Real-time inventory management automatically updates your inventory system as you scan items in and out. This method is on the rise, and about 60% of retailers in the US manage their inventory this way. This number is still growing for retailers, as well as distributors and suppliers. Does your company use real-time inventory management? If not, here’s six reasons you should:
Real-time updates keep up as items are scanning in and out. This eliminates the time-lag that often comes with data entry. Perhaps employees are counting stock and batch uploading the update later. Let’s say that they’re counting in the warehouse and updating data in the office hours later. But, you’re using this data to make a time-sensitive decision. How can you be confident in your decision knowing the numbers may not be right?
Furthermore, managing your inventory in real-time can improve your customer service. Employees can quickly check whether items are in stock and can ensure that items are always replenished on time. You can be confident in what your stock levels report. If you share your stock levels with partners or customers, this can help them as well. For example, your supplier can see when you’re low on stock and know that info is reliable.
Also, you can increase visibility by providing your staff with accurate data. Visibility can pinpoint inventory processes that you can optimize to be more efficient. For example, it can help reduce stock shortages with access into your inventory levels. You’ll know exactly where an item is and how much you have. This shows you when to reorder items, as well as forecast demand.
When it comes to data, as the saying goes, garbage in, garbage out. If you’re using faulty data to forecast, that result will be faulty as well. Another benefit of real-time is the ability to analyze any other potential issues.
Without real-time tracking, your employees will end up wasting time. How much time could you save if you didn’t need to locate items in your storage location? Time-lagged data updates can also hinder productivity of your employees. They can’t rely on the system, so they have to physically check whether items are in stock. This time and effort can quickly add up.
With real-time, employees will not need to manually update stock locations. If it seems fishy, the system will alert them and they can do a cycle count. As a result, they will have more time for value-adding activities. This will make your labour costs more efficient.
Another bonus is the ability to view and analyze real-time reports and respond to issues quickly. Real-time reporting can help your business increase sales revenue and reduce costs by giving visibility.
No More Manual Data Entry
As mentioned, manually entering your data takes up a lot of time. With real-time, you won’t need to manually enter data into your system. Instead, it will update as you scan. This not only saves time but reduces the risk of incorrect or duplicate data input. With manual entry, the risk of human error is high. Can you catch all of these errors? Real-time tracking can greatly lower or even get rid of this risk. Also, the system can catch discrepancies and alert you.
With this type of inventory management, the data that is in the system is live and accurate at all times. This means that your employees can trust the data, allowing them to be more productive on the job.
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