Goods management is an extremely important task in business. The shortage or excess inventory has a huge impact on the cost and growth strategy of each business. To solve the difficult problem related to warehouses, there are many inventory management tools and techniques on the market from domestic and foreign suppliers.
Table of Contents
- 1 What are inventory management tools?
- 2 Warehouse risk management
- 3 The benefits of inventory management tools in supply chain
- 4 Why should you use inventory management tools and techniques?
- 5 Features of Odoo inventory management system
What are inventory management tools?
Inventory management software monitors inventory levels for optimal production and distribution of goods for wholesale or retail.
Warehouse risk management
Currently, many businesses do not have much experience in inventory management systems and operations. There are many backlog issues such as limited warehouse management, not complying with regulations and principles of warehouse management: 5S, JIT, LEAN, ISO, fire safety, etc.
Not to mention some warehouses must comply with the principles of the characteristics of goods such as FMCG, food products, chemicals, textiles, raw material, semi-finished products, etc.
Here are some challenges in inventory management tools in the supply chain in some businesses that we synthesize:
1. Receiving goods (Inbound)
- Receiving information about orders late, inputting manual orders is easy to mistake
- Batch number not recorded, FIFO not guaranteed.
- Depends on the storekeeper’s experience to remember the item, put it in the storage location.
- Difficult to track returns from the market.
- No “tracing” of any batch number sold to any customer. Especially, the goods sold to supermarkets, convenience stores when something goes wrong.
- Small warehouse space, maximizing storage area, is very strenuous to pack.
- It is difficult to investigate the cause if there is a loss of goods, damage, or an incident in the warehouse.
- In many manual operations, labor productivity is not high.
3. Warehouse & inventory management
- Risk of expired goods in stock due to not being able to track the expiry date.
- Arranging the premises according to the types of rows for easy remembering, so it is not optimal to exploit storage space.
- Spend a lot of time tallying, signing vouchers, easy to make data errors.
- It takes a lot of effort to count inventory or do inventory only once a month.
4. Statistics on inventory & inventory report
Manually managing large quantities of imported/exported goods has the risk of causing errors and confusion.
The benefits of inventory management tools in supply chain
1. Manage the warehousing process
- Place the goods in the right place, ensure other warehouse processes are taking place. When your business uses inventory management tools, the goods will always be in the right place to maximize customer satisfaction and lead time.
- Planning of receiving goods: Arranging empty storage areas for goods is extremely important, helping you to arrange workers and equipment effectively, with preparation to meet other special requirements of shippers. (Warehouse worker productivity is higher because more goods can be shipped in less time.)
- Faster handling and inspection of inventory process: Fewer errors, faster receipt processing, weighing, and counting of goods saves you time. (Shorter delivery cycle time)
- Get system/software import instructions: Higher productivity in your warehouse saves you costs, domestic goods are stored in the right locations faster. (Easier and faster freight shipping to find, track and trace.
- Take photographic evidence of the status of goods: is proof of the condition of the goods, supported when there is a dispute with the supplier/owner.
- Print labels and label them in place to replace damaged or lost shipments.
2. Manage the warehouse discharge process
The warehouse management software suggests the most feasible picking and moving cargo options based on an optimization algorithm (based on the history of operation to optimize). Optimizing the efficiency of the picking process, the warehouse manager fits the exact automation and selection strategy with the goods to be handled (pallet, carton, odd lot, cluster, etc).
For warehouses and distribution centers that do not process customer orders, the software can be executed based on received and shipped volumes.
- Reducing picking time: Apply a selection method or a combination of methods to reduce travel time between selected locations. This is the most expensive process in the warehouse. Optimizing this process will reduce costs significantly and increase the efficiency of warehouse operations.
- Packaging and labeling process: all necessary data is entered into the software for processing and making suggestions. Such as size and weight, the best inventory management tools can automatically determine the type and quantity of packaging material that will keep the item safe and the cost of packaging the lowest. The label will always be affixed to the correct position on the package.
3. Inventory management
- Automatic warning system: Inventory is always updated to avoid stock shortage. It will also generate alerts via email or SMS when items are not being delivered so you can find alternative sources or make appropriate business decisions.
- Storage: The goods are placed in the storage space that best suits each commodity/shipment/customer’s requirement. When done properly, the storage process will maximize the available space in the warehouse and increase labor efficiency.
- Replenishment: ensuring that each picking location contains the optimal quantity of product for a smooth and efficient pick-up from stock to main storage areas. Ensure safe inventory.
- Management application: It is an improvement in warehouse management, replacing the method of management & operation manually to move to a paperless warehouse. Help increase inventory accuracy rate by manually deleting data entry. Support warehouse managers who need to move in the warehouse, when they need to access performance metrics, customer emails, internal documents, etc.
- Inventory forecast analysis: Provides reasonable estimates of sales per day, letting managers know how many products are expected to be exported/imported/stored. The construction of forecasting models is complicated by demand and seasonality is easier.
4. Improve competitiveness and customer service
- Improving competitiveness: Logistics and manufacturing enterprises have been moving to apply technology in operation and administration. Help save costs, optimize and automate operations as well as meet customer information technology connection requirements.
- Assigning access to customers: The support feature provides access to many customers and providers. They can actively inspect their goods as well as other responsibilities. Limiting communication by email, phone causes time-consuming, passive, etc. as well as handling other complex professional ways.
Why should you use inventory management tools and techniques?
1. Manually warehouse management is no longer in line with the trend
Usually, businesses use inventory management tools free with excels files or discrete warehouse management databases that are easily confused. Affect operation as well as inventory reporting, causing labor time wasted.
There are many carriers, logistics businesses, and shippers who have operated completely on logistics technology platforms: transport management software, distribution management software, sales management software, etc. Therefore, businesses all require customers to have software or systems that can be integrated into their business software instead of inventory management tools such as excel templates. Helping to share and exchange information quickly and transparently.
Why inventory management tools excel will not help you grow
Many small companies use Excel, which is easy to use and readily accessible on most machines, as their initial inventory management tool. For a while, Excel works well for many small businesses as one of the inventory management tools free. With inventory complexity, corporate owners would soon become expensive and inefficient to manage inventory through Excel spreadsheets. Some of the key constraints are:
- Accessibility: Excel restricts multi-user accessibility. When editing several people at once, a tablet can be saved with contradictory details in multiple versions.
- Errors: Inventory managers via Excel need employees to stock the products and update the master spreadsheet. This is costly and sometimes leads to incorrect data, as repeated data entry.
- Delay: The absence of inventory data in real-time is a major problem.
2. Comprehensive stock inventory management tools
Odoo is an excellent ERP solution platform for open source development that meets all criteria for IT inventory management tools regardless of the size of the company. Advanced features from Odoo ERP such as a double entry, multi-warehouse management, cross-docking, routing, drop-shipping, etc. are great for managing stocks.
An Odoo inventory system simplifies the process of stock management and monitoring to improve quality and performance. It allows inventory teams to perform all important tasks efficiently.
Odoo is one of the best inventory management tools for small businesses that is completely integrated with other software for easy inventory management such as procurement, accounting, sales, production, and shipping connectors.
Features of Odoo inventory management system
Fundamental support for operations
Odoo supports all fundamental activities in a factory. This includes the handling of incoming shipments, inventory counts, bar code packaging, and scrap management. These activities include
Odoo supports the following advanced routing:
- Drop-shipping: Order from manufacturers to customers
- Put away and Removal Strategies: Defining own storage and deletion methods
- Cross-docking: Unload materials from incoming trucks or railcars and move them directly to outbound doors without any intermediate storage.
- Pick-Pack-Ship: Custom order process flow design. Pick-up, packaging, shipment, and other steps are the distribution of goods to consumers in one stage (delivery order).
- Multiple warehouses: Manage all warehouses using the same device.
- Push and Pull Routes: Designs products for automatic transfers between storage facilities or locations.
Some of the features of Odoo traceability are several monitoring processes, serial numbers, operation log, and perpetual assessment so that companies can monitor their product within or outside the inventory.
Odoo offers some solutions to maintain a full inventory. Certain options include:
- Purchase propositions: Get order proposals based on product demand, supplier lead times, and inventory predictions.
- Quotation request: Odoo will automatically trigger the quotation request based on future needs.
- Make-to-order: Consumers can buy goods according to their requirements. Define your relevant product, order, and warehouse paths
Features of Product Management
- Product Type: Odoo promotes various types of products, including physical products, utilities, digital products, and consumer products.
- Multi-level Variants: Multi-level variants are supported by Odoo. Create a scale, attribute, and color matrix.
- Expiry dates: Odoo enables you to monitor product expiry dates
- Multiple barcodes: You can build personalized bar codes for unique events such as special promotions using Odoo.
>>>> Read more: 4 Types of inventory management systems for small business
One of the open-source network inventory management tools such as Odoo offers you a powerful and freely available, highly adaptable program for managing inventory processes, such as monitoring every stock level, promoting maximal sales and orders, starting timely delivery, and much more. Therefore, the Odoo inventory management program promotes a multi-task platform that not only handles the inventory but also needs the manufacturing functionalities.