6 Effective Tips For Multi-Warehouse Inventory Management

Effective inventory management for your growing business is crucial. As your company transitions from a single-warehouse to a multi-warehouse model, you can encounter problems with inventory accuracy. Small problems that are easy to solve before your business growth, have now become big problems. When you have more than one warehouse, you need a multi-warehouse inventory management solution. With that in mind, we have 6 tips for you to consider: 

Tip 1: Optimize Communication Flows Across Warehouse Locations

Making sure that all warehouses are on the same page is harder than it sounds. If you are not using the right inventory management software, each warehouse is going to have its own filing system. Each warehouse will have its own order system, and its own way of maintaining inventory. Thus, the goal of any inventory management system should be smooth, cross-warehouse communications. When you have a streamlined process in place, mainting it becomes easy. There now exists consistent communication flow between and among the different warehouses.

Tip 2: Ensure That All Data Remains Synced Across the Organization

If you are not using an integrated warehouse inventory management solution, you may experience time lags as different warehouses update their systems. Thus, it’s very important that you look for ways to implement real-time data. Real-time processes allow for a flow that covers all the major facets of inventory management. This is especially true if you are regularly transferring products from one location to another. 

The real advantage of a warehouse inventory management software is that it has an integratedaccounting and sales function. This means that as soon as sales orders come in that information flows directly to your operations and logistics team. If there are changes to inventory stock, these changes immediately show within the accounting system.  This transparency is appreciated amognst company managers who regularly run reports giving them the confidence that all data is synced.

Tip 3: Re-Evaluate How You Do Warehouse Inventory Stock Counts

Since there are multiple ways counting inventory, your business needs to re-evaluate its method used in managing one warehoues. For example, what works well with just a handful of high-value items in one location will not work nearly as well for another warehouse location with thousands of lower-value products.

The problem with inaccurate, delayed, or otherwise flawed inventory counts is that it leads to problems for your inventory-centric business. Incorrect counts bring your orders to grinding to a halt. Chief among these problems is the ever-present threat of an inventory stock-out. With just a single warehouse location, it might be possible to detect a depleted stock level of a popular product. However, with multiple warehouse locations, it is easy to assume that “the other warehouse location” must have ample supply of this product. You can’t afford to assume. A multi-warehouse inventory management missing takes the guess work out of the equation, iltimately resulting in your customer’s satisfaction.

Tip 4: Change the Layout of Your Warehouse Locations

There are a few best practices for warehouse inventory management that are commonly shared across all industries. Chief among these is that high-volume and popular products should always be stocked near the loading dock (i.e. the exit). Over time, the time savings from this approach can really add up. When it comes to the overall layout, you also want to make sure that people pulling product off the shelf are not caught in a giant maze.

If you find that executing orders is taking too much time and leading to shipping delays, then it might make sense to create maps of the warehouse that can be shared with employees. And it definitely makes sense to label each shelf, each zone, and each area of the warehouse very clearly. In many ways, warehouse layout is just an optimization problem: your goal should be to reduce the overall path traveled by employees as they fulfill orders, and to make the most popular products easily accessible on the shelf.

Tip 5: Optimize Warehouse Locations For Geography

Geography always plays a role. In the best of all possible worlds, your warehouses would be located as close as possible to the end customer. Ideallt, instead of waiting for a product to travel from one end of the country to the other, your product arrives in the customers hands within 1-2 days. Saving on shipping and transport costs, and creating the best overall customer satisfaction. 

The reality is not all your warehouse locations are located within close proximity of yourcustomer bases. For one, there is the issue of higher labor and rental costs associated when a warehouse in a very densely populated metropolitan area. Moreover, there may be regulatory or tax issues involved with having a warehouse in another state, province or country. For that reason, warehouse location involves a number of factors, including the trade-off between rental costs and transport costs for a certain region. Tracking all these factors and their costs is a crucial part of your multi-warehouse inventory managment solution. You want to make sure that you have the ability and ease to account for everything – regardless of where your warehouses are located.

Tip 6: Look For Cost and Time Savings Based On Inventory Data Flows

As a responsible business manager you are constantly looking to streaml your logistical and operational flows. One way of doing this is by tapping into all the data that your business generates. Information about order transport and shipping times is helpful when you want to expedite shipping processed to move products from one location to another. Or, data entry into the system from accounting and sales teams is crucial in order to anticipate consumer demand for a particular product.

The more that your business can become proactive, and not just reactive, the more successful that it is going to be. By leveraging these top tips for multi-warehouse inventory management, you can ensure that your business stays one step ahead of the competition.

Contact us today for a free trial of Spire and expeience how we handle multi-warehouse invetory management. 

One Response to “6 Effective Tips For Multi-Warehouse Inventory Management

  • Hello there! Major difficulties, eCommerce entrepreneurs face when running a multichannel business model is multi-warehouse inventory management. The real advantage of warehouse inventory management software is that it has a sales function. Thanks for sharing such useful details. Keep posting.

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