5 Tips for Inventory Management Across Multiple Locations
Managing inventory can be stressful when you only have one office or warehouse, but as your business grows and you add more locations, it can become unmanageable. If inventory is starting to become a major problem for your business, it may be time to start using a cloud-based ERP system to streamline your inventory management. Here are five tips for managing your business’s inventory across multiple locations.
1. Track Inventory Accurately
It’s easy for errors to creep into your business’s inventory counts. There are many opportunities for employees to miscount your products, and errors may be inadvertently be made during receiving or during order fulfillment. Products that are damaged or lost but not removed from your inventory can also lead to errors in your counts. Of course, theft can also play a role.
When these types of errors happen at multiple locations, your company’s inventory counts may be very inaccurate. To ensure accuracy, check your inventory on an ongoing basis. Doing a little bit every day can help your counts stay accurate.
2. Track Inventory at Each Location
When you have inventory spread between multiple locations, like warehouses and offices, it’s important to know how many of each item are in each location. If you don’t have a clear idea of your product volume at each location, you could order too much or too little. You could also waste valuable time trying to find the products you need to send your customers.
Tracking inventory at each of your locations is essential. With a cloud-based ERP system, you can input the inventory you have in each location, and easily track which locations have the products you need. This makes it easier for you to manage your overall inventory and transfer products between locations.
3. Use Inventory Analytics
To make strategic decisions about your business, you need timely, high-quality data. This applies to all aspects of your business, including inventory management. With a cloud-based ERP system, you can access analytics that help you make the best decisions regarding your inventory.
For example, the system can track data like your turnover rate. This rate shows you how many times your company turned over its stock throughout the year. If you discover the rate is low and you’ve held onto inventory for a long time, for example, you may decide to order less going forward.
4. Integrate with Suppliers
Maintaining the right inventory level at each of your locations can be challenging. Integrating with your suppliers can make it easier to maintain an appropriate inventory level. This allows you to view information about price, availability, lead times, and back orders from within your ERP system. This makes your ordering process much more efficient.
Integrating with your suppliers also ensures they have product available when you need it. Your suppliers can use the system to see when your inventory levels drop, which warns them that you’ll need more products. When you place your order, your supplier is more likely to have what you need right away.
5. Backup Your Inventory Data
Losing your inventory data when you only have one location is bad enough, but when you lose data from all of your locations, it can be devastating. It takes time to recover data, and orders can be lost in the meantime, so you need to protect your business from these losses.
When you use a cloud-based ERP system for inventory management, all your data is stored in the cloud. Since the data is on the ERP vendor’s servers, it will remain safe, even if you have computer or server problems at your location.