Improving inventory reliability is important for several reasons. Your delivery reliability depends on it, but also consider the costs involved.
In the article below, an extensive report of the possibilities to improve your stock reliability.
The most well-known method to improve your stock reliability. Regularly counting of the stock. In addition to being a statistically reliable method. The big advantage is that by always counting a small amount, the workload remains low.
Empty location check
Walk past your locations daily and check whether they should be empty according to the system. Option is also to enter an “Empty location check” in your Warehouse system. The moment a location is picked empty, the picker must confirm this in the system.
Use kits or size specific shelves that fit an exact amount. [Lean method] You can then see at a glance whether the location stock is granular
It seems logical, but many organizations hardly do stock deviation analyzes. A superficial investigation and the stock is written off. Often the problem is that the stock control cycle is too low, making the cause more difficult to determine. As a result, the same stock reliability problems keep coming back.
Before and after calculations.
If stock is prepared on the basis of preliminary calculations, it must be as close as possible to reality. Often the estimate is too rough [under / overestimation], which leads to large theoretical stock movements. This leads to confusion, too often that production has to reorder from warehouse or return. This reduces the manageability of the stock.
Record who is allowed to implement stock mutations. This is also possible via authorizations in your ERP system. Also pay attention to escalation levels with large amounts.
Stock control group.
Appoint a number of permanent people who continuously monitor, analyze and propose improvement proposals.
The less stock, the less risk, investment, controls and, above all, less chance of errors. Where possible consider Vendor Managed Inventory [VMI]
The well-known two-bin system is one of the most successful methods to improve your stock reliability. When the grab box is empty, the closed box slides through. Make sure that the quantity per box is always the same. Counting is then a matter of counting boxes.
Make sure your warehouse is structured logically. For example, keeps packaging or labels together. It is then easy to find and employees are less likely to think that the stock is not there.
It simplifies the stock count and because employees are “forced” to work according to a fixed system of your WMS, the chance of error is much smaller.
If employees can make the booking directly at the location itself, you also reduce the risk of errors. And in that context, it is also sensible that barcodes can be applied to finished products immediately. Avoid running through your staff. This not only improves stock reliability, but also labor productivity. This prevents errors due to memory errors.
For departments such as Sales and marketing but also product development, it is best to keep a separate stock that is immediately written off. This gives these departments complete freedom and your warehouse is not confronted with small entries and exits. This type of stock must also be booked separately because it is not consumed by the production process or when a customer order leaves your company.
You can choose to book normatively if your pre-calculation has a high degree of reliability. The advantage is that the administrative and operational burden is considerably lower. Any deviations are corrected during counts.
It is not uncommon for mistakes to occur because employees are not properly trained on the WMS / ERP system or because the system is not clear. As a result, employees interpret procedures, which can lead to many errors.
In addition to good training on the system, the reliability and unambiguity of your base data is essential. Think of packaging units, description, value, number per box or location, etc. And in addition to proper recording, keeping the system up to date is also essential. Make sure you arrange this properly and ensure continuity