The top 4 barriers preventing your ability to achieve efficient warehouse management

2 June, 2021 by Add Energy

Efficient and effective warehouse management relies on good quality and accurate data, fit for purpose processes and technology and a competent team. When any of these key success factors are compromised, a business is likely to experience:

  • Wasted expenditure
  • Time delays
  • Production deficits
  • Poor productivity
Iain Wood is the Materials Manager at Add Energy and throughout his AL_photo_Iain_Wood30+ year career in the materials sector, he has gained firsthand experience of the headaches and issues that can occur when striving to effectively manage and track down items in a warehouse. In this blog, Iain discusses the main barriers that could be preventing you from achieving efficient and effective warehouse management, and the impact these challenges can have on a business when they are not managed correctly.

1. Poorly managed preservation maintenance

“For some items, preservation maintenance is required to assure they function as they should when they are required.

“The requirements for conducting preservation maintenance can make it difficult to keep track of the locations of critical items due to the maintenance log needing to be manually updated on a regular basis to reflect their condition change, I.e., their location or maintenance being completed. Some businesses may have specialist workshops miles away from the main warehouse, meaning stock that requires specialist preservation maintenance is subject to movement and therefore loss of control.

“If these condition changes are not updated in the digital inventory management system, or CMMS, this may result in items not being able to be located, confusion on whether it is available for use and exposure to risk, because the warehouse team are unsure if the item is safe for use because there is no record of it being maintained whilst in the warehouse, as per its requirements.

“In addition to this, in my experience, poorly managed preservation maintenance can also cause stock to perish quicker over time because there are no triggers or notifications for maintenance requirements, which may result in premature failure of equipment once installed and the need to replace the part at late notice, at a premium price point.”

2. Inaccurate inventory data causing overstocking and excessive spending

“Holding excess stock that you don’t need can cause difficulties and inefficiencies in managing and tracking stock due to excess clutter. Losing track of what equipment you have in stock increases the risk of overstocking and is proven to inflate costs because you don’t know what you have, which increases your likelihood of ordering items you already have in stock.”

3. Laborious equipment counting, verification and logging

“Utilizing traditional manual methods to verify items and add their details to your inventory management system is a time-consuming process and decreases the warehouse team's productivity.

“It is best practice to conduct “cyclical stock counting” throughout the year, whereby a certain proportion of inventory stock is counted in intervals to obtain a sense of inventory accuracy and ensure that not just “easy stock checks” are being done. The results of this will determine whether certain aspects of the inventory management process require investment, such as additional training or the need to adopt new technology to aid inventory management processes and avoid future data issues.”

4. Human error causing data issues and duplication

“Traditional manual equipment tracking using pen and paper, or a data management system does provide the opportunity for mistakes to be made, especially in cases where there are large quantities of stock to be counted, verified or logged. For example, if items that require denomination of quantity tags such as PR (pairs) or PK (pack) are counted incorrectly, this can increase costs as there is the potential to unnecessarily order double the amount of stock needed, based on an incorrect pairing.

“When updating the data by free text, spelling errors or varying abbreviations are common and cause duplication of items in the inventory management system because a new record is created each time. This can result in overstocking, and in the worst-case scenario, you may believe you don’t have any stock (due to descriptions not being correct) and then issue an emergency purchase order, which is likely to inflate the price, whilst that very part was in stock the whole time.” 

A solution for overcoming these warehouse management challenges:

Utilizing RFID tags and sensors to monitor and track items is a highly effective method for reducing warehouse costs, unlocking time efficiencies and making informed decisions relating to stock replenishment.

Introducing AssetVoice™, an award-winning RFID asset tracking and management of change software designed to automate inventory processes and management of change to save money, eliminate time wastage and reduce risk.
AV_Maintenance_ImageAssetVoice™ enables warehouse teams track, monitor and manage items and spare parts in the most effective and efficient way possible.

At the click of a button AssetVoice™ can eliminate the drawbacks discussed in this blog and provide real-time tracking, intelligence and analytics around:

  • Current states and locations of assets
  • Discrepancy reporting and information
  • What is available for use and what is being maintained
  • Automatic notifications and alerts around due maintenance and asset movements
  • Inventory levels and alerts for procurement requirements
  • Accurate asset and associated information and specifications
  • Reliability, maintenance, inspection and location data and history
  • Adherence to procedures and processes
  • Other bespoke needs and requirements

Learn more about AssetVoice

Topics: Inventory Management Optimization

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