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Smart inventory system for efficient inventory management

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Every business needs to manage its inventory, but it’s never a simple task. You’ve got to weigh up a ton of strategies and approaches carefully. That said, if you need help with keeping your inventory in check, whether it’s running out of stock more often than planned or dealing with surplus inventory eating into your profits, now is the right time to seriously consider an inventory management system.

It’s a smart move to streamline your ordering process and get your inventory management on track.

Finding the right inventory management solution takes a lot of time. With so many options out there, how do you pick the one that fits your business needs best?

It is out of question, you need to know which features are must-haves for your operations. 

Did you know?

  • Inventory, accounts payable, and receivables lock up over $1.1 trillion in assets.
  • U.S. retailers hold approximately $1.43 in inventory for every $1 of sales.
  • Around 75% of supply chain professionals aim to improve their inventory management strategies.
  • About 54% of businesses are going to expand their warehouse spaces, aiming to increase the variety of inventory stock-keeping units over the next five years.

Why inventory management is important?

No matter the company’s size or sector, inventory is always a big deal — it’s the heart of the supply chain, holding all the goods safe.

That’s why an inventory management system is non-negotiable. It’s the secret sauce that lets companies keep tabs on their stock and hit the mark with pricing.

This system also helps you smoothly handle any sudden spikes or drops in product demand, all without compromising on quality or the customer experience.

While the importance of inventory management cannot be overstated, it’s accompanied by a set of challenges that businesses must address. Let’s explore these obstacles to better understand the path toward optimisation.

What are the challenges in inventory management?

As we hit the basics of inventory management, let’s check out the challenges of managing inventory. Here’s the scoop on the usual suspects:

  • Limited visibility into inventory
  • Inefficient inventory management processes
  • Misplaced item’s location issue
  • Spotting outdated stock
  • Challenges in tracking materials
  • Lack of a centralised inventory control
  • Issues with defects and waste

 

Identifying these challenges is the first step towards solutions. Modern technology offers several types of inventory management software, each designed to address these issues in unique ways. Let’s explore these systems to see how they cater to diverse business needs.

What are the types of inventory management systems?

Inventory management systems are diverse, each designed to fulfil specific business needs.

Barcode Systems

These use barcodes and scanners for tracking. Each item is marked with a unique barcode, which is scanned to monitor inventory movements and update stock levels in real-time.

RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) Systems

Companies employ RFID tags for tracking, with readers collecting data wirelessly, bypassing the need for direct scanning. This streamlines and enhances the accuracy of inventory management.

IoT (Internet of Things) Systems

Sensors and devices help to monitor stock, environmental conditions, and logistics in real-time.

Cloud Systems

You can use cloud storage for inventory data, allowing for remote access, flexibility, and easy integration with other business systems.

AI Systems

Now, businesses can analyse diverse data sources to forecast demand and manage inventory. They automate decision-making, continuously learning and adapting to optimise inventory efficiency.

Understanding the importance of inventory management lays the groundwork for addressing its inherent challenges, which are vital for businesses seeking efficiency and growth. 

What is a smart inventory management system?

A smart inventory management system uses the latest tech like IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things), robots, and RFID to keep an eye on every move of your stock.

This technology helps to check where your items are and how many you’ve got, all in real-time.

This means your inventory is always at the perfect level. You get a full view of what’s happening in the warehouse, making the whole inventory process smoother while reducing the need for manual work.

Key advantages of smart inventory management software  

The advanced features of smart inventory management systems bring forth a multitude of advantages. From automation to real-time data access, these features significantly enhance decision-making processes. 

Automation

A smart inventory system streamlines processes by automating tasks like tracking items, updating databases, generating reports, and restocking. This efficiency saves time, reduces effort, and minimises human error.

Real-time inventory visibility

A smart inventory system grants managers comprehensive visibility by offering up-to-the-minute updates on item status, quantity, location, and movement. This allows for more accurate demand forecasting.

Inventory optimisation

Smart inventory systems prevent overstocking and understocking by maintaining optimal inventory levels and facilitating a just-in-time inventory approach, reducing unnecessary warehouse expenses.

Supply chain disruption detection

By monitoring warehouse operations in real time, these systems can swiftly detect and respond to supply chain disruptions, analysing patterns to pinpoint and address bottlenecks.

Enhanced customer satisfaction

Smart inventory management also contributes to a positive customer experience, as it ensures orders are handled efficiently, and deliveries are made on time.

With analytics-driven oversight to avoid overselling and maintain stock availability, businesses can bolster their reliability and foster enduring customer relationships.

How businesses take advantage of smart inventory systems

Let’s examine how top leading companies have successfully implemented smart inventory technologies to shake up their inventory management.

Decathlon

This French retailer specialising in sports equipment, rolled out an innovative inventory management tool called StockBot across its global stores to enhance staff efficiency. StockBot, equipped with RFID tracking and advanced navigation capabilities, roams the store on its own, gathering and updating inventory data in real-time. This allows store employees provide more qualitative customer service.

Real time monitoring add hosts smart inventories for customers

Kroger

The biggest supermarket chain in the US launched EDGE smart shelves to transform the shopping experience into something far more personalised. These shelves use IoT technology to display dynamic pricing, promotions, and detailed product info. They sync with shoppers’ phones through Bluetooth, guiding them to their listed items by illuminating them on the shelf. Additionally, IoT sensors strategically placed throughout the store gather real-time data on customer interactions, which the system analyses to optimise inventory management decisions.

Business value the future of retail industry

Polaris Industries

Polaris, an American automotive manufacturer, implemented an RFID tracking system to automate inventory management across its production facilities. This system provides workers with real-time updates, allowing them to pinpoint the exact location of items along the production line. By automating inventory tracking, Polaris has enhanced the accuracy of its inventory counts and significantly reduced the costs associated with manual labour.

unique feature for organizations retail inventory management inventory management techniques

DHL

DHL’s smart warehouse in Beringe, Netherlands, is a prime example of how tech makes work easier and safer. It’s a perfect interaction between robots and humans, where stationary robots with the ability to see and recognize different packages handle the picking tasks. Then you’ve got these mobile robots that roll up to workers, ready to take goods where they need to go, cutting down the heavy lifting and making things a lot safer for everyone. Plus, with wireless tech keeping an eye on where everyone and everything is, they can quickly figure out if any spots are getting too crowded or if something’s blocking the way, helping everyone move around more smoothly.

The final word

Today, businesses around the globe are waking up to the importance of smart inventory management systems. Effective inventory management plays a major role for any company aiming to improve their investment outcomes. It makes operations smoother, boosts efficiency, and enhances the customer experience.

Leading companies across the world are now turning to inventory management tools as they get a clear understanding of their stock levels, streamlining their supply chains, cutting down on manual work, and taking their inventory processes to the next level.

Here is how you can efficiently manage stock with our smart inventory software:

  • Identify line items, minimising errors and manual data entry with QR codes or barcode labels.
  • Implement smartphone-based inventory management and tracking. Regular smartphones or tablets, whether iOS or Android, can scan barcodes, QR codes, NFC, or BLE tags. This allows employees to use their personal devices, reducing the need for additional scanning hardware.
  • Check stock levels across all locations, accessible via mobile devices in the field and computers in the office.
  • Access and review reports from any location. This includes real-time stock levels in various locations, inventory transaction history, and analytical reports.
  • Adopt IoT for smarter inventory tracking. Minimise dependence on manual checks by employees through a Bluetooth IoT asset tracking system.

 

Discovering the benefits of smart inventory management solutions could spark your interest in this technology. At Altamira, we specialise in developing inventory management systems tailored to businesses of every size. Get in touch with our experts to learn more about smart inventory management software able to change the way your business works.

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