Harmonize Your Business

Posts by mdrake

How to Manage Inventory in 10 Steps (with Pictures)

By on Jul 24, 2014 in Blog, Harmonize Your Business | 0 comments

How to Manage Inventory with a System The first step in managing your inventory is recognizing that it needs managing and that it isn’t being managed now (at least not as it should be).  I won’t say this is half the battle…more like 25%.  One might be surprised at how long a business will struggle along in inventory denial before taking responsibility and admitting there is a problem.  Often awareness that inventory is not being managed well comes in the form of a (hopefully) minor disaster surprise in some operation on your inventory.  Examples might include: Not being able to deliver items on schedule because they had to be ordered unexpectedly (I could have sworn we had five of those on the shelf!) Delivering the wrong items by mistake (Oh…you wanted the 5C1-Zero-3 not the 5C1O3!) Simply being overwhelmed by quantity. (I know it’s around here…somewhere!) The second step is to characterize your specific inventory issues, deficiencies, and needs.  Not all inventory problems are the same–though they are related.  Make a list of the symptoms you are experiencing.  Don’t be afraid to ask other stakeholders what issues they encounter that make their lives difficult. Review your list with other stakeholders. An example list might include: Receiving leaves entire palettes of goods on the warehouse floor and we don’t know to which projects the goods are allocated. Expensive materials come in, but no one checks them for quality assurance until months later…only to discover that the materials are defective. Supply doesn’t keep up with demand because purchasing is ordering the wrong quantities or the wrong products If you already have an inventory system, find out if it is actually being used the way it is intended.  Are the users keeping system data up to date?  If now, why not?  If you don’t yet have a system, you probably should invest in one.  We have our own recommendations, of course.  Why use an inventory system?  Well, the short answer is we are human beings with finite brains.  Eventually, we can no longer keep up with complex management problems.   Oh yes…a brief note about spreadsheets. Spreadsheets are wonderful tools, but they’re not designed to manage inventory. You really, really need a...

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