A typical inventory tracking system keeps a running record of inventory as established by the original implementation – usually how many go out and how many come in, based on the data in shipping and receiving. A source of errors with this system is the fact that the physical items are never actually physically counted; it’s mistakenly assumed that whatever the invoice says is correct. This leaves the true accuracy of the counts in question, so it is crucial that a physical count of the items in the bins matches the counts on the shipping and receiving papers.
When setting up a system for tracking and controlling inventory at a bin level, even those using the most sophisticated system should follow several rules:
Use a Uniform System of Item Names
- How should numbers be indicated? For example: eight versus 8.
- How should items be capitalized or not capitalized? For example: purchase order versus Purchase Order.
- Are people’s names going to be involved? If so, do you want “last name, first name” or “first name last name”? Do you want to use prefixes like “Mr. or Ms.”?
Use a Consistent System of Labeling
- If you’re labeling multiple locations, like bins, racks, aisles, etc., how do you want those labels to look? Do you want all the labels to look the same, or should the bins’ labels be red and the racks’ label be blue?
- Name all locations in the same consistent way. For example, if bins are labeled with numbers, do you want “#8” or simply “8”?
- Use a simple, easy-to-read font.
- Make units of quantity consistent. If you prefer “pounds” versus “lbs,” it should always be that way. If something is liquid, you should decide between “ounces” versus “oz” and then label all appropriate items accordingly.
Speed Up the Process With Bar Codes
Often, companies attempt to control possible confusion – as well as speed up inventory control processes – by using bar code systems for labeling. Even bar codes systems, however, must be carefully planned so that codes are uniformly applied; when they are, the bar code system does its job: lowers incidences of labeling confusion and greatly speeds up inventory control.
Use an ERP
When basic situations such as labeling are handled correctly, a modern inventory control system integrated into enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can streamline and automate important functions, including materials management to ensure that inventory is available to meet demand and production and delivery schedules.
Southeast Computer Solutions can answer your inventory tracking system questions as well as your ERP questions. Please contact us to learn how using these systems will improve your business.
About Southeast Computer Solutions
Southeast Computer Solutions is based in Miami, Florida, and has additional operations in Mexico. For over 30 years, we have positively impacted the success of small and mid-sized businesses with effective business management implementations that improve our clients’ operations. We listen, we are accessible, and we care. Learn more by visiting our website or calling 305-556-4697.