Most Common Warehouse Inventory Errors You Need to Avoid
In order to run your business smoothly, you need to know exactly how to manage your warehouses. And to do that right, you need to be familiar with the most common warehouse inventory errors you need to avoid.
Human error through untrained employees
Many warehouse inventory errors you need to avoid stem entirely from human error. On two different fronts, at that. First, you have the physical work required to load, unload and sort out inventory properly. If your workers are not skilled enough, they will often misplace or even damage some of your inventory. This is obviously not something you can easily overlook since it would not just necessitate wasted time locating the items you need but might force you to replace them. Then, there’s the clerical work, and mislabeling inventory is frequently even worse than physically misplacing it! You do not want to eventually ship out the wrong order. Trained employees are the basis of a solid supply chain strategy at every step of the process. So, even if you are forced to hire inexperienced employees, make sure they get the training they need!
Insufficient stock or excess inventory
Both excess inventory and insufficient stock are equally bad and number among the most common inventory errors you need to avoid. Both stem more or less from the same issue: failure to anticipate the needs and desires of your target customers. The good news is that there are plenty of new and old solutions to this problem. Software that lets you analyze the market more carefully and predict demand is more accessible than ever. At the same time, you have the option of shuffling your inventory to regions where it sees more demand, compared to just letting it sit where it can’t easily reach people interested in it. Letting it hog inventory space over spending the money to have it transported might seem tempting in light of the hope that you’ll eventually find buyers. But, in actuality, it just bogs down your warehouse if you choose to do this.
A disorganized warehouse layout
Bad warehouse layout can cause a ton of issues with your inventory. Foremost among them is the fact that it makes it difficult to get to items quickly when loading and unloading them. Ideally, you should have separate areas for trucks meant to offload shipments and those there to pick up goods. This would let your warehouse function a lot more effectively and even let your workers do their jobs at leisure. After all, if you’re not scrambling to make space for the next truck to come in, you have the time to give each shipment the care it deserves. This minimizes the chances of human errors such as misplacing or mislabeling inventory. At the same time, it increased workplace safety, and, as the moving experts from Apollo Moving note, the safety of your employees should always be a priority!
Errors in inventory tracking
You always need to be aware of where your goods are and what makes up a warehouse’s inventory. An electronic catalog of all your goods and where they are located is pretty much a must! If you need to check in with individual warehouses to ensure they have certain goods, then you are not doing warehouse inventory management right. In this day and age, putting together a catalog of your warehouse inventory is not even difficult. Leverage the benefits of cloud computing in logistics right, and this task becomes extremely simple.
Slipping up on warehouse cleaning
Many businesses tend to overlook the importance of keeping a warehouse clean. This is because new dirt and debris are being constantly tracked in by trucks and general warehouse work. However, a clean warehouse is important for several reasons. First, it minimized the chances of your stock getting damaged or soiled in the warehouse itself. A dirty warehouse makes it inevitable, and then you’d have to deal with customer complaints. Second, dirt ruins more than just the impression people have of your warehouse. It also infects the mindset of your employees working there since if you don’t care to keep the warehouse clean and tidy; it also means they can afford to be careless and inefficient. This easily causes a surge in the number of human errors, and that’s not something you can afford if you want to run a reliable logistics business.
Too much or too little inventory space
Note that too much space in your warehouse is just as bad as too little. Your warehouse needs to match your regional needs. Sure, you can rent out or purchase a slightly bigger warehouse if you want to account for future business expansion early. However, never buy a warehouse that’s too small to accommodate the volume of goods you think it will need to handle. Some businesses believe they can rely on the quick turnover of goods to maintain normal operations. However, this can quickly lead to inventory issues if any delays occur. And delays are pretty much a guarantee in the logistics business eventually! At the same time, the brisk pace of work puts a lot of pressure on your employees. The pressure they might not be able to handle long-term leads to errors or people quitting. Neither of which is an ideal outcome for your warehouse!
“Spread out” stock
The final one of the warehouse inventory errors you need to avoid is ‘spreading out’ your stock too much. We are talking about the practice of businesses renting out several smaller warehouses throughout a city or region. This is done in an attempt to make inventory more accessible to the local markets. However, this also frequently leads to inefficient delivery routes since trucks are forced to take several detours just to pick up all the goods they are meant to ship. If your truck needs to travel to each of your warehouses just to put together an order, you are wasting too much fuel and time with this particular approach to warehouse inventory.
Improved work efficiency and delivery times through proper inventory management
If you leverage what you know about the most common warehouse inventory errors you must avoid, you can seriously improve your business. Organizing your warehouses correctly will make it much easier to make shipments, accept deliveries of goods, and keep overall track of everything.