delegating responsibility and ensuring that the tasks that they delegate are completed to your exact specifications. Filling these three positions with experienced and knowledgeable personnel will help to ensure that your policies are upheld and your stock balances are accurate.

    3. Consider a Bar Coding Solution

    By implementing a bar coding solution, you can verify that the correct items are being picked and put away. Bar coding also enables instant updating of your distribution management software solution while eliminating manual errors that can result from “keying” in information.

    4. Replace Your Annual Physical Inventory with a Regular Cycle Count

    Conducting an annual physical inventory is not nearly as efficient or effective as counting a few products each day of the year (also known as cycle counting). You can select the items you are going to cycle-count randomly or based on their geographic location in your warehouse, but the most effective way to maintain accurate stock balances is to rank your products based on which are sold most often and count them the most frequently. This means that slow-moving and dead-stock items would still only be counted once annually. While implementing a regular cycle-count can be challenging, it is well worth the effort to know exactly how much of your most profitable products your have on hand each day of the year.

    Inventory Management Software

    Inventory management software is a tool that helps businesses keep track of their inventory, orders, and sales. It’s like a digital assistant that organizes everything related to stock, from tracking items as they move between locations to managing processes like packing and shipping. The main goal of inventory management software is to ensure businesses always have the right amount of stock on hand, prevent waste, and avoid running out of products customers want to buy.


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