For a variety of industries, supply chain efficiency is the lifeblood of the business. Bumps along the road, like logistics problems, can slow down multiple processes, which could ultimately be detrimental to your company.
Operational efficiency is essential for success, especially for small businesses. Here are some common problems you might encounter in your supply chain and advice for how to overcome them.
Inefficient Inventory Tracking Systems
Are you using manual tracking processes in your supply chain operations? Too many small business owners resort to Excel spreadsheets to manage their inventory and ordering because they believe it’s their only option. While automated inventory management can be expensive, there are free choices available to solve your inventory tracking problems.
Manually tracking inventory with Excel spreadsheets or pieces of paper is tedious. The time spent maintaining spreadsheets can potentially cause a bottleneck with everything else in the supply chain. Here are a few examples of how an inefficient inventory tracking system can negatively impact a business on a large scale:
- Manual inventory tracking increases the chances of human error. A mistake in your tracking system could result in running out of stock because new inventory was not purchased early enough.
- Mistakes in inventory tracking could lead to over-ordering of stock and increased carrying costs. An automated inventory tracking system can prevent mistakes and make ordering more accurate and efficient.
- Manually tracking and updating inventory systems can increase the chances of losing important documents and files.
- Manual inventory tracking can slow down the entire supply chain process and could keep you and other employees away from more important tasks.
A strong inventory tracking system is essential to ensuring your supply chain is efficient. Automated inventory tracking happens in real time instead of waiting for somebody to get around to doing the paperwork. Boxstorm is a free inventory management system created for small to mid-sized businesses as a solution to try without taking any risk. With an automated system, your inventory data is stored in the cloud, so it’s safe and available at any time to authorized users.
Most businesses struggle to control or reduce costs. Without the right processes, supply chain costs could increase until they’re unsustainable for your business. If you don’t have an automated inventory tracking system, and you’re relying on manual processes like Excel, you’re more likely to miscalculate the numbers or over-order stock and subsequently exceed your budget.
An automated inventory tracking system can help you track what you have vs. what you need to ensure costs aren’t getting out of control by maintaining a healthy inventory level. Boxstorm can integrate with QuickBooks to keep your accounting system up to date with your inventory counts, and they can seamlessly work together to keep your budget balanced, your product stocked, and your customers served on time.
Planning and Adaptation
You don’t want to ship product late to customers because you ran out of stock, but you also don’t need extra inventory sitting around and wasting money. Do you have to pick the lesser of two evils, or is there a better solution?
You could overstock to ensure your inventory is always ready no matter how many orders come in, but a lot of money can be wasted on ordering more stock than needed. You’ll also have to store that inventory somewhere, which may cost more money — plus, depending on your location and the timing, that excess inventory could become a tax liability for your company. With a manual inventory tracking system, it could take time before you find out you have an overstocking problem.
Alternatively, understocking keeps costs low, but it can lead to slow business operations, late deliveries, and potentially losing business and revenue. The third option is to adopt an automated inventory tracking system that improves inventory accuracy. An automated system can even get your business to near-perfect accuracy.
Boxstorm uses scanning capabilities that are able to integrate with a traditional scanner you probably already use, or an iOS or Android app scanner, to record and track all of your inventory.
Supply chain logistics are integral to your business’s success, and issues like inefficient and inaccurate inventory tracking could derail your operations entirely. Use an automated system to improve accuracy, control costs, and maintain a healthy balance along the supply chain.