Inventory management. This is something every ecommerce company or wholesaler needs to get right. However, it is not a static issue, and the measures that are required (as well as the sophistication of the technology) is something that scales in accordance with the growth of the business. Basically, as you grow, you need to put more complex and expensive systems in place.
Hopefully, the increased profits derived from growth should allow you to do this. Olympic Eyewear, a bulk sunglasses distributor out of Utah, advises that the goal is always to use the space as efficiently as possible. This means avoiding empty warehouse shelves on the one hand, and inventory having no place to go on the other. That’s the rule for doing it, but the solution changes – and is changing all the time.
Nevertheless, it isn’t just growth that determines the extent of the inventory management which you need to engage in. The advancement of new technology is increasing the sophistication of inventory management systems for companies of all sizes. And not only that, but new techniques are constantly being developed which can be implemented by any ecommerce company or wholesaler. Inventory management is always at the cutting edge of technique and technology, which is no surprise when we consider just how dynamic the development of ecommerce itself has been.
New Technology and Ecommerce
Of course, it was the internet that made ecommerce possible. But being developed in tandem with ever-increasing numbers of internet users has been innovative technologies in areas such as payment security, order fulfilment, and data security. All of this has made ecommerce easier and securer for people to engage in. Today, ecommerce is everywhere, and most traditional outlets have an online store too. This is why inventory management is never a static discipline, with new techniques and technologies coming along all the time.
Latest Inventory Management Breakthroughs
So, what form does all this innovation actually take? Here follows the cutting edge of inventory management techniques and technology:
By now, automation exists to some degree in nearly all inventory management systems. Nonetheless, the degree of automation is something which is increasing. Scanners – not yet as widespread as they should be – make for a good example. You might have high-tech software managing your inventory, but how does that system get its data? If there is manual data entry at any point along the inventory management process, then you are necessarily open to human error.
Robots are a common feature in larger warehouses already (they are not generally present in smaller ones), but it is in fact the tasks which they perform that are changing all the time. Picking robots can very efficiently retrieve inventory for distribution, but there are also robots that automatically update tracking software as they work, which leaves no room for human error.
Dynamic Put Away
At first, this doesn’t sound particularly high tech. In fact, all that dynamic put away involves is allowing for a faster order turnaround by placing new inventory wherever there is space, instead of in a predetermined location. This technique is used to facilitate next day or same day delivery orders. An order is made, the inventory is immediately delivered to the warehouse, and placed in an available space. For smaller warehouses that economize space, this is not possible, but it is one technique that those companies looking to get in on next day delivery always put to good use.
Ecommerce is an area of development as dynamic as any out there. Inventory management needs to keep up. Things never stay the same for long.