Managing Inventory in Multiple Locations
Do You Have Inventory in Multiple Locations?
As your business grows, you will likely need additional warehouse space, office space, storage facilities, construction sites, service vans, etc. While this is a good gauge of a business’s overall health and success, it can create many logistical headaches, including how to effectively manage inventory and track assets across multiple locations.
Here are a few suggestions on how to manage inventory at multiple locations:
Centralized Inventory System – If you have multiple locations, it is essential to centralize your inventory tracking system in order to properly gauge inventory levels at each location. This will help you make inventory decisions involving transferring stock, reordering, forecasting, pricing, etc.
Cloud-based Inventory System – Having multiple locations constitutes the need for a cloud-based inventory management system that utilizes LiveQR codes, such as TRXio, to allow for visibility into your supply chain since the inventory data is continuously updated. Additionally, the data is stored in the cloud so it is much more secure than it would be in a local system.
Real-time Reporting – A central, cloud-based inventory management system allows employees at multiple locations, including an office, warehouse, or service truck, to view real-time inventory data on their computers or mobile devices. They are able to pull updated reports on virtually every aspect of their inventory, including inventory min/max, daily item movement, inventory by location, stock level at each location, etc. This enables employees to quickly locate parts and materials to fill orders and reorder supplies.
Adjust Stock Levels by Location: If you have multiple locations, it is necessary to determine the necessary “minimum maximum levels” for each individual location in order to maximize efficiency.
Go Paperless – Paperless picking and packing by using barcode scanners is a great inventory management technique, especially If you have a large inventory or if you have inventory in multiple locations. Scanners are not only efficient but they accurately track inventory movement.
Warehouse Layout – If a warehouse isn’t organized, employees will spend too much time filling and shipping orders. By improving your warehouse layout, you will optimize space and efficiency across all of your locations. If you have multiple warehouses, you might even consider using the same layout for each one. As a rule of thumb, always place faster-moving items near the packing and shipping area so they are easily accessible.
Warehouse Location – Choose the location of your warehouses wisely so it is geographically optimized for logistics. Some things to consider are the distance from highways, your customers, or your other warehouses.
Minimize Risk – if you have multiple locations, consider storing your most valuable items in different locations. This minimizes risk in the case of theft, fire, etc.