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Make asset management easy with a Bit Systems barcode solution

New year, new barcode solution

The start of a new year is the perfect time to reassess your business asset management and look at areas where you can improve. Every business has assets to protect and manage, no matter what its size, however, asset management is a process often overlooked by many businesses. Managing your business assets through manual methods rather than with a barcode solution can restrict your business from reaching its potential. Not managing them at all could put your assets and your business at risk, you could lose track of valuable assets that come at a detrimental cost to your company. Asset management through barcoding can help business efficiency, employee productivity and save you money in the long run.

 

Asset mangement. Hand holding money and building symbols.

Why is asset management important?

Asset management is vital if you want to stay on top of your business’ valuables. IT hardware, tools, furniture and machinery are just some of the assets your business may have. Protecting business assets allows you to track the performance of each asset, ensuring they are being used efficiently and that your business is not spending money where it is not needed. Using a systemised asset management process will help you make sure you’ve got all areas of your business under control.

At Bit Systems, we can provide your business with a barcode solution that is sophisticated, yet easy to implement and manage. Our stock control for Sage management solution is GS1 compliant and uses the latest barcoding technology to improve your efficiency. Real-time inventory updates and tracking technology helps you keep track of all your business’ assets. At the touch of a button, you can check where assets are and where they have been. Information is easy to access for you and your employees, gone are the days of wondering where that spare tablet or smartphone is when you choose a barcode solution with Bit Systems.

 

How can a barcode solution improve asset management?

Barcode scanner scanning icon.

Sophisticated functionality

If you want your business asset management to be streamlined and sophisticated with advanced features, then you need software that will reflect this. Choosing a stock management system that doesn’t meet your exact business requirements means you might struggle to improve your asset management. Manually managing your business assets puts them at even greater risk of becoming lost or obsolete. With Bit Systems, your barcode solution can be created with your business and asset management requirements in mind. Bespoke elements and features can be installed in your barcode solution to meet the demands of your asset management. Our Sage barcode solution is designed to make asset management easier for you and your team. At the touch of a button, you can have access to information regarding your asset location, suppliers and lifecycle details. You can receive real-time updates on all information to help you stay on top of your business asset management.

 

Error warning. red circle with yellow triangle and exclamation mark. reduce errors with a barcode solution.

Reduce and eliminate errors

Manually managed tasks are always at risk of human error. Choosing to manually manage your business assets could be detrimental to your business’ efficiency, spending and productivity. Employees may forget to complete a manual management process or complete it incorrectly. This can lead to inefficiencies and even products being lost, meaning your business could lose money. With a barcode solution such as stock control for Sage, the automated tracking and information storage means the risk of error is dramatically reduced. Barcodes and the stock control for Sage centralised hub can hold an extensive amount of data in comparison to manual data storage. You can keep track of which employees are using what assets, where they are, as well as expiration dates for assets if your goods are perishable. When your business’ asset data is easy to keep under control in one centralised location, the risk of error or lost data is much lower.

 

Increased productivity. Box of stock icon.

Increase productivity and save time

If your business has a lot of assets to manage, this can take up a large amount of precious employee time. The time spent on manual asset management can lead to neglect in other areas of work they could be focussing on, decreasing your business efficiency and possibly profit. With a Bit Systems barcode solution, you can manage your assets in a fraction of the time. With stock control for Sage, live updates mean no time is wasted when it comes to inventory management. Live updates and tracking of assets mean that your employees don’t have to waste time manually filling out inventory updates, only for the data to have changed by the time they are finished. Not only does this waste time, but also creates incorrect and out of sync asset inventory recordings. With a barcode solution, you can have access to huge amounts of data immediately. Barcodes can store paragraphs of information about an asset, including things such as when and where it was purchased, when an upgrade is due and anything a user needs to know about it. Manually storing this data could mean employees are required to search through endless documents of information to find what they need. With Bit Systems, it’s all available immediately at the touch of a button.

 

Tracking services. Two locations pinpointed icon.Make your assets trackable

At Bit Systems, we know how difficult it can be to manually track assets. In a fast-paced work environment, assets are likely to be moved around quickly, especially if your employees are required to work away from the office. Long-term assets such as tools and IT hardware often go missing due to employee error or even theft. With a Bit Systems barcode solution, all of your business assets are easily tracked to the last user. Not only can you track each asset, but you can also keep track of its depreciation. Ensuring your business assets are not outdated is essential for efficiency and helps you keep up with competitors. A barcoded asset management system can make sure you are always up to date with your asset status. Stock control for Sage’s live updates means you can receive real-time notifications regarding your assets such as reminders to repair/maintain or update them. This allows you to keep on top of your assets and find out crucial information such as update requirements before it’s too late and you’re left with inefficient or even unusable assets.

 

Affordable. Hand icon holding gold coins.

An affordable barcode solution for any business

You may think you have to spend a lot of money to achieve great results from a barcode solution. The truth is, our barcode solution software is extremely affordable and can be tailored to suit your business requirements and budget. A range of advanced functionalities doesn’t mean your barcode solution has to be costly. At Bit Systems, we’re committed to finding the right barcode solution for your business. We can create a bespoke package tailored to suit your budget whilst meeting the demands of your asset management. Our proposals outline everything you need to know in a price breakdown, there are no hidden costs when you invest in a Bit Systems barcode solution.

 

Barcode solution scanner icon.

How can I implement an asset management barcode solution?

At Bit Systems, we have been providing barcode stock solutions for over 20 years. Our Sage stock control software can be seamlessly integrated into your business and will use the latest technology to streamline your business processes through barcode management. Our barcode solution process is simple. From the moment you enquire, we put your business first. Gaining an understanding of what your business does and what it needs is essential to provide the right barcode solution for you. We understand choosing a new asset inventory management solution can be difficult and are committed to helping you find the right barcode solution for your business. We provide detailed system demonstrations that can be tailored to suit your business and show you how it could work for you, helping you get an idea of what the barcode solution is like before you make any commitment. Our experienced team will take you through the whole process with ease, providing full training for you and your employees on your new barcode solution.

If you want to increase your business’ efficiency and stay on top of your asset management, contact Bit Systems today to find the right barcode solutions for you and your business.

Painless warehousing with a barcoding inventory system

New year, new inventory system

The start of a new year is the perfect time to look back at what your business has achieved in previous years and where you can improve and make changes. One area that can be streamlined to help your whole business is warehouse management, specifically how you manage your inventory. Warehouse inventory management is an integral part of any business. Without it, you can lose track of any products coming in and out of your warehouse. This can be detrimental to your business’ stock levels and affect other areas of your business such as sales and customer service. Having too little stock means you can’t meet customer demand, while too much means your company is losing money through overstocking. Manual inventory management is a laborious task for anyone, is prone to mistakes, and can cost your business money. A barcoding inventory system can help transform your warehouse management, making a once time-consuming and painful task stress-free. At Bit Systems, we pride ourselves in providing the latest developments in technology to give you a barcoding inventory system that works and helps your business thrive. With our Sage inventory management software, you can take your business into the new year with improved processes and set accurate targets in sales and efficiency.

Minimise errors with a barcoding inventory system

Using a manual inventory system in your warehouse can put your business at risk of errors. It’s easy for anyone to make mistakes, especially when carrying out a manual inventory process. Workers can lose concentration over time and even the smallest of mistakes can have a huge impact on your business. From wrong orders to incorrectly identified products, each mistake can be detrimental to business efficiency and customer service. Implementing a barcoding inventory system can help you minimise, or in some cases completely eradicate the risk of errors. Bit Systems barcode inventory system is designed to maximise efficiency and minimise errors when it comes to managing your warehouse. Every business wants to keep errors to a minimum and the start of a new year is a great time to set new targets for your business and employees and implement strategies that will minimise the risk of errors. With Bit Systems, it’s never been so easy. Barcoding stock control for Sage from Bit Systems helps reduce the risk of human error by accurately translating all product information from a barcode at the touch of a button. Our system works quickly, meaning there is no need for workers to spend time re-reading product numbers to make sure they are inputted correctly, they can rely on the Sage barcoding inventory system. If an error should occur, the centralised hub of information allows you to track what happened and when, allowing you to gain insight on how to prevent it from occurring again.

Improved inventory efficiency

The new year is a time of hope and aspirations for any business. Efficiency is an area in business that can always be improved and is the key to success in profit and productivity. Efficiency can be a difficult aspect of improvement to quantify, especially when carrying out manual warehouse tasks. Investing in a barcoding inventory system can help take your business’ efficiency to the next level and allow you to see and track real-time results of improved efficiency. Time is precious and a barcoding inventory system can help you to complete warehouse inventory tasks in a fraction of the time when compared to a manual approach. When you choose stock control for Sage from Bit Systems, you have more time to focus on other areas of your business, while warehouse workers have more time to focus on other tasks once the strain of a manual inventory system is removed. The centralised database means there is no need to wait for a manual inventory to be updated, it’s done automatically and immediately. Multiple inventory systems are a thing of the past once you choose a barcoding inventory system. Your warehouse can be managed from one central place when you choose stock control for Sage. A single barcode can contain a whole host of information such as pricing, supplier and stock levels. You can manage your warehouse with ease with a single barcoding inventory solution. With a reduced risk of human error and fast item analysis and tracking, a barcoding inventory system is just what your business needs to improve efficiency.

Keep costs down with a barcoding inventory system

Spending less and making more money is a goal many businesses set, especially at the start of a new year. It is the perfect time to look over all areas of the business and find out how they can be improved. Sophisticated barcode technology was once a costly luxury, but now as the technology develops, introducing a barcoding inventory solution to your business is more affordable and could help you save money in the long run. A barcoding inventory system gives you complete control over your stock levels, by enabling you to track sales trends and predict how much stock you will need. This can save your business huge amounts of money by avoiding overstocking which wastes money on items that aren’t needed. It can also help you avoid disappointing customers by understocking items. Running out of stock can lead to a loss of sales, as customers could go elsewhere to place their orders. The inventory analysis that comes with Sage barcoding allows you to improve your cash flow and have greater control over your business finances and allowing you to more accurately plan and predict stock levels based on real-time information.

The more control you have over your business’ warehouse inventory, the more money you can save. With stock control for Sage, you have complete visibility over all stock. The system can provide you with live updates on products, which is ideal for businesses with perishable products such as food. Such items need to be sold on time to avoid spoilage and losing money and with a Sage barcoding inventory system, you can get real-time updates on all product information so you can adjust your sales and stock rotation strategy accordingly. These alerts can be tailored to suit your business requirements, from notifying you about upcoming deadstock to reminders on restocking popular items at peak sales periods before it’s too late.

Easy to implement

The start of a new year can be a stressful time for any business, so the last thing you want is to add any form of complication. If your warehouse procedures are stressful and difficult to manage, a barcoding inventory system can take you into the new year with ease and take the pressure off. Barcoding inventory systems at a first glance can leave business owners feeling confused, unsure of what they do or why their business would need one. In reality, implementing a barcoding inventory system is quick and simple. At Bit Systems, we strive to make your journey to better barcoding solutions as smooth as possible, that’s why our stock control for Sage technologies can be seamlessly integrated into your business. Our step-by-step process simplifies the implementation of barcoding solutions.

Our team of Bit Systems experts are present throughout the implementation process. We begin by carrying out extensive research on your business, combining this with clear and consistent communication helps us to create the best inventory solution for your business. You will receive a personalised business proposal before installation to make sure the solution we have designed is right for your business. Implementing the system is easy with our expert engineers on hand to deliver and install your system to the highest standard. Not only are our team there to provide full training on your new system, but they are also on hand to provide support and aftercare after the system is installed. With Bit Systems, you are not alone. Our support team is here to help with any queries you may have and help you manage your warehouse inventory system with ease.

Does your warehouse inventory management take up too much time, cause stress and is prone to mistakes? Contact Bit Systems today to find the right barcoding inventory system for your business.

Smart warehousing with stock control software

Stock control software for warehousing

Most warehouses follow a similar pattern, no matter what industry they are in. A typical warehouse procedure will involve goods in, stock put away, replenishment, pick, pack and despatch. With increasing customer demand and workload, it is essential that your business can stay competitive. Digital technology is constantly evolving and is increasingly prevalent in almost every industry. Embracing technological advances in warehousing can help your business become industry leaders, staying one step ahead of competitors. Digital technology can provide warehouses with problem-solving solutions that can help your business grow. Many warehouses are now turning to technology, particularly stock control software solutions, to help keep their business performing at its best, and turning into smart warehouses.

A smart warehouse automates areas of their operations with problem-solving technologies. Stock control software can help take warehouse operations into the future, helping them to keep up with their customer demand, increase productivity and minimise errors. When you choose our Sage stock control solution, Bit Systems can help your warehouse operations become more streamlined, simple and efficient.

warehouse and stock icon.

What is stock control software?

Intelligent stock control solutions can eliminate the need for manual stock control, throwing out the pen and paper method and the need for multiple spreadsheets once and for all. Stock control software is a digital system that enables businesses of any size to track inventory levels, orders, sales and deliveries. It can tell you how much stock you have, how much you need and exactly where it is. These systems are present throughout your business’ whole product journey, from vendor purchase to reaching customers. They make businesses run smoother by automating and connecting different sectors. This allows your warehouse to increase efficiency, have complete control of your stock, and save time. Typically, inventory management software is often used to avoid stocking issues. At Bit Systems, we specialise in stock control for Sage, implementing barcoding systems that make your warehouse’s stock control software simple. Seamless integration and control over your stock requirements are at the forefront of our systems.

What are the benefits of stock control software?

stock control software. hand and cog icon. efficiency

Automate tasks and increase business efficiency

Stock control solutions can automate and simplify many day-to-day warehouse tasks. Your warehouse workers will no longer need to spend long periods manually checking and updating your inventory. Not only does this save time, but it also reduces the risk of human error when it comes to your business’ stock. Manual stock control and stock takes can take up large amounts of time, not only this but as time goes on, workers can become tired and lose concentration, this increases the likelihood of errors.

Automated stock control strives to eliminate the risk of errors. Fewer errors mean increased reliability and an improved reputation for your business. By automating your warehouse processes, you can take your business to the forefront of digital technology. Bit Systems’ PSS for Sage can eliminate up to 90% of time spent manually carrying out stock duties by simplifying processes and providing workers with instant information and analysis at their fingertips. This dramatically increases the efficiency of your warehouses. By investing in automation, the sooner your business can grow and become a leader in your industry.

stock control software. graph icon.

Identify trends and forecasting

Stock control software can give you a whole new depth of insight into your stock. It will record your previous buying and selling patterns, indicating when you need to upsell, buy and restock. This means you can always be one step ahead of your warehouse management. Receive notifications about your stock levels, so you won’t have to worry about overstocking, or not meeting your customer demand. All the data you will need about your warehouse will be available in real-time and at your fingertips with stock control software. Stock control software means you will no longer have to spend time searching across multiple business platforms and departments for data.

Our stock control solution integrates seamlessly with your Sage Accounts to pull all of the data relevant to each department from sales, to accounts and operations to provide you with a simple analysis of your warehouse stock. From this, you can initiate business plans and investments for the future. By enabling businesses to access to real-time analysis and information regarding their stock, PSS for Sage from Bit Systems also allows businesses to quickly identify trends and make decisions based on the real-time updates and results. 

stock control software. sold out sign icon.

Reduce the risk of overselling

Automated stock levels allow you to have complete control and visibility of your stock, so you never have to worry about overselling. Overselling can be detrimental for any business, selling out of products means you can’t supply them to your customers. This can lead to customer frustration and cause them to go to a competitor instead, affecting your business’ profit as well as its reputation. With a stock control system, you can prevent this from happening altogether. Your stock levels are updated continuously, tracking any trends that occur. This means you can plan for busy and quiet months to help to prevent any financial losses. By utilising automated stock levels to ensure you always have a minimum and maximum stock levels you can now be more prepared for unexpected spikes in sales as well as protecting your business from holding high stock levels of low demand items. 

With Bit Systems, mistakes such as overselling are dramatically reduced. With access to stock patterns and updates, there is no need for your customers to be disappointed. Not only can you prevent overselling, but also carry out tasks with accuracy, meaning your customers receive the right goods in the correct quantity. The more you can prepare for these occurrences, the better service you can provide for your customers, helping your business’ reputation.

sales projection graph icon.

Make better business decisions

By automating your stock control, you can have access to in-depth business analysis and data. Identify high and low performing products, so you can make appropriate profit-improving business decisions. Analysing data allows you to look at seasonal trends and customer buying patterns, so your business is never caught out when it comes to stock management. Investing in a stock control system means you can make calculated decisions quickly and effectively. Any business decisions, including investments and spending, can be quantified and supported by the data that is supplied by an automated stock control software system.

PSS stock control for Sage from Bit Systems allows you to look at your business from a wider perceptive. Our stock control software provides businesses with improvements and solutions, streamlining your whole stock management process and encouraging every department of your business to improve in the same way.  

stock control software. business growth graph icon.

Scalability

Stock control software, such as PSS for Sage from Bit Systems, can grow and adapt with your business. It can become bigger and more complex to suit the needs of a growing business. Most businesses strive to grow and generate increased profit, so it makes sense to invest in an automated stock control system that can grow with you as your business expands. A flexible solution such as PSS for Sage, that grows with your business allows for gradual changes, rather than extreme overhauls that could be a shock to your workforce and the system.

Delaying the implementation of technology solutions into your warehouse can put you behind competitors and be reflected in depleting profits. At Bit Systems, we want to help your business processes improve through automated stock control and advance your transformation, the faster you can grow your business the faster you can increase profits. Make your warehouse a smart warehouse with automated stock control software today.

stock control software. warehouse stock on shelves.

Stock control for Sage

Stock control for Sage is Bit Systems’ stock control solution that can change the way your business or warehouse manages inventories for good. Using Sage 50 and Sage 200, Bit System provides barcode scanning technology that offers your business an efficient and easy to use stock control solution.

When you invest in Bit Systems’ stock control software, you will be improving your efficiency and securing your business with a system that can adapt to your needs, is dependable and measurable.

Contact us today to find out how we can help your business’ stock control.

How barcoding inventory systems impact businesses

Many businesses, big or small have inventory to manage. Barcoding inventory systems are designed to help businesses dramatically increase their efficiency by saving you a great deal of time and money, something every business owner strives to do. 

Many small businesses still use barcoding inventory systems that simply allows them to create and print barcode labels, without any form of inventory management control. However, if you want to improve your efficiency and gain complete control over your small business’ inventory management, it is time to invest in an advanced barcode system with inventory and order management capabilities. While many small businesses are aware of the high-level benefits for such a comprehensive and intricate system, they are not necessarily aware of the day to day benefits or how simple it can be to install such a solution. At Bit Systems, we’re committed to providing businesses with a robust barcoding inventory system that will improve efficiency, simplify stock control and help your business thrive. 

barcoding inventory systems barcode

Are barcoding inventory systems necessary for my small business?

Unless you are selling in a retail market, barcodes are optional. But barcodes are not just for retailers, many small business owners use barcodes to save time and effort and to improve product traceability. Barcodes can be used to track customer orders, products in multiple locations and in multiple warehouses. Additionally, for businesses with multiple physical assets such as laptops, computers, desks and filing cabinets, barcodes can be used to keep track of those too.

You might consider implementing a barcoding inventory system into your small business if:

  • Your business is product-based
  • You manage inventory and are struggling to cope
  • You want a greater insight of analysis and data from your inventory
  • You need to track inventory items, such as moving pieces
  • You are a small business that wants to prepare for growth with a barcoding inventory system that can handle it and grow with your business
  • You run a warehouse

warehouse worker. barcoding inventory systems

How can barcodes help my business?

Barcoding and inventory systems can help small businesses in many ways including helping your business grow. Barcodes can help business efficiency by decreasing the risks of human error, manually typing out inventory numbers or codes into a computer opens your business up to a huge risk of inaccuracy. Not only can the manual task of typing out barcodes and quantities become tedious for any worker, it increases the risk or error. Increased errors means decreased efficiency and productivity for your business and an automated inventory system can help to eliminate these errors and the need to carry out these takes manually.

An automated inventory system can save your business time and money. Not only does manual data increase the risk of errors, it is a slow process no matter what size your business is. The time it takes for you and your workers to complete a task manually all adds up, and by automating these manual tasks you can help your workforce complete jobs in a fraction of the time, therefore increasing productivity for your small business.

Updating products is also easier with a barcoding inventory system. Updating product pricing or information manually can be a time-consuming process for small businesses. Barcoding inventory system methods require much less work when prices or products change. You can make the change once to your barcode system and it does all the work for you.

barcoding inventory systems scanner

Our barcodes are GS1 Compliant

Here at Bit Systems, providing a quality service for your business is our top priority. All of our barcodes are GS1 compliant, so when you implement your barcoding inventory system, you can be sure of its performance and quality. GS1 compliancy imposes barcoding standards that aim to improve business efficiency and effectiveness.

GS1 implements barcoding standards across the many industries, making systems universal, cohesive and seamless. By using GS1 compliant barcodes you can work and communicate with other companies easily. GS1 allows business to quickly identify unique assets, products, people and locations. Industry standard barcoding form GS1 helps businesses to capture and track data such as expiry dates, batch numbers, shipment codes and quantities. All of this data and information can be shared from the start to the end of your products journey. You can also seamlessly share data with stockholders, suppliers and customers through your barcoding inventory systems. 

barcoding inventory systems. barcoded box

How can my business implement barcoding inventory systems?

At Bit Systems, we want to make barcoding inventory systems straightforward for your small business. From the moment you contact us to request more information about inventory management, we can tailor a solution specifically designed for you and your small business needs. Our simple process will help get your small business working more efficiently with a barcoding inventory system in no time:

  • Make an enquiry: When you make an enquiry, we first and foremost gain an understanding of your small business in order to provide a service that works for you.
  • Talk to Bit Systems: We communicate with you directly to find out your business needs. We create a clear dialogue from the start to find the barcoding solution for you.
  • Demonstration our barcoding inventory systems: Our free onsite demonstration is tailored to your business and organised at your convenience.
  • Review our proposal: If you think our stock management solution could help your business, we will send you a formal proposal that will outline the journey of your stock management and barcoding solutions.
  • Go ahead with Bit Systems: If you are happy with our pricing and you want to go forward with a barcoding inventory system, the next step is the project plan that will keep your small business as a priority throughout the whole process.
  • Get started: Once your project plan has been agreed your hardware can be delivered. You’ll receive full training and a breakdown of the bespoke settings and functions for your business.
  • Start barcoding: See the great results your business can get from a barcoding inventory system. Make better business decisions by identifying and forecasting stock, reduce the risk of under or over-selling and help your small business grow!

Now you know what barcoding inventory systems are and how they can help your small business, take control over your warehouse with automated stock control systems. Contact Bit Systems today to see what we can do for your small business.

Compliant barcoding solutions and inventory management

Ignoring compliant barcoding solutions can affect your inventory management

Regardless of the industry, you work in, it is becoming clear that the automation of manual tasks is becoming more prevalent. From robots in factories to self-driving cars, automation is slowly encroaching into our day to day lives, so why not take that concept and apply it to your warehouse. With compliant barcoding solutions, you can do exactly that. Automation is gradually taking over areas within supply chain management and one of those key areas is inventory management.

Automated inventory management is not a new concept, however, the way in which it is implemented can make all the difference. Automated compliant barcoding solutions have been readily available for some time now, but it seems that small to mid-sized businesses have been slow in investing in this type of automation. From our research it seems that there is still some doubt and hesitancy about investing in such technology, so that raises the question, do small to mid-sized businesses have a complete understanding of automated inventory management and how it can benefit their business and what are the hurdles that businesses face when considering barcoding solution for their stock control.

What is automated inventory?

Automated inventory management uses specialist software solutions to provide an audit trail and track all stock movements from the moment they are received to the point of despatch. It can also automate other daily tasks such as inventory planning, ordering, purchasing serial and batch tracking, reducing the number of manual tasks that would otherwise need to be completed by employees.

The above is not an exhaustive list when it comes to the benefits of automation of inventory management. A good automated inventory management solution will also help you to identify demand patterns, generate purchase orders based on forecasts, and help you to enhance your customer service levels by helping you to manage your costings and logistics, to ensure order fulfilment and reduce the possibility of price hikes for high demand items by always keeping a minimum level of stock.

Automated inventory management could significantly benefit many small to mid-sized warehouse businesses, so why is there still some hesitancy and doubt regarding the onboarding of this technology.

Why businesses do not use compliant barcoding solutions

When it comes to managing your warehousing, it can be hard to see past the processes and procedures that are currently in place. When it comes to new software and technology, many small to med-sized businesses are understandably cautious about investing as there are many obstacles to overcome in order to implement a new software or technology, but not attempting to overcome these obstacles can act as a barrier to your success.

“It takes too much time to implement”

Many small- and mid-sized businesses are pushing their employees to the max already, especially if all of your warehouse inventory management tasks are being completed manually. Naturally, many organisations may feel that there is no one in the company available that has time to take on a new project that will include hours devoted to research, negotiation, implementation, training, and maintenance. However, implementing a compliant barcoding solution doesn’t have to come at a loss of revenue in the interim. Our professional implementation team and seamless integration into your back-office accounts means that your current processes and fluidity do not needed to be affected negatively.

“It costs too much to implement a compliant barcoding solution”

Beyond taking up time, a new solution for automating inventory management does require an upfront cost. Naturally, small to medium sized businesses need to be cautious about these expenditures. However, when you use compliant barcoding solutions to manage your inventory, your return on investment far outweighs the upfront costs and will help to reduce your inventory costs even further over time.

“If it’s not broken, why fix it?”

This is a very enticing trap for many warehouses to fall into. Many organisations grow comfortable and often complacent with their existing processes and that’s great if they can’t be approved upon. However, by implementing barcoding scanning technology, your inventory management software can take your warehouse to the next level by freeing up internal resources and reducing costs to help your business grow.

If an organisation is too reliant on their legacy systems due to them working well in the past, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best option for your organisations future; especially if expansion is a strategic goal for you.

If your business is managing well with your current system, you may see no need to spend time or money on a new solution, but once you see the benefits of using compliant barcoding solutions, you will be asking yourself why you didn’t make the transition earlier.

 

Benefits of Automated Inventory Management

While the reasons above are all genuine concerns and barriers to not implementing automated inventory management, they are stopping your business from experiencing the reaping the benefits in the long run. 

We have put together a list below of what your business could gain by implementing automated inventory management:

Efficiency & Accuracy

A compliant barcoding solution makes your processes more accurate and efficient. By implementing this automated technology, you will be able to use the software to handle complex calculations and data analysis at a much faster speed than any employee could conduct. It also reduces the potential for human error, providing you with accurate data in real-time. Automated inventory management software analyses demand trends for all products in your warehouse and generates purchase orders and forecasts based on that data and your pre-set parameters (desired service level, stock turn, spending, etc.) freeing up time from your Warehouse Manager to enable them to spend more time proactively managing the warehouse and less time crunching numbers.

This rise in efficiency will echo down your entire supply chain, orders will be able to be processed faster, purchase orders will be generated quickly, and your suppliers and customers will see the smooth, speedy results, increasing your competitive advantage.

Scalability

Compliant barcoding solutions can grow with you as your business expands. Organisations and warehouses that are too reliant on their legacy systems could be missing out on potential for growth areas for the business.

With digitalization and globalization affecting distributors worldwide, supply chains are lengthening and increasing in complexity. Don’t let an outdated system or process be your downfall. Automated inventory management software will take over and help you pinpoint areas of growth and areas where you could be losing capital instead.

Free up time

This goes hand-in-hand with your business efficiency. By implementing automated technology, you can free up the time for warehouse managers and warehouse operatives meaning that you need to hire less temporary workers during peak seasons and enable your warehouse managers to have more time to pursue new projects and other tasks.

Increased profits

One of the main concerns of implementing automated inventory management for a SMB is how much money it will cost them. However, by only considering the upfront costs, many businesses are failing to consider the ROI the solution can bring to the company. By taking advantage of all the above benefits that automated inventory management can bring your business you will see a reduction in costs as well as an increase in profits as your business processes are streamlined and business efficiency is increased.

By implementing Stock Control for Sage for your inventory management needs, it will not only save your business time, but it will also continue to save your business money the longer you use it. With an automated solution, you can set KPI’s and have a true insight into your inventory costs. Your existing inventory will be evaluated based on its demand cycle and your solution will identify dying or obsolete inventory items. Stock Control for Sage can help you to minimize the money you have tied up in stock by helping you to manage your perishable stock and high and low demand items, helping to keep your customer satisfaction high by consistently being able to fulfil orders.

Don’t wait any longer to implement our PSS software

As your supply chain continues to evolve, you want your inventory management to do the same. Don’t get left behind; see how automated inventory management can work for you with Bit Systems.

Essential Sage inventory management techniques

Sage inventory management techniques continued

Sage inventory management is a highly customisable inventory management process. While the optimal process will be different for every company, every business can benefit from removing human error from stock control management, which means taking advantage of Sage inventory software.

We previously discussed several Sage warehouse management techniques that will save you money, and we are continuing that theme today by discussing several strategy specific goals to implement within your organisation that can complement your Sage inventory management solution.

The following five techniques will help you improve your Sage inventory management—and cash flow.

1. Set minimum order levels

Make your Sage inventory management easier by setting minimum and maximum order levels for each of your products. Minimum order levels are the minimum amount of product that must always be in stock and maximum levels stop you from overstocking on items. When your inventory stock dips below your predetermined levels, Sage inventory management can automatically raise a purchase order to replenish your stock level. This can be set as your “minimum reorder level”. Sage inventory management solutions always give you real-time data and a true insight into your warehouse, which means you can monitor stock levels at the touch of a button.

Although setting minimum order and reorder levels requires some research and decision-making upfront, having set levels will help you automate your process of ordering and make it easier for you to make more informed decisions quickly.

Just remember that conditions change over time, so it is worthwhile reviewing your minimum order and reorder levels on a regular basis so you can make changes accordingly.

2. First-In-First-Out with Sage inventory

Following the “first-in, first-out” (FIFO) principle, can help your warehouse get to grips with inventory management. First-in, first-out is the technique of selling your oldest stock (first-in) first (first-out) and replacing your old stock with your newest stock. FIFO is especially important for perishable products, so you don’t end up with unsellable spoilage. Having FIFO in place helps you to avoid under-appreciating the costs associated with your inventory and therefore, losing money in the process.

FIFO is not only useful for perishable products; it can also be a good idea to practice FIFO for non-perishable products. Packaging design and features often change over time within industries and by ensuring that your oldest stock is always sold first you can minimise the risk of ending up with obsolete stock that cannot be sold.

3. Manage relationships

The ability to adapt is a key quality to have when it comes to successful inventory management. A strong relationship with your suppliers is vital, by building strong relationships, you will have more insight into the availability and lead times of products, get insights into new trends and hopefully solve any supplier issues faster. Whether you need to return a slow-selling item to make room for a new product, restock a fast seller quickly or troubleshoot manufacturing issues. It’s important that your stock control solution has this information readily available for you and a Sage stock control solution can help you to be more agile and adapt to changes in the market.

4. Contingency planning

In an ideal world, your operations would run seamlessly day in, day out. However, there are many issues that can be related to inventory management, if you don’t have the right stock control solution in place.  These types of problems can cripple unprepared businesses.

For example:

  • Unexpected sales increases leading to stock oversell
  • You run into a cash flow shortfall and can’t pay for a product you desperately need
  • Your warehouse doesn’t have enough room to accommodate your fluctuations in sales
  • Miscalculations in inventory
  • Obsolete stock takes up all your storage space
  • Manufacturers run out, or can’t supply your products that are required to complete orders

However, with an inventory management solution like PSS 50 or PSS 200, you can prepare to avoid these unexpected issues. PSS provides you with a solution to quickly capture stock transactions in real-time so your stock reports are always up to date, you can set minimum and maximum order levels so you never run out of stock or over order, you can check supplier balances and manage your cash flow as well as manage stock locations and bins to help maximise storage in your warehouse.

5. Accurate forecasting

A large part of effective inventory management comes down to accurately predicting demand. Make no mistake, this is incredibly hard to do, especially if your employees are having to do this manually. There are countless variables involved and you’ll never know for sure exactly what’s coming—but you can try to get close. Here are a few things to look at when projecting your future sales:

  • Trends in the market
  • Year on year comparisons
  • This year’s growth rate
  • Guaranteed sales from contracts and subscriptions
  • Seasonality and the overall economy
  • Upcoming promotions and industry news
  • Planned additional spend

Creating demand forecasts can help businesses to prepare for seasonal peaks and troughs as well as product trends and events that may change product demands in advance.

Take control with Sage inventory

With an effective inventory management system in place, you can help reduce costs, keep your organisation profitable, analyse patterns and trends that help you predict future sales and prepare the business for the unexpected. This gives businesses a better chance for profitability and survival whilst remaining competitive and agile.

PSS stock control for Sage can help you to automate reporting, trends, analysis and movements of goods.

It’s time to take control of your inventory management and stop losing money. Choose the right inventory management solution for your organisation and start implementing them today.

Sage warehouse management techniques that saves you money

If you are a business owner, particularly in the warehousing and logistics industry the words ‘inventory management’ can bring you out in a cold sweat. To different organisations, inventory management can mean many different things. If the first thing that comes to mind is large amounts of downtime and tedious manual counting, then we believe it may be time for your business to review your inventory management processes. It is common for businesses to reconcile their inventory levels at the end of the year by ‘counting up’ their physical products and this can require a lot of downtime and manual labour. With Sage warehouse management techniques, we believe you can maximise the efficiency of this process as well as save money.

As trends and advances in technologies develop, it is vital for organisations to realise how important effective inventory management is. If we think about inventory management in its most simple terms, your held inventory is a placeholder for your company’s money. Money that you have paid out for inventory, will be eventually recovered, but while that inventory is sat in your warehouse it is just a debit in your company’s bank account.

Holding inventory can tie up significant amounts of your company’s cash – and there are also indirect costs associated with managing high levels of stock. That is why effective and efficient inventory management is crucial for a growing organisation and just like cash flow, it can make or break your business.

The good news is, it is not too late to get the right inventory management techniques implemented.

 

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Why inventory management is important?

Before exploring the intricacies of inventory management, it is important for businesses to understand where you are now in regard to the management of your inventory. Are you just about managing to ensure you have enough inventory on hand and in movement to meet your customer demand or are you happy that your business is achieving a successful movement of inventory?

Sage warehouse management techniques can help save you money.

1. Avoid spoilage

If you are selling perishable products that have an expiry date, for example, food or makeup, then there is a high chance that the products will be spoilt if they are not sold in time. That combined with legal requirements of selling certain products within a set time frame means that without a system like Sage warehouse management, you run the risk of unnecessary spoilage.

 

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2. Avoid deadstock

Deadstock means that you can no longer sell those items. This doesn’t always necessarily have to be down to an expiry date. There are many other reasons you can have dead stock such as your items being out of season, out of style, no longer required or otherwise becoming obsolete.

With Sage warehouse management technology, you can have a system in place that acts as a centralised hub for all your inventory information. This means you can access data in real-time, anywhere; all at your fingertips. Sage warehouse management helps you to avoid dead stock by enabling you to access vital trend information like what products are selling well and which are not, allowing you to make decisions regarding price reductions or increases. Information and alerts on stock levels and pending incoming stock can also help you drive efficiency and more importantly, save money.

3. Save on storage costs

The warehousing industry can often hold variable costs for storage, meaning it fluctuates based on how much product you are holding.

By storing excess inventory and ending up with items that are difficult to shift, your storage costs will naturally increase due to holding stock. Sage warehouse management offers real-time data on any stock movements, adjustments or change and is easily tracked and updated. This pinpoint accuracy allows goods in and goods out to move fluidly and eliminates duplication of tasks, increasing accuracy and validating data in real-time to reduce errors.

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Inventory management improves cash flow

Not only is effective inventory management more cost-efficient, but it also improves cash flow in other ways, too. It is important to remember that you paid out cash for your inventory, and while it is there to be sold as revenue, while it’s sitting in your warehouse it is definitely not cash.

This is why it’s important to factor inventory into your cash flow management. Inventory directly affects sales (by dictating how much you can sell) and expenses (by dictating what you have to buy), and both of these elements factor heavily into how much cash you have on hand. In short, better inventory management leads to better cash flow management.

When you have a solid inventory system like Sage warehouse management, you’ll know exactly how much inventory you have, and based on sales data you can predict when that inventory will need to be replenished to make sure you replace it on time. Not only does this help ensure you don’t lose sales (critical for cash flow), but it also lets you plan ahead so you can ensure you have enough cash set aside for purchasing more inventory.

In our next blog, we will discuss different management techniques and strategy specific goals to implement within your organisation. Remember, money spent on inventory is money that is not spent on growth. To ensure you manage it wisely, contact Bit Systems to see how our inventory management systems can transform your business today.

High inventory levels: Overcoming the hurdles

High stock levels can be a problem for everyone

Small and mid-sized businesses often overlook the issues and costs associated with high inventory levels, and this can be down to a number of reasons. Some businesses just don’t have the time or human resources to address the challenge and others simply don’t have the right tools for the job. Both common challenges for small to mid-sized business, and equally damaging for cash flow, forecasting and reporting. However, surprisingly, high inventory levels aren’t only a challenge for small to medium-sized businesses; large enterprise corporations are continuously facing similar battles. In fact, the imbalances in stock levels occur in companies of every size and in every industry.

Many companies do not realise or take into account the costs that could be eliminated or the capital that could be released by effectively managing stock levels. And while there are times when it can be beneficial for companies to hold high levels of stock, no organisation can take full advantage of this delicate balancing act if they don’t have an insight into their data. This common dilemma makes it extremely difficult for warehouses, logistics and workers in purchasing or inventory management to know how best to manage their inventory levels.

So, what’s the solution? Is there a way to manage high or low inventory levels in a simple and effective way? Inventory management is a complex challenge with no universal solution and in our latest blog, we are going to investigate some of the factors that contribute to high inventory levels and the effects that they can have on a business.

Can high inventory levels work to your advantage?

Inventory management is a balancing act, constantly weighing up how to minimise the costs associated with inventory whilst still guaranteeing the delivery capability to ensure consumer demands are met in line with service levels. This balancing act can only be achieved by having a clear insight into your data, such as purchasing patterns, seasonality trends and up to date stock levels in order to be able to work efficiently. Methods and tools also need to be in place to give you a complete overview of your entire inventory.

By evaluating and calculating your supply chain key performance indicators, you can identify advantages to holding high inventory levels, however without the right software solution in place, you will not be in a position to evaluate them successfully.

Having higher inventory levels can help you to cater for higher than expected orders that have not been forecasted, however, without proper data analysis and insight into consumer and product trends, this can be a high-risk move, as it is not guaranteed that peaks in orders will occur and if they do for what product. This can mean that you face the carrying costs associated with stocking a higher than the required number of items.

By purchasing in higher volumes, many warehouses also have the advantage of a decreased price per unit when placing orders for inventory replenishment. However, this reduction in the price per unit needs to be compared to the costs of carrying the extra inventory, to determine whether the savings outweighs the carrying costs. By integrating our PSS software with your existing Sage Accounts, our advanced functionality can help you to avoid these issues by easily keeping up to date with stock rotation, purchasing patterns and seasonality peaks and troughs.

Do the disadvantages outweigh the advantages?

In simple terms, in our opinion, the answer is yes. Many organisations maintain higher than necessary inventory levels because they do not have the appropriate systems in place to help them effectively manage the stock levels of every single product line and this can lead to excess and obsolete stockpiling up.

Carrying higher than necessary levels of inventory can also result in other negative consequences for your business and can be a heavy cost burden. These costs can be easily overlooked such as extra lighting, heating, air conditioning, insurance and staffing. Not only this, but excess inventory can also be subject to inventory shrinkage as a result of damage, misplaced goods, stolen items and waste, so not only does the value of your inventory decrease as well as tie up capital, it also requires more maintenance costs and on top of all of this there is also still the chance that the excess stock won’t actually be needed.

External factors to consider

Weighing up these advantages and disadvantages is only part of the issue. Businesses also face challenges externally. Many warehouses rely on the coordinated processes and interfaces that are required for all parties within the supply chain: suppliers, wholesalers, and customers. If one of the links in the supply chain fails or falter, this can negatively impact the flow of goods from your warehouse.

Modern distribution operations have accelerated the time it takes to turn goods over, resulting in a rise in competitive pressure. The increased availability of flexible solutions such as just-in-time production and urban logistics concepts have enabled suppliers to achieve a new level of supply replenishment, so it is imperative for small warehouses to be dynamic and avoid high, inflexible stockpiles and the resulting high costs.

All things considered, the disadvantages seem to outweigh the advantages and should not be ignored.

Keeping inventory levels high in order to boost customer service levels is a costly and temporary solution. Eventually, excess inventory and obsolete stock will accrue, ruling out long-term success and leading to financial issues, especially in a fast-paced and dynamic environment such as a warehouse.

But how can you manage the delicate act of keeping enough inventory on hand to keep your service levels high?

The Solution: Sage stock control software

The best stock management solutions reduce your inventory holding levels by helping you to analyse and determine appropriate order quantities, while simultaneously improving product availability through exact order planning and optimised automated stock replenishment. All this is done through advanced analysis and demand forecasting, allowing you to regain control of all your inventory processes and be one step ahead of your competition.

PSS provides you with a solution to quickly capture stock transactions in real-time, with automatic updates and dynamic entries into Sage to drive efficiency and performance. Any movement, adjustment or change is tracked and updated automatically so you don’t have to. This dynamic and innovative addition eliminates the duplication of tasks, increases accuracy and validates data in real-time to reduce errors. This system also delivers pin-point accuracy on despatch orders and receipts and minimises manual labour needs.

Give your organisation greater flexibility and agility today.

 

Managing seasonal supply disruptions with Sage stock control

Be on top of your inventory all year round

Even though we are still holding onto a bit of sunshine through Autumn, there is no denying the colder winds are beginning to make an appearance once again. Naturally, with the leaves falling and the brisk winds approaching, consumers may turn their attention to holidays such as Halloween and Christmas. But for companies, this means looking at their stock control.

For the warehousing, logistics and manufacturing industries, holidays such as these have been on the horizon for a long time throughout the year. When managing a warehouse, forecasting demand isn’t as black and white as the seasonal weather changing in front of you, it takes planning for resource, informed estimates of stock for new and old trend products as well as accurate forecasting of traditional stock items.

Seasonal supply disruptions can be made easier and more seamless with Sage stock control, however, staying on top of demand fluctuations throughout the year can be difficult for distributors to navigate without the proper tools and processes in place. This doesn’t just occur for distributors, seasonal supply disruptions happen the whole way through the supply chain and in this blog, we are going to look into how you can overcome some of these issues.

Seasonal events that can affect your stock control

Before we look into what can be done to overcome the issues of seasonal changes in consumer demand, we are going to explore a few examples of popular holidays that can have major implications on your stock management if they are not planned for correctly, and what may occur if you don’t have a solution such as Sage stock control in place.

 

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Christmas Inventory Demands

Christmas and New Year’s, a very popular and exciting holiday that can quite literally take up the whole year planning and getting the right levels of stock ready and sent out to retailers at the right time leading up to the festive period. As one of the busiest periods for many distributors, many warehouses need to draft in temporary staff to cover the extra workload and to cover full-time workers who want to take time off for the festive period to spend time with their friends and family. This can cause major disruption to supply chains as well as your inventory management processes if you are not using the right stock management solution.

In order to make temporary staff as efficient as possible, it is imperative to have a solution that is simple to use and intuitive. Spending time training temporary staff on how to use stock management software is time wasted, so the quicker they can learn to use the software the better.

Christmas can also throw up other stock management issues such as where your stock is being sourced from, supplier lead time and how efficiently you can replenish and stay on top of movement of stock in order to cover the extra demand over the festive period. Manufacturers, in particular, cut down on production operations to the bare minimum and most likely have only a few members of staff to assist over the festive period, with some even shutting down completely. This is due to prior planning and the advanced manufacturing of the products and items that lead to the countless isles and shelves being stocked with everyone’s favourite presents.

 

santa-claus reindeerchristmas-tree

Chinese New Year – Demand Forecasting

This holiday has a huge impact on distributors and warehouses in the exporting and importing industry. The Chinese New Year, depending on the lunar calendar can be celebrated for up to 2 weeks or often longer. This results in a number of employees taking holiday shortly after Christmas and can have implications on processes, manufacturing and logistics.

So, whilst manufacturers are slowing down, warehouses and inventory management are doing the opposite. If production is slowing down immensely, software solutions like Sage stock control allow distributors and warehouses who source from these manufacturers and suppliers to ensure they have enough inventory to cover their demand leading up to and throughout the holidays until production resumes.

dragonChinese new year icon - torii gatelantern

 

 

So, that begs the question, how does Sage stock control help to achieve this?

Coping with Supply Disruptions with Sage Stock control

These annual supply disruptions are unavoidable for your supply chain because reality is, we can’t change the seasonal calendar. So how can you make sure to maintain your fulfilment rates and keep customer satisfaction levels high?

Warehouse inventory management

Replenish early

With Sage stock control, you gain visibility into your stock in real-time data. With an effective inventory management software solution, you can manage your annual supply disruptions, so you know when you need to replenish your stock in time to meet consumer and seasonal demand. However, there are also additional variables that need to be taken into account, and a number of key questions businesses need to consider.

 

What are your key products over the festive period?

How long is the lead time on those products? 

Do you have enough to cover demand?

 

Manually forecasting is always a good place to start when it comes to the replenishment of your stock. However, a more effective way is implementing the use of an inventory management solution like Sage stock control. This puts you at a competitive advantage as you can consider the different demand types for each product and have real-time insight into your inventory levels.

However, it is a balancing act between stocking enough inventory to cover demand and overstocking (which can result in tied-up capital and obsolescence). While it’s important to ensure you have enough stock to cover your demand through the holidays, it is equally important to make sure you do not over replenish leaving you with excess stock that is unlikely to be sold once the holiday period is over. This can be a delicate act, but with Sage stock control, it can make forecasting your demand easier.

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Communicate effectively with your supplier or be a good communicator

Whether you are dealing with a supplier, or you are the supplier, chances are, you will be managing warehouse stock movements and it is easy to get inundated with orders whilst trying to prepare for the holidays. Typically, as a wholesaler or retailer you will plan in advance with your manufacturer what stock you will be needing, however it is up to you to make sure that lines of communications are open so that your supplier is not blindsided by a large order that they will not be able to fulfil in time and that you take into account your supplier lead times and possible extensions to that lead-time during a busy period. Sage stock control can notify you of any stock levels that are low so you can prioritize these items. Understanding the pressure around the holidays and being able to do something about it can be the difference between having a successful holiday period or not.

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Streamline processes with Sage stock control

Streamlining processes when it comes to warehouse management is something to consider all year round. However, the hectic festive periods can highlight this importance even more. Holiday periods are busy enough without scrambling to put together replenishment orders or analyse data for forecasting, so make sure that you are in control and your supply chain is operating smoothly from start to finish with a Sage stock control solution. Using a software solution instead of manual stock management will help you to manage your holiday procurement more effectively from start to finish and get rid of any unnecessary stress. Not only will your speed and efficiency improve, but costs and errors will be reduced. By preparing your supply chain for these annual disruptions, you can make sure that your business will remain operational and trusted by both your suppliers and your customers. If you’re interested in making the festive holidays less stressful and help your business flourish with seamless integration of Sage stock control, give us a call today.

Sage barcoding and Inventory Optimisation

What is inventory optimisation?

We have previously discussed in detail how inventory management can be achieved with Sage barcoding. However, even if you don’t currently use Sage barcoding, you probably already have inventory management practices in place, that are being implemented into your supply chain to enable you to manage your stock. In this latest blog we are going to dig a bit further into inventory management and investigate inventory optimisation, what it is and how can you utilise it.

Inventory optimisation is a method of balancing capital investment constraints and service-level goals over a large range of stock-keeping units, whilst taking demand and supply volatility into account. Sounds pretty complex right, but to put it into simpler terms, inventory optimisation is the implementation of processes to help you achieve the right levels and variety of inventory to meet your target service levels, whilst tying up a minimum amount of capital. You may recall that in a previous blog we investigated the costs associated with inventory, so how can this be achieved?

Inventory optimisation is achieved by accounting for both supply and demand volatility. By having the right stock control solution in place, planning for volatility is achievable for all businesses. Inventory optimisation is the next level of stock management for warehouses and supply chain managers and buyers.

Inventory optimisation with Sage barcoding will make you more competitive

Today we live in a world of disruptive technology, the rapid changes in the IoT, digitalisation, globalisation, and advanced technologies are shaking up industries and causing many to rethink the way they currently do business. Alongside this, consumer habits and behaviours are also changing and evolving rapidly, where consumers are looking for instant gratification and are more likely to look for elsewhere if stock is unavailable or they need to wait for delivery.  New technologies allow for the sourcing of more competitive and better products from all over the world, what do you do if your company or organisation isn’t at the heart of it all?

The simple answer is, failing to optimise your inventory means that you will fall behind your competitors. Complex and intricate global supply chains, where every aspect of an organisation is linked, leaves opportunities for failures, but those who are ready and can account for uncertainties will be a step ahead of their competition and more importantly, in a better position to meet consumer demand.

Big companies like Amazon and eBay already have advanced stock control systems in place for optimising the supply chain, allowing them to source products from all over the world and deliver to their customers – sometimes within only a few hours. Not only this, but they will also have the internal capabilities set up to monitor inventory levels and manage the movement of stock from warehouse to warehouse due to their stock control systems. But this is far from reality for many small- and mid-sized warehouse businesses (SMBs) who are still trying to calculate order quantities, safety stock and reorder points in Excel. Manually managing the supply chain often results in rough estimates for inventory quantities, which in turn can lead to excess inventory (that will eventually become obsolete) or, alternatively lack of stock and consequently poor service levels for their customers.

However, by utilising Sage barcoding technology you will be able to predict seasonal demands, track diminishing and new trend products, as well as set minimum and maximum stock level alerts. In previous times consumers would be willing to wait for the right product to come into stock, but in today’s competitive market and with the wide availability of next day delivery, you are more likely to lose that customer to another competitor if you aren’t able to deliver. After all, your competitor is just a click away.

Key elements of inventory optimisation

Determining exactly how much stock you need to order and when it needs to be ordered, means you can optimise your inventory to meet the demands of your customers. However, it is more of a science than a simple ordering system. Optimising your inventory with Sage barcoding technology takes seasonality and promotional campaigns into account, as well as monitoring supplier lead times and schedules. By staying on top of these fundamental trends and always having an insight, you will have much better control over your inventory, warehouse levels and will minimise the amount of capital you are tying up in stock. However, there are also other key elements that you need to consider such as Demand Forecasting, Inventory Policy and Replenishment.

 

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Demand Forecasting

There are different ways of forecasting demand, from qualitative forecasting, when historical data is not available for a product, to time series forecasting, for products with historical data which involves the comparison of two periods of time. While time series analysis, can be highly effective for identifying seasonal fluctuations and cyclical patterns, it can steer you in the wrong direction if used in isolation. Successful demand forecasting often relies on looking at both qualitative and time series forecasting. Looking at estimates of seasonal and demand trends should be an ongoing process of testing and learning. With Sage barcoding technology, you can analyse seasonal peaks and troughs through time series analysis, as well as identifying new trends to help you get a real insight into your warehouse.

Every product has a life cycle. When a product is first introduced to the market it will have no historical demand, therefore you will not have any historical data to compare it to. Therefore, you will need to look at estimates of trends for the product from market analysis, reviews and comparative analysis. From the introduction, most products move into to a positive trend of growth, where the demand is continually growing until the product reaches maturity and demands becomes stable. After reaching maturity, most product demand eventually becomes more irregular and finally moves into a negative trend of decline, where consumer demand is falling and the product becoming obsolete. The product lifecycle is a general rule of thumb and by no means a set lifecycle for all products in all industries, and can also be subject to change due to the revival of trends.  But to accurately forecast your demand, it is a good idea to know where your inventory is in the product life cycle and how it is moving through it.

 

Business and Marketing Concepts, 4 Stage of Product Life Cycle Chart on Black Chalkboard.

 

Another key factor to be aware of is seasonality. For example, a product where demands peak mainly in the summer, such as suntan lotion or sunglasses cannot be forecasted purely based on the previous year’s demand. Other factors need to be considered such as the predicated weather trends, the steady trade from holidaymakers, new products on the market and new competitors, as these factors will also influence the market.

To be able to effectively analyse the demand and manage your inventory levels to meet these demands, the right stock control solution can help you to find and analyse this information making it easier for you to optimise your inventory management.

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Inventory Policy

Another key factor in inventory optimisation is Inventory policy. Inventory policies are the guidelines and policies set for your business to ensure that your inventory is correctly controlled and cost and losses and shortages are minimised or prevented. Inventory policy may seem similar to forecasting demand; however, your inventory policy is the black and white of your warehousing and stock levels.

Your organisation will need to consider at what minimum stock level you will set your reorder points and what your order quantity will be when you hit that point. This will help your business to insure minimum stock levels are kept, to be able to cover a sudden peak in demand or supplier disruptions, which can simply sometimes be unforeseen.

However, even if your inventory policy is set and working, if you have multiple warehouses for your stock, it can be difficult to keep track of all items. Advanced functionality like our PSS Sage barcoding multi-location capability allows you to optimize your inventory and distribute it to the correct location, in the correct quantity. Making it easier to locate all of your inventory at any time, and helping you to fulfil your consumer demand.

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Replenishment

Last but certainly not least is stock replenishment. Stock replenishment uses your inventory policy and the minimum stock levels set to turn them into actual orders. For example, a typical replenishment model will choose the minimum stock value as the reorder point, and the difference between the minimum stock level and the maximum stock level as the target quantity to order. By implementing the right stock control solution, you won’t have to worry about doing this manually, as replenishment rules can be automated.

Replenishment is a crucial element to having the right stock, in the right places, at the right time. This is the foundation of inventory optimization. These calculations can be done in Excel and be manually entered into your ERP, but if you have a few hundred items in your inventory (or more!), it’s almost impossible to correctly track everything manually.

With a Sage barcoding stock control solution, your replenishment can be automated you only need to take action when the system alerts you. All you need to do is implement the right solution and watch the success unfold.