Worst Inventory Practices- Part 1 of 2

Many of us are guilty of some of these worst inventory practices which is really saying they’re easy to commit because it’s convenient and gets the product out the door.  However, there’s a price tag for all these ‘sins’ and that comes in the form of obsolete inventory and dissatisfied customers.

1. Picking against a Packing List

Instead of picking against a pick list that is optimized to support most efficient picking and travel through the warehouse.  Manually adjusting the packing list which is typically sent to the customer looks unprofessional and opens you up for fraud. Also, a photocopy is sent to accounting for invoicing purpose; so, what happens if that paper copy gets lost or diverted, entered wrong, or read wrong?

2. Location Labels not barcoded

Forcing manual data entry of locations is an invitation not to enter them correctly or at all whenever an inventory movement is performed

3. Not scanning the barcoded product codes

Barcode scanning is many times more accurate and efficient. If the barcodes don’t match up with your internal part parts, create an alias table that cross-references the supplier’s part codes with yours.

4. Keeping the Warehouse neat and tidy

Open boxes on shelves, paper on the floor, and product piled too high do not inspire confidence in visiting customers and suggests the staff and management don’t respect the product. One of my lasting impressions of my visits to Disneyland is how everyone picks up garbage and how that simple act adds to the magic of that experience.

5. Direct Replenishment

This goes to knowing your inventory levels in your prime pick locations at all times. Such that when a product arrives, your system should direct that product to the pick location(s) and not to a bulk location.

Let us know in the comment section below if you are guilty of committing these or any other bad inventory practices

To be continued...