STEP 3: Inventory – Don’t Get Lost
“Missing isn’t a physical location. It’s a logical location.” – Bas Schilders
Step 3 in the webinar series created to help you improve your warehouse focussed on the critical issue of managing your inventory and returns. This week’s team of experts – brought to you by CeMAT Australia and Fuzzy LogX – provided valuable, actionable advice as well as ideas on how to use technology to achieve accuracy and speed - and where to start in determining which blend of technology you need.
Below is a recap of their insights. You can catch the full recording here.
Bas Schilders, principal consultant, Fuzzy LogX
The big picture: Lost inventory and returns. Very few get it right. Speed and accuracy are key.
Why? You need to make things simple for your customers so they keep coming back. Furthermore, missing inventory equates to lost revenue. Technology in Returns and in Inventory Reconciliation has come a long way. You can increase efficiencies with automated solutions that can do everything from bulk returns to full wall-to-wall inventory counts every night. It depends on the volume of your inventory and returns as to which solution is worth your investment.
Did you know? ‘Inventory-count accuracy by location’ jumped from #10 to #5 on the Top 12 most commonly used DC metrics in 2019
Quote of the session: “Right now for most warehouses inventory accuracy is becoming more of a priority. The reason for this is if I think I have something in stock and someone places an order for that item and I can’t find it, I’ve just lost a sale. It’s the same principle for in a store. If someone walks in and the item they want is not in or it’s not in the size they want it, they’ll just go somewhere else. The same goes for inventory online – if I go to a site and an item shows as available online and I purchase it and I get an email afterwards saying ‘sorry, your item is out of stock’ then I’ll go somewhere else.”
Jean-Michel Maclou, sales manager – logistics manager, SICK
The big picture: Inventory accuracy – where sensors meet the cloud. Real time visibility is essential and can be achieved through smart sensors.
How? There is robust technology available that can help depending on your warehouse environment. Capturing data is important, but only if it is bringing benefit to the organisation or industry. It’s important to understand the gaps within your organisation. Small changes can bring greater efficiency and transparency. Automation is an essential part to stay competitive.
Success stories: Case studies of RFID based solutions for a packaging manufacturer, large retailer, shoe manufacturer, freight logistics company and more have resulted in notable returns. ROI – sometimes within three months – include reduction in time to perform stocktake, improved stock accuracy, regulatory compliance, labour savings of up to 83%, reduction of counterfeit products and increased sales.
Shriram Shridhar, VP International Business, Adverb Technologies
The big picture: Fixed automation or flexible automation? The omnichannel warehouse of the future needs both!
How do you choose a solution? Fixed automation gives you speed, efficiency, and performance. Modular automation gives you configurability, modularity, and scalability. To decide on a blend, start by considering your needs in each warehouse design variable: storage, pick and transport.
In this week’s conversation on inventory, the panel addressed the current hot issue of processing higher than usual volume of returns; new sensor technology innovations that increase data capabilities and pre-empt issues; AMR; drones; fast returns on investment; error reduction and more.
You can watch the full webisode of Session 3
Be sure to register for Session 4 on Putaway & Storage and prepare your questions for our experts to address in our next interactive webinar.