Supply chains are, by their very nature, dynamic and volatile. This means that managing the warehousing and distribution aspect of a supply chain is a process that requires diligent oversight and attention to stay on top of the ever-changing status of your company’s inventory.
The use of a stock control system with specific capabilities will give you more control and allow you to better manage facets of your company’s logistics that are tied to inventory control and management. Here are 10 qualities and features that should be present in every stock control system:
Ease of Use
A stock control system should not require weeks of training, an indecipherable and bulky user manual, or other complexities when learning how to use and navigate the system. It should have straight-forward and easily understood functions and operations that need minimal training or explanation to use.
This factor is important whether you are a small business with a tiny stock room or a large corporation with multiple warehousing and distribution facilities scattered across the country. You need a stock control system that can adapt to your company’s needs and grow with your business without requiring major upgrades or modifications.
Integration with Existing Data Assets
When looking for a stock control system, you don’t want to incur the potentially costly replacement of your existing data assets and infrastructure to implement new operational methods and procedures. The stock control system should be able to integrate seamlessly with your existing IT software and hardware.
With user-defined parameters, an ideal stock control system can monitor your company’s optimised inventory levels and provide you with instant notifications and follow-up reminders when your inventory reaches predetermined volumes. The inventory monitoring processes should also permit automated replenishment of select units as determined by the user or system administrator.
Real-Time Updating Capabilities
When changes are made to your inventory, you need to know immediately. Whether those changes are to on-hand or remotely warehoused stock, and whether the changes are a result of order fulfilment, incoming shipments, or losses due to damage in transit, you want your stock control system to have the capability to update data across your network in real time.
A good stock control system will have financial management features that give you the ability to make changes to pricing structures (temporary and permanent) and stock costs. It should also offer the ability to set up multiple accounts for manipulating and managing the financial aspects of your company’s logistics operations.
Your stock control system should offer you a diverse array of reporting options that cover the end-to-end aspects of your stock management operations. This could include importing data from point-of-sale systems, individual and bulk information, and report generation for the history of company orders, shipment data, customer orders, and price changes, just to name a few.
Conducting internal audits of your supply chain components is an important aspect of your company’s overall logistics management. A stock control system with built-in audit processes would give you access to the strong and weak points in your system before any weaknesses become critical issues.
Single Interface Design
Regardless of the options included in a stock control system, it should provide access to all of those options in a single interface, without requiring the use of multiple programs, applications, or sub-systems to complete all of your stock management tasks.
An ideal stock control system should be customisable so you can tailor it to fit your specific needs. This would eliminate having a system lacking features you want but can’t have, and features you don’t need but can’t get rid of.
When you have a stock control system that includes these ten features and qualities, you will have the ability to maintain better control over your supply chain. Keeping your stock control system effective and successful is just one part of your overall logistics management strategy, but it is certainly an important one, and the right stock control system can be integrated into your existing operations to help ensure the continued success of that strategy.