Managing large warehouses full of inventory requires meticulous planning and organizing, so inventory management is a must.
Inventory management is the process of acquiring, organizing, storing, and keeping track of goods. Inventory management is the key to efficient order fulfillment, significantly increasing customer service as it facilitates faster deliveries and minimizes potential.
As with all industries in the logistics field, the rapid growth of e-commerce has forced companies to rethink how they conduct business. With stiff competition from giants like Amazon, businesses must not provide fast delivery times to compete.
Due to the speedy changes brought on by e-commerce, businesses must constantly innovate and implement new solutions that improve the speed and efficiency of their order fulfillment process. Each year brings on more and more ways for companies to enhance their inventory management, with technology being the driver behind most of these new solutions.
Throughout this article, we go through some of the more prominent inventory management trends shaping the industry.
Artificial intelligence is implemented into numerous facets of the inventory management process. Artificial intelligence and machine learning in warehousing are used to analyze products to detect defective or inconsistent products to ensure customers get items undamaged and just as advertised. Artificial intelligence-assisted product analysis is essential for businesses that have many goods going in and out of their facility to ensure consistency and promote higher customer satisfaction.
Whether it be robots, autonomous vehicles, or any other machine automating a task, warehouse automation is on a consistent rise. Warehouse automation improves overall efficiency and improves the human staff’s safety as robots take on the more dangerous jobs.
Some warehouses opt to have automation work alongside their existing warehouse management software system through advanced location tracking features and live capacity tracking for shelves. These automation solutions that work alongside pre-existing software are cost-effective options that help keep warehouse costs down while keeping order fulfillment times low.
Cloud-based solutions allow businesses to track their inventory in real-time, storing your data securely and allowing for access anywhere. With this knowledge of your inventory at your fingertips at any time, you can more confidently make decisions on any potential inventory issues you may face.
Also, cloud-based solutions provide other benefits such as lower upfront costs as there is no hardware needed to buy, quicker implementation, always up-to-date software, and improved security and resilience.
Multi warehousing refers to managing and storing inventory in distributed warehouses across a specific region, country, or the entire world. Each warehouse is managed and monitored from a central location, which manages each warehouse within its network. Suppliers and customers will all contact the central location, but goods are stored in multiple regions to allow easier access and a lower cost due to minimal shipping fees.
Multi-warehousing strategies require the previously mentioned intelligent cloud technology, or other inventory management software. Inventory management software is required for multi-warehousing strategies as each warehouse within the network must communicate in real-time to give customers or suppliers that central point of contact without causing delays.
Predictive picking uses data analysis to predict behaviour within the warehouse to recognize patterns and make extrapolations on what must be done next. Predictive picking software can fulfill orders before they are even placed by using data of all previous orders. The software depends on the compiling of data, such as weather, the season, past orders, or planned marketing campaigns to predict customer orders with a high degree of accuracy.
The process is simplified with enough data and powerful analytics tools, but setting up predictive picking can be very complex. For companies looking to get into predictive picking, it is suggested that the collection of data begins early and is very thorough to ensure you have all of the data necessary to leave order fulfillment to inventory management software. The main purpose of this software is to recognize patterns to allow you to plan for reoccurring behaviour. This ensures that stock is ready for a spike or lull in business, so products are under or over-ordered.
The inventory management industry grows more and more each year, new solutions and technologies constantly emerging. While new technology is at the center of these solutions, innovation and optimization occur with pre-existing methods. With the growth of e-commerce and the need for faster and faster order fulfilment times, it is clear that the optimizations and improvements of inventory management will continue to grow and evolve.
At FlexSpace Logistics, we offer comprehensive inventory management solutions across Canada, so regardless of the location of your business, we will have the resources to accommodate. We will handle your shipping and logistic needs with care so you can get back to the more pertinent aspects of your business.
If you’d like to get started, get a quote today, or contact one of our FlexSpace Logistics advisors to find the right solution for your business at 1-844-985-3539.