Inventory Management With Multiple Warehouses
Many businesses accept the requirement for more or a couple of warehouses at some point along their supply chain. The reason behind this step is not a complicated one to understand. Typically, businesses take this step for faster shipment of the customer stock.
Even so, having several warehouses forms the first footstep along the path to company growth and upgrading, which can complicate the operation of arranging the warehouse inventory. You need to manage each warehouse precisely and perfectly – which you’ll find challenging. If not, costs will skyrocket because of inefficiency and time delays.
Hesitate no more! You’re in this post to get the correct solution. Keep reading to find out how you can manage inventory in several warehouses.
Why Have Multiple Warehouses?
Sync Easily With Manufacturing
When assembling your products, you’re more likely to start with your textiles, fabrication and identify one place where you can inventory all the stuff. However, while growing, you’ll mostly realize that it’s advantageous to have several manufacturing spots for your organization. There are numerous benefits behind this step, but a few include excellent building expenses and land/rent costs, labor access, and more.
Now, visualize you have this – and you’re required to ensure the manufacturing place is stocked with the proper materials/textile that could swiftly grow into logistics night terrors.
However, you can keep all the places supplied at the correct measures and avoid spending additional time and cash, ensuring each fabricating station has all it requires to maintain developing products.
Outsource Manufacturing Easily
Many firms are shooting up the outsourced manufacturing amount they use. They do this because of several reasons, including reduced labor expenses. However, these advantages can feature headaches such as increased obstacles when handling your inventory.
Note that you can use an inventory management system to alleviate these issues. This software allows you to monitor the textile and products available at each station to ensure you don’t find yourself short or rushing to move stuff from one area to another.
Quickly Implement Lean Manufacturing Practices
Lean manufacturing occupies the records as the big bargain in the last ten years. Generally, lean manufacturing refers to software designed to reduce waste, enhance efficiency, and boost productivity by smoothening the paces you follow to fabricate products.
As a lean manufacturing strategy section, manufacturing can occur at several different facilities. As a result, you’ll have to quickly monitor your product’s position in each manufacturing process stage. Also, you can rely on inventory management software to make everything more manageable.
Generally, it’s a goal come true to have your overall manufacturing/inventory in a single place. Several things deserve consideration of easy access and managing the whole process from one place. But what if a warehouse fire breaks out? Or, what if someone robs your warehouse? Or, what if a flood occurs?
In these cases, expect a disastrous situation if you have your overall process in a single place. However, you can mitigate the risk if you have more or a secondary site. And if you avoid using several warehouses because you imagine the inventory management roles will be complex, that does not have to be the problem. The market has software solutions that will help you manage several locations with less hassle.
Adding more warehouses can lower warehouse rent/mortgage, shipping, and labor costs. Also, expect to save more if you outsource to another nation. Besides this, you can save cash in terms of transportation expenses. However, don’t focus on adding the locations randomly – instead, focus on adding the sites strategically.
Multiple Warehouse Issues
Now that you know the benefits of multiple warehouse spaces let’s focus on the challenges you’re likely to face when managing these locations.
It’s not strange that multiple warehouses make everything more complicated than when monitoring your supplies/products from a single location. However, this should not discourage you from considering multiple warehouse spaces because the pros outweigh the cons. Below are a few challenges that come with numerous warehouse spaces:
Maintaining Stock Add Ups
More inventory means more challenges when tracking the supplies/products. Moreover, this difficult level can increase sharply if you place the inventory at several locations.
You increase the bottleneck’s potential if you store products in several stations. You’re likely to experience this because of miscommunication issues between the stations. However, this is an expensive issue that may significantly impact your bottom line and overall productivity.
Unequal Inventory Positions
With the several products, production materials, and manufacturing situated at various worksites, it’s easy to find yourself with unequal inventory measures – which brings about another bottleneck.
The logistics involving having the textiles kept at a single station and the manufacturing center at another place means you’ll need exceptional inventory management to ensure the correct quantity of fabric reaches the production center at the required time.
With ineffective inventory management software, you’ll quickly discover that the requested orders are mainly not filled at all or not more than once. The probability for this error jumps up every time you have several warehouse spaces.
Managing Inventory When You Have Multiple Warehouses
Involve Movable & Fixed Tracking
Having your investment focus on inventory management can save you much money and a lot of hassle. You need a fixed and movable type of tracking to develop pro inventory management software. This step is indispensable because merging ‘movable’ tracking and fixed monitoring options can help you know the product’s location, status, and products that you can fulfill, ship, and check if the tools required to facilitate the order are updated.
Generally, movable and fixed monitoring ensures you have a faster and hassle-free fulfillment process.
Asset monitoring or fixed monitoring entails consistent tracking of the manufacturing tools or the ones that make it easy to fulfill the fulfillment projects and warehouse tasks. You can use barcodes or RFID tags to monitor the system status or location.
Movable monitoring or inventory management entails tracking each product, the products in your warehouse, the products that need restocking, and the excess products. Generally, ‘movable’ monitoring manages your current stock and its number in real-time.
Implement Cross-Docking & Wave Picking
While planning your multifarious warehouse directory management, ensure that you focus on a lean process. Focus on keeping the expenses low, but don’t compromise efficiency. You can achieve this objective by using cross-docking & wave picking systems.
Cross-docking entails shipping a product as early as it arrives at the store. When manufacturing your own items, cross-docking entails creating a made-to-order software that cuts down the storage room needed to lower the overall warehouse expenses.
Wave picking works well for larger-sized and growing companies. It entails a storage room of more volume where you fill the orders back-to-back all around each day. Note that you can use these two techniques in the shipping system, but this depends on your directory management hardware.
Synchronizing and updating information from your ordering/warehouse software is another crucial tip for multifarious warehouse directory management. You can avoid this tip if you’re running a small-sized company featuring only one warehouse. However, you deserve quality software that can manage your information if you’re running a large-sized company that needs over one warehouse station. Third-force logistics brokers provide you with the following multifarious warehouse directory management elements:
- Get order alerts
- Handle dropship orders
- Creat multifarious warehouses
- Implement Amazon FBA and 3PL integrations
- Handle transfer inventory and quantity directory between warehouses
- Integrate with shipping software and carriers
- Reach real-time product status with each marketplace
- Creat shipping labels, invoices, and packing slips
- Channel-linked warehouse directory allocation management
- Implement instant product routing by the suppliers
Optimize The Warehouse Layout
You can automate the warehouse functioning, but you can also enhance inventory management by optimizing the warehouse layout for efficiency.
If you have a well-arranged warehouse, the organization can approvingly influence how fast consumers get their items. If the goods are not precisely categorized in the warehouse, personnel will take longer to identify and forward them to the consumers. Note that more accurate and faster item shipment converts to an exceptional consumer experience.
You can arrange the everyday items nearer the way outs to make it easy for warehouse staff to locate them and forward them quickly. Moreover, it’s recommended to label the warehouse counters and put the goods on their designated counters.
Consider drawing a straightforward plot of the warehouse layout for the workers and fixing them around your warehouses for your several large-sized warehouses.
A proper directory management software is indispensable to each business’s success, especially the one running several warehouses. Since it becomes complicated and quite tricky when managing multiple warehouse spaces, it’s pivotal to implement all the above tips.
The tips we’ve covered above can help you a lot if you’re getting dizzy or agitated thinking about the number of tasks you must complete to see a well-operating multifarious warehouse directory management. Multifarious warehouses may become night terrors for your e-commerce strategies if you don’t have the correct directory management system.
Consumers going through your site are not bothered if you have enough products and the specific logistics of packaging and forwarding their purchases. Instead, these customers are after an accurate and uncomplicated system that makes it easy to buy instantly and guarantees that they’ll receive the products within the agreed timeline.
To give the customers this experience, you must ensure that the store features real-time products that mirror what’s featured in the warehouse’s inventory and are ready for shipment. Expect to severely impact your bottom line and brand trustworthiness if you don’t take this step and instead end up experiencing stock-out cases.
About the Author
Rithesh Raghavan is the Director at Acodez, a Digital Agency in India. Having a rich experience of 15+ years in Digital Marketing, Rithesh loves to write up his thoughts on the latest trends and developments in the world of IT and software development.