POWERS Management Consulting Culture Powers Business brand logo

Culture Powers Business™

4 Big Questions Leaders Should Ask to Improve Inventory Management Processes

4 big questions leaders should ask to improve inventory management processes

Whether you manage just one warehouse or distribution center, or many, how successfully you implement technology can make all the difference in your supply chain.

Keeping track of what’s in your warehouse may be easier said than done, but it’s also critically important to your bottom line. The only way to know the true value of what you’ve got is to price your inventory accurately. As frontline leaders and manufacturing executives will attest, this entails paying special attention to every single warehouse item coming and going through your acquisition, sales, and use processes. It also requires diligently locating all items across your operations.

Whether you run just one or many warehouses, how well you know what your supply partners have in stock can make all the difference in your potential success as an industry leader. So much so that, experts at Business.org claim, “Companies can increase their profitability 20–50 percent or more through careful inventory control.”

Companies can increase their profitability

20-50% or More

through careful inventory control.

SOURCE: BUSINESS.ORG 

63% of The Time

How frequently inventory is accurate in retail businesses.

SOURCE: FLEXIS 

Not only has this always held true for manufacturing, but this reality has only been heightened in in the wake of the global pandemic, as explored in the Harvard Business Review’s recent piece, “Coronavirus Is a Wake-Up Call for Supply Chain Management.”

The article builds a case for organizations needing to know “exactly which suppliers, sites, parts, and products are at risk.” Only by gaining this insight will manufacturers be uniquely prepared to pivot in emergencies (like a pandemic and resulting global economic disruption), the author continues.

Why? Because those organizations have wisely equipped themselves to understand when and how to jump into action and “secure constrained inventory and capacity at alternate sites.”

Need further convincing? As reported by Manufacturing Tomorrow, inventory management “leads to savings of thousands of man-hours and results in increased efficiency and profits.

 1/3 of Businesses

will miss a shipment deadline because they’ve
sold an item that wasn’t actually in stock.

SOURCE: FLEXIS 

So, where to begin?

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to streamlining your inventory management process. No “magic key” to turn and then all of your inventory management worries are over. The good news, at least, is that when you focus on the processes, systems, and behaviors that need to change, and when you’re willing to look at how your business can adopt the necessary tools you need, that’s when you’ll see major results in profitability.

To get started, our team at POWERS has compiled 4 key questions that you and your team should consider when it comes to inventory management, especially when it comes to the adoption of new technology or available inventory management software.

4 Big Questions To Ask When Improving Your Inventory Management Process With Technology

1.  Do you need to look into technological advancements and additional tools to get us to where you need to be? 

As PC Magazine reports, “While ‘inventory management’ sounds like it’s a simple tracking of what you have, inventory management software actually goes several levels deep. The software should integrate with at least one other back-end office system, namely, with either your accounting or enterprise resource planning (ERP) package.”
Yes, clearly inventory management is something that moves faster and smoother with a little automated help. But how do you know that you’re selecting the right software for your business? You actually won’t be able to answer that question until you answer several other questions.

2. Are you making sure that you’re leveraging the technology that’s already available to you?

As framed by Industry Weekly, optimal software will be “designed specifically to help companies automate this process and improve their business efficiency. By automating this process, companies cut critical human errors, streamline logistics, establish reliability on available goods, improve customer service and strengthen brand reputation.”

Too often today, businesses are trapped by technology instead freed. Software across all business disciplines, including inventory control, has become bloated, complex, and hard to learn and use every day. Make certain the technology you’ve implemented adds value. For sustainability, technology should scale easily with your business and be easy to train on.

3. Do you need to implement any training or other processes to ensure that the end-user has the knowledge they need to optimize the new tech’s features?

Sometimes, the software doesn’t suit the complexities of the processes you have in place already. Or it may not align with the technology already in use by your team. Therefore, allowing the time and resources necessary to train your team on any new technology properly is vital to implementing it successfully.

4. Where does adopting new inventory management software play into your big picture? Is that software oriented toward a solution?

It’s amazing how often the long-term goals of the organizzation aren’t considered before rushing into making a major purchase of the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos. Have you taken steps to define your goals? If not, it’s time to rewind and start from there.

The POWERS Difference

While it may be time to explore your more robust technology options, the solution to more effective inventory control may come down to your frontline leadership and your company culture.

POWERS management consulting’s unique Culture Performance Management™ methodology connects the dots between optimized company culture and your desired operational performance outcomes.

POWERS has helped global leaders across many industries operationalize their culture for rapid and sustained performance improvement, increased competitive advantage, greater value, and a stronger bottom line.

To put our experienced team and proven track record to work for you, schedule an initial discovery and analysis by calling +1 678-971-4711, or emailing us at info@thepowerscompany.com.

Get the latest Culture Performance Management insights delivered to your inbox

About the Author

Sean Hart, CEO, POWERS Management Consulting

Sean Hart

CEO, Managing Partner

Sean Hart is an industrial engineer with a background in manufacturing supervision and project management. Sean’s background is in improving overall plant efficiencies and implementing Lean techniques to improve processes.