A sudden fluctuation in demand, or market conditions will shift inventory levels into imbalance, and you may start facing out of stocks while also experiencing build up of additional unwanted inventory. Building an agile and responsive supply chain can help your business be resilient even during the worst volatility of demand.
Maintaining healthy levels of inventory in your warehouse is important since managing a warehouse is a high risk investment and operational costs are very high. To start building a more agile supply chain, you have to constantly track inventory, predict demand, fulfill orders and optimize warehouse storage space and inventory. All of this requires complete visibility into your supply chain and demand.
WHY IS SUPPLY CHAIN VISIBILITY IMPORTANT?
Visibility in your supply chain is mainly of two types: Inventory Visibility and Demand Visibility.
Inventory visibility is the ability of a business to track in real time it’s inventory at every location across it’s supply chain, and also gain insight into how much quantity of a SKU is located at a particular location in a warehouse, and all the changes in inventory levels.
Demand Visibility is the ability of a business to track current demand and predict future demand by gauging real time market signals, and inventory levels.
So, why does inventory and demand visibility matter?
In order to make informed decisions across your decisions, an accurate demand forecast is fundamental. The ability to see inventory levels across your supply chain, and gauging real time market signals will boost the accuracy of your demand forecast. Having a more accurate demand forecast will improve operational efficiency and order fulfillment.
- Increased operational efficiency
Having real time inventory and demand visibility will allow you to take better decisions to balance inventory levels. When managing a warehouse, having such data can be crucial to optimize operations such as storage space utilization and transportation. For example, placing high demand products at an easily accessible location in the warehouse can save time and costs.
- Improve Customer Order Fulfillment
Knowing how much of a particular inventory you will sell in a particular time period will allow you to stock sufficient inventory and fulfill customer orders within time, without fearing an out of stock situation.
- Improved Inventory Control
Inventory Control is the process of maintaining accurate stock levels across a business’ supply chain. Without visibility, you can only guess how much of an inventory will be sold at a given time, though a certain channel. This will lead to inconsistent ordering, lack of stocks when needed, and excess of slow moving inventory. Warehouse Inventory Management softwares give you visibility into present and future demand for all channels and will enable you to perform inventory control activities without worrying about excess or dead stock.
USING WAREHOUSE INVENTORY MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE FOR BETTER VISIBILITY
A warehouse inventory management software automates the inventory management process to streamline operations in your warehouse and performing inventory control activities such as constantly monitoring and optimizing stock levels across your supply chain, whilst also tracking sales, lead times, trends and other factors and using techniques such as inventory forecasting and replenishment planning to plan ahead and prepare for any demand.
With technologies such as AI and ML, a new age warehouse inventory management software can leverage these technologies to provide you with real time supply chain visibility with high accuracy.
Warehouse inventory management softwares like Crest have demand forecasting and planning capabilities to give you visibility so that you can identify the right product mix and the appropriate quantities to stock, and only stock what sells without overstocking.
If you are getting started on implementing a warehouse inventory management tool for better supply chain visibility, look for tools that have standardized data and reporting, automated inventory control, demand forecasting and replenishment capabilities.
The degree of visibility your business has across your supply chain will impact customer expectations and business growth. By implementing a warehouse management tool, you can be well ahead in your journey of building an agile supply chain with visibility for improved responsiveness.