An important component of good warehouse services is inventory management. This includes the creation and maintenance of a sensible, effective warehousing design. A well-organized, user-friendly warehouse layout is an enormous benefit to business owners, especially if they are involved in processing large volumes of goods and materials. Conversely, an inefficient warehouse system can cost businesses dearly in terms of efficiency, customer service, and profitability.
An inventory control system encompasses all aspects of managing company inventories: purchasing, shipping, receiving, tracking, warehousing and storage, turnover, and reordering. In different firms the activities associated with each of these areas may not be strictly contained within separate subsystems, but these functions must be performed in sequence in order to have a well-run inventory control system. Computerized inventory control systems make it possible to integrate the various functional subsystems that are a part of the inventory management into a single cohesive system.
In today’s business environment, even small and mid-sized businesses have come to rely on computerized inventory management systems. Certainly, there are plenty of small retail outlets, manufacturers, and other businesses that continue to rely on manual means of inventory tracking. Indeed, for some small businesses, like convenience stores, shoe stores, or nurseries, purchase of an electronic inventory tracking system might seem like a wasteful use of financial resources. Depending on the scope of their inventory, these companies might be better served by manual systems, bar coding systems, or radio frequency systems.
Firms operating in industries that feature high volume turnover of raw materials and/or finished products typically use computerized tracking systems as a key component of their business strategies. Good warehouse management increases productivity and maintains competitiveness. Moreover, the recent development of powerful computer programs capable of addressing a wide variety of record keeping needs, including inventory management, into one integrated system have contributed to the growing popularity of electronic inventory control options.
Business experts commonly cite inventory management as a vital element in warehouse services that can make the difference between success and failure in today’s competitive business world. Custom warehousing and traditional warehouse inventory management now uses telecommunications technology as a critical organizational asset that can help a company realize important competitive gains in the area of inventory management.
Companies that make good use of technology are far better equipped to succeed than those who rely on outdated or unwieldy methods of inventory control.